Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review - Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1 (@boomstudios)


"Welcome to the office, Snake."

In the history of action movies, few characters have been as buoyantly garish as Jake from Big Trouble in Little China. The role popularized by Kurt Russell improved the movie dramatically and added in the right amount of action and humor. Russell's portrayal of Snake Plissken was quite different, although the two characters did share similarities. Those similarities are on display in Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1 from BOOM! Studios. The issue is written by Greg Pak, illustrated by Daniel Bayliss, colored by Triona Farrell and lettered by Simon Bowland.

As lightning cascades around Jack and his good ol’ Pork-Chop Express, he finds himself transported and driving through the horrors of what seems to be the dystopian future of…Escape from New York?! Snake Plissken catches wind of Jack and goes on the hunt to find who is trying to steal his identity. Prepare for the road trip of a lifetime, with Jack and Snake rumblin’ down the streets of a dystopian future to find what craziness caused Jack to jump through worlds.

Pak knows what it is that makes Jack and Snake tick: the fact that they were both portrayed by Russell. Because of this fact, there are inherent similarities between the two characters that Pak uses to his advantage, playing one character off the other as a foil. The best part of including the Big Trouble in Little China component is that Pak doesn't have to spend much time explaining how the two characters actually cross paths--the universe is pretty crazy as it is. The story is paced pretty evenly and builds up slowly to the two main characters meeting in a situation that will require the two of them to work together. The surrounding narrative is pretty light and it's clear Pak will focus more on the conversational exchanges between the two leads more than anything to keep things moving.

The art style by Bayliss is a little gritty which is appropriate for the characters and tale involved. Bayliss uses pretty rough edges and a vague attention to detail for showcasing the characters, illustrating a very dystopian world for the characters to inhabit and play around in. Both of the lead characters maintain their trademark appearances and Bayliss doesn't show a desire to stray too far from that formula, ensuring that each of the twin characters are easily distinguished. The panels are arranged in a pretty traditional format that relies on insets and overlays cleanly presented. Farrell's colors are vibrant and an homage to the 80s providing a sense of nostalgia for fans of both characters.

Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1 is a pretty random crossover that wouldn't make any sense at all really were it not for the involved of Kurt Russell in both. Jack and Snake are two very iconic characters in their own rights and bringing them together is a fascinating concept that could be very entertaining. Pak is having a lot of fun writing the story and relying on both characters to carry the excitement. The artwork by Bayliss is somewhat frenzied in its approach and reflects the equally outlandish environment Jack finds himself in. Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1 isn't meant to be anything more than a fun jaunt for two pretty popular characters.

Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1 is in stores now.

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