After years of seeing JOJO’s video games and wondering what the hell was up with the weird avatar things that popped out of fighter’s back, it’s wonderful to finally get a proper introduction to the Stands.
Half the fun of these write-ups comes from drawing assorted pop cultural connections and so - - since he’s got a new movie out - - I’d like to take this space to favorably compare Alejandro Jodorowsky’s METABARONS to JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE. That’s another comic series that follows several generations of larger-than-life warriors; and I’ve come to find that sort of plot structure enthralling. Especially when we’re dealing with these adventure serials that just go on forever (and often stretch a premise too far, or let characters outlast their welcome), this is an effective way to continually keep things fresh without drifting too far from the initial premise.
One conceit METABARONS shares with JOJO’s while handling this premise is the notion that each hero is shaped by the positive and negative influence of his father. Jojo #1 is an earnest do-gooder who just keeps trying so, in response, Jojo #2 is a hot-headed self-promoter who’s continually pocking fun at all the self-serious characters he runs into. Now, we have Jojo #3, who takes that anti-social streak even farther by being a wayward, ungrateful punk.
And again, what makes it even more riveting is that the show skips over decades of filler. We didn’t need to see Jotaro grow up, and it’s a lot more interesting to be introduced this way - - while he’s in a jail cell, suffering from a bad case of spiritual possession - - as opposed to seeing him gradually enter his world. This actually helps keep the show away from any problems with ‘power creep,’ when you think about it.
Each story segment can focus on establishing a new power, and each Jojo can either carry on the powers of his fathers or forget them, depending on the needs of story. It’s brilliant, man.
Now… does anybody else think that Jojo’s Stand looks suspiciously like one of the Pillar Men?