When you find yourself on a dark and stormy night to see that Boom! has created a Big Trouble in Little China comic that isn’t just an adaptation of the 1986 John Carpenter cult classic but is a continuation of the story plotted by John Carpenter himself (written by Eric Powell), well… you take it from Jay Batzner here on the Dork-Shelf Express, you find yourself a copy of that book and you huddle in close because if you love that movie as much as I do you won’t be disappointed with what the Boom! creative team (including Brian Churilla on art, Michael Garland on colors, and Ed Dukeshire on letters) has made for you.
Seriously, this was a ton of fun to read. The opening page of the comic is quite literally the last scene of the movie in which (spoiler alert?) our hero Jack Burton is driving his rig in the rain whilst pontificating over the CB completely unaware that a hideous monster has hitched a ride on the ol’ Pork-Chop Express. Jack’s encounter with the beast sets up a need to return to Chinatown and reunite with his comrades from the film (just in time for Wang’s wedding to Miao Yin). Egg is there, of course, to explain the mysteries as they unfold and Jack is never quite smart enough to grasp any depth of the situation. Jack is the Manic Pixie Action Hero, flitting from event to event without sentiment or really thinking about any but the most immediate ramifications.
Powell keeps Jack’s personality true to the movie and provides small glimpses of Jack’s past. If you haven’t seen Big Trouble in Little China, imagine Kurt Russell impersonating Clint Eastwood with a healthy dose of The Tick thrown in for good measure. Churilla’s art adapts the characters well too, and the book does best when Churilla captures the characters as abstracts instead of trying to draw Kurt Russell or Victor Wong. Kim Cattrall’s character Gracie Law does not appear in this issue, maybe it is because of that problem with her face. I’m sure she will show up soon enough.
I was extremely excited to see this book coming out. Had the book been just a comic adaptation of the movie, I wouldn’t have really cared. This first issue of Big Trouble in Little China is setting up exactly the kind of sequel I’d want: a return of the characters, a new-but-similar threat, and the potential for a bigger and messier story. The movie just scratched the surface of potential stories and I am happy to read this for as long as they make it.