Review: Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack #1

Jack Burton may never drive faster than he can see, but I’m not sure his vision is what it used to be. Jack’s been in Florida for a long time now and doesn’t seem as sharp… No scratch that. Still, we’re gonna need Old Jack Burton to get back up on the Pork Chop Express fast, because he’s got women to rescue and bad decision to make… and maybe pay for.

When we meet him, Jack is the only man living in a small Florida town surrounded by a wall of fire. Everything in the town magically replaces itself as quickly as Jack can eat, drink, or spank off to it. (Fortunately, we only see the implication of the last one.) Life seems pretty near perfect. As Jack says, “When you’re man enough to be an island…Life’s a beach.”

But his dreams reveal that the mortgage on the island life may be way too high for Jack. It seems the slice of paradise comes at the cost of setting a demon loose on Earth. Maybe that’s why when he gets a radio call from beyond the wall of flames, Jack jumps at the chance to rescue someone who describes herself as “an extremely attractive woman.”

You don’t have to have watched a single episode of Catfishing to realize that something it off. But Jack just looks the storm right square in the eye and says, ‘Gimme your best shot, I can take it.” He gets out the old truck and drives straight into Hell on Earth.

For an action movie that’s been kicking around the cable stations for over 30 years, Big Trouble in Little China seems to be suddenly trying to jump back into the cultural zeitgeist. Scripted by John Carpenter and Anthony Burch this reads and feels like a direct sequel to the original movie. It pretty much ignores all of the other BTLC comics that Boom! has sprung on the readers over the past couple of years.

Packed early with action and dangers (of varying levels) Jorge Corona’s art really sells both the danger and the jokes. This book really marries the adventure and humor well. It is like a Jackie Chan movie where they know how to blend the two elements without sacrificing the action in order to wedge in a joke in a way that kills both, as is so often the case in books like this.

Unlike some of the other comics, you don’t have to have seen the movie in order to enjoy this book. It sets itself up pretty well as an independent story. But for those who know and love the movie there are additional payoffs. If you are looking for something enjoyable and fast to read, this could be the fun book for you.

Writers: John Carpenter & Anthony Burch
Artist: Jorge Corona
Colors: Gabriel Cassata
Cover: Stephane Roux
Publisher: Boom! Studios

By the way, if you are going to the Baltimore Comic-Con you can pick up an exclusive variant cover there.


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