(Boom! Studios, 2014)
Writer – Christopher Sebela
Artist – Diego Barreto
Colorist – Marissa Louise
Letterer – Ed Dukeshire
I’ve a love of post-apocalyptic fiction and prose that began long before I first read about zombie’s taking over the world. That love was born and bred of films I loved growing up, films that took the bright and shiny future and filled it with the most loathsome buggers around, and then made those guys the heroes. Mad Max, The Running Man (yes, that one too), and especially Escape From New York captured the imaginations of a generation of kids who grew up with Ronald Reagan and George Bush, and thought that whatever was coming was most assuredly not going to be better. There were sequels to some of those films, some good, some…not so good, but now, under the leadership of Boom! Studios, we’re getting another sequel, this time to a classic.
Yes sir. Boom! Studios continues its film-adapted comic sequels of John Carpenter titles, following the success of Big Trouble in Little China quickly with Escape from New York #1. Let’s not bury the lead. It rocks just as hard as it did in 1981.
Escape From New York #1 drops this week, and it is the continuation of Snake Plissken’s story as it happens directly after the events of the film. Writer Christopher Sebela (Dead Letters, Ghost) gives us the Snake we want to see in the sequel he deserves. He’s just escaped New York, been screwed by the government, and done a little screwing of his own in the form of switched tapes exposed to the media. (Tapes, people…they’re like Woodstock, if you don’t know, you weren’t there.) The government is none to happy with Missus Plissken’s darling baby boy, and the feeling is mutual. They’re gunning for him, and all Snake can do is run for the border with whoever is smart(?) enough to pick him up. Because Florida has annexed itself from the United States under the objective dictatorship of “the Twins”, a pair of pre-teen brothers with claims to psychic power and an army of devoted followers.
Like I said, Sebela has Plissken down to a science but how hard is that really? Watch the films and you find that Plissken is a pretty basic guy. Give him his smokes and his freedom and he’s happy. What Sebela has excelled at here is the continuation of the story from the original film. (Like most of the 90’s, I’m pretending Escape from L.A. doesn’t exist.) Sebela has re-captured the feel of the film, John Carpenter’s look at the militarized penal system and the general public’s wish that “the bad stuff” wasn’t around. It’s a plausible turn that takes the character in a direction that makes sense to the story.
Of course there’s no better way to capture the feel than the distinct look that Carpenter brought to the film, and Diego Barreto (Irredeemable, Eureka) brings that feel in full force. He draws Snake in a way that no makeup or CGI can touch, the Kurt Russell of 1981, before The Thing, right at the beginning of his career. This feels like Snake Plissken, and that’s what matters.
If you were a fan of Escape from New York, than this is a no-brainer. If you’re too young to have watched it, than go back, it holds up. Christopher Sebela and Diego Barreto have brought you the sequel that you never knew you needed, and it comes with a cobra tattooed on its belly.
Reviewed by Brad Gischia
Name: Brad Gischia
Twitter Account: @comicwasteland
City: Ishpeming, MI
Brad Gischia is a writer and artist living in the frozen Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is married and has three kids and a dog, who all put up with his incessant prattling about comic books.