Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Story: John Carpenter & Eric Powell
Pencils: Brian Churilla
Colours: Michael Garland
Review by Patrick McAleer
To say I am a fan of the John Carpenter classic ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ is like saying the Pope is a religious man. In other words, a galaxy sized understatement. It is my Citizen Kane. A movie so ludicrously perfect and perfectly ludicrous that it defies criticism. If you were to make a list of the film’s pros and cons and actually had some cons, you are essentially admitting that you’re dead inside. I have several copies of the movie, too many posters, a coffee cup and even sourced an actual reproduction of the wife beater Kurt Russell wears in the movie.
With all that said, you can imagine my reaction upon hearing that BOOM! Studios was releasing a comic book based on this movie. However mixed in with my excitement was a sense of trepidation – because in my mind the film is so exquisitely beautiful that the world of Big Trouble… needs nothing added. “Leave it alone” part of me screamed.
Thankfully writer Eric Powell appears to have a deep love for the property too as he has nailed the elements of what made the movie so adorable. Picking up basically immediately after the movie ends, Jack Burton’s macho posturing opens the book as the demon riding on the back of the Pork-Chop Express makes itself known to him. What follows is an odd couple tale (reminiscent of Clint and Clyde in Every Which Way) as ole Jack heads back to Chinatown to drop the demon off with Wang and Egg Shen. As the book progresses we see them gatecrashing Wang and Miao Yin’s wedding, learn of some of Jack’s past exploits and see them confronted by Lo Pan’s understudy bent on revenge.
The art from Brian Churilla is superb, leaning towards a cartoony feel (which the movie undoubtedly had), involving two wonderful full page splashes charting Jack’s history of getting into various tricky situations.
The colours by Michael Garland are spot on, particularly in the action scenes, brilliantly evoking that Carpenteresque neon-heavy 80’s vibe which is another key element to the films enduring appeal.
With a cliff-hanger set-up that sees Jack accept another suicide mission in his inimitable way this is (thankfully) a strong start to the new adventures of ole Jack Burton.
You know what I always say at a time like this? Buy It.
Patrick is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @RepStones.