Monday, April 25, 2016

Escape from New York #1 (2014) Review


Written by: Christopher Sebela
Art by: Diego Barreto, Marissa Louise and Ed Dukeshire
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 3, 2014
Publisher: Boom! Studios

I'm going to continue my John Carpenter/Kurt Russell/Retro Movie theme for this week's JFTHOI reviews with Boom Studios' Escape from New York.  Having just read and reviewed Boom's Big Trouble in Little China book, I had my hopes up that this would be as good if not better.  Of course, the tone of the two franchises are very different and if truth be told, I am a much bigger fan of Big Trouble than I will ever be of Escape from New York, but that's not what this is all about.  I am here to review this book on it's own merits and really am interested to see if this first issue takes me back to the days where I snuck downstairs to watch this movie on HBO while my parents were sleeping. Well, did it?  Let's find out...

We pick up the story right after the movie as Snake destroys "The Tape" and makes President Hauk look like a complete ass in front of China, Russia and the world. No matter what your theory is of why he did it, Snake may have just started World War III and Hauk wants him to pay.  It's a pretty good start for a sequel comic and had me pretty pumped that Boom Studios was going to strike gold again, like they did with Big Trouble in Little China.  Unfortunately, it all goes downhill from here.

The story continues by showing a bit of the aftermath of Snake's "prank" while he starts making his way down South.  Of course, he comes off as a real badass, but besides that, the story and characters he runs into are generic to the point of me not caring.  His main compadres are on a "mission from god" (really?) that looks like it will take them and Snake to Florida...the only true nation left on the planet.

Christopher Sebela really tries to sell all this with stories of magical twins who can stop time, control weather and pretty much put Jesus to shame, but like Snake, I wasn't that interested.  It all turns nasty as we see these guys aren't really saints and after some gunshots, fistacuffs and explosions, Snake is off with the gal from the "religious group" in what feels like the beginning of some fucked up version of the Hope and Crosby "On the Road to..." movies.  I was dead wrong.

When the two of them get to the border (in one page), the gal, Jayne, decides she'd rather go back home to New Hampshire and leaves Snake to fight his way into Florida.  He must survive "The Crucible", a series of challenges that only the toughest...screw it, Sebela hardly takes the time to make even the coolest concept in the book interesting, so I will just do what he did and rush to the ending.

Here goes..the issue ends with Snake coming face-to-face with the twins (named Romulus and Remus...really?!?!) and I won't be saying anything like "I can't wait to see what happens next issue" because I really don't care and will not be continuing with this series.

I wish I didn't bother with this comic.  It is not good at all and besides the very beginning, didn't even feel attached to the movie one bit.  It's like Christopher Sebela watched Escape from New York and then started to forget everything that was good about it as he wrote the issue.  By the end, I didn't even like Snake and was left wondering why he traveled all the way to Florida just to be an asshole.  Even before that, though, the story was just a bunch of disjointed scenes crammed together only to rush through them to get to the next part.  For a tie-in to a movie franchise, the storytelling was hardly cinematic...or even storytelling.

I haven't mentioned the art yet at all and that's because it is horrible.  Diego Barreto struggled to get the look of Snake down, but it's everything else that helps make this book as bad as it is.  It is confusing to say the least and just awful to go a little further.  The best I can say is that Boom just picked a guy whose style does not match this book by one iota.

Bits and Pieces:

Fans of Escape from New York should give this book a wide berth because it is not the sequel they want or deserve.  Christopher Sebela's script just has Snake go through the motions and while there are a couple of cool ideas, nothing is explored at all.  Add to that, confusing art that doesn't fit the book at all and you get a series off to a disastrous start.


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