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Adventures of Jack Burton

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138-at-popapostle-dot-com
Jack Burton/Snake Plissen: Snake's World
"Snake's World"
Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1 (BOOM! Studios)
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Daniel Bayliss
Colors: Triona Farrell
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover by Daniel Bayliss
October 2016

 

The Pork-Chop Express is sucked into a dimensional portal and Jack Burton winds up in an alternate future reality where he meets his lookalike...Snake Plissken!

 

Story Summary

 

Jack Burton is driving the Pork-Chop Express out of Lubbock, Texas when a dimensional portal suddenly opens up in the road in front of him and he is sucked into an alternate future reality of the year 2001. He is immediately set upon by a vicious pack of Marauders driving customized ramshackle battle cars and motorcycles. Jack is flummoxed, but finds himself aided by another driver who looks just like Wang, but calls himself Bobby Liu. They manage to kill a number of the Marauders and send the rest fleeing when they think Jack is Snake Plissken.

 

Meanwhile, nearby, the real Snake is having a beer at the gas station diner when the bartender's CB radio announces that Snake Plissken has just murdered a bunch of Marauders. Several Marauders gang members are in the place already and immediately attack Snake at hearing the news. Snake kills them all.

 

Bobby leads Jack to Lubbock Army Base, where he has discovered the U.S. government's secret vault of supernatural research, including some ancient relics: Mayan crystals, a Chinese scroll, and an ancient wand. Bobby explains that he used the scroll to summon Snake Plissken there to ask him to help rescue some people trapped in the Federal Culture Bunker in Cleveland, currently under siege by Marauders itself. Apparently, Bobby's poor Mandarin brought Jack over from an alternate world instead of Snake, but then the real Snake shows up to kill Jack for getting him trouble with the Marauders. An uneasy truce is reached among the three and Wang asks for both of them to help in the Cleveland rescue.

 

CONTINUED IN BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA/ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK #2

 

Notes from the Jack Burton and Snake Plissken chronologies

 

This issue opens with Jack Burton in Lubbock, Texas in 1987, approximately a year after the events of "Second Beginning", then jumps to the alternate world future of the year 2001 in the Snake Plissken Chronicles universe.

 

Characters appearing or mentioned in this issue

 

Jack Burton

Wang Chi (mentioned only)

David Lo Pan (in spirit form)

Marauders

Snake Plissken

Bobby Liu

 

Didja Know?

 

This was a 6-issue mini-series published by BOOM! Studios that features a cross-over story of the characters of Jack Burton and Snake Plissken, both portrayed by actor Kurt Russell in the John Carpenter films Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York (and Escape from L.A.), respectively.

 

This issue of Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York has the title of "Part One: Snake's World", but none of the subsequent issues had individual titles! I have given them titles of my own, mostly based on an appropriate line of dialog in the issue.

 

Throughout this mini-series, Jack Burton is wearing the same Oriental-themed tank top he wore in Big Trouble in Little China and Snake Plissken is wearing the same zippered tank top he wore in Escape from New York.

 

 

 

Didja Notice?

 

The song by Blind Apple Mary playing on the cassette stereo in Jack's rig appears to be fictitious (both the song and the band). The album the song is on is seen to be titled Country Blues Classics, published by Sonic-O Records. There are many variations of music albums published under the name Country Blues Classics. Sonic-O Records appears to be a fictitious publisher.

 

    In the top-right corner of panel 3 on page 1, a cassette tape on the dash board of Jack's rig appears to be a ZZ Top album titled La Grange, though that band only had a single by the name "La Grange", not an album; possibly the cassette is simply a "cassette single" of the song (plus a B-side).

    Also in this panel, Jack's stereo appears to be a Boss Stereo. Boss is a real world maker of audio systems.

 

On page 1, Jack states that the Dragon of the Black Pool restaurant is on Spofford Street. This is an actual street in San Francisco.

 

    On page 2, the spirit of Lo Pan refers to himself as the greatest sorcerer ever seen in China or Gold Mountain. "Gold Mountain" is a Chinese name for San Francisco (or, ever-widening, California and North America). He also complains of being defeated by a moron like Jack Burton and "condemned to the Hell of the Those Killed by Idiots".

    Lo Pan's spirit is depicted with the knife Jack threw into his forehead in Big Trouble in Little China still in place. This is a bit odd considering the knife was not seen in Lo Pan's head in the underworld in "Bad News Browns" and later stories previously. But, I suppose the way he appears in the underworld and the way he appears in spirit form in the material world may differ.

 

From page 3 onward, Lo Pan's spirit is no longer, as if he was left behind when the Pork-Chop Express is sucked into the otherworldly portal. But it would seem this was a false impression, as he pops again, in Snake's world, near the end of "Weird Mojo".

 

On page 3, panel 2, there is what appears to be a photo of Jack and Wang fluttering through the cab as the Pork-Chop Express is sucked into the portal.

 

On page 4, the Pork-Chop Express arrives in Marauder Territory, Oklatexas Range, 2001. Obviously, "Oklatexas" is a merging of the U.S. states of Oklahoma and Texas, suggesting the two states are now one. In "Public Enemy No. 1", set in 1997, Snake Plissken looks at a map that seems to show the two states still separate.

 

The vehicles seen in Oklatexas are reminiscent of the types seen in a Mad Max film.

 

On page 4, Jack broadcasts over his CB, "Breaker-Breaker one nine for a 10-33..." In CB (Citizens Band radio) slang, "breaker-breaker" stands for breaking into a channel, "one nine" stands for channel 19, widely used among truckers. "10-33"  stands for "emergency situation".

 

The vehicle Bobby Liu drives appears to be a modified U.S. Post Office delivery van.

 

In the last panel of page 5, the stylized "Jack" painted on the driver's side door of the Pork-Chop Express is seen (as it should be). It is not seen elsewhere in the issue.

 

We first meet Snake Plissken at Amarillo Crater, Oklatexas Range. This is presumably the remains of the Texas city of Amarillo. 

 

On page 10, Snake appears to be hanging out at a diner at a Shell gas station, but the Shell shell symbol is depicted upside-down.
Shell station Shell logo
Shell station sign in this issue Shell logo

 

Also on page 10, Snake is listening to the same song by Blind Apple Mary on the diner booth jukebox that Jack was listening to before entering the portal.

 

The CB in the diner also reports that seven Marauders were murdered by "new enemy numero uno". Numero uno is Spanish for "number one".

 

On page 11, we see that Snake is drinking Mongoose Ale at the diner. This appears to be a fictitious beer brand, though there is a Mongoose IPA brewed by Hale's Ales.

 

Bobby leads Jack to Lubbock Army Base north of Lubbock. This is a fictitious installation, though there was once Reese Air Force Base six miles west of Lubbock, closed in 1995.

 

Bobby reveals to Jack that he discovered the U.S. government's secret vault of supernatural research, located at the Lubbock Army Base. A folder Bobby picks up has USSRD printed on it; probably the initials stand for United States Supernatural Research Division (or Department).

 

Bobby says he read the manuals about the supernatural objects he found there, deciding the Chinese scroll seemed the most promising, despite his crappy Mandarin, because he didn't speak Chicomuceltec at all, so the Mayan crystals were out. Chicomuceltec is a Mayan language of Mexico that died out in the 1980s with the last of the native speakers.

 

The guns Snake has in hand as he is introduced in this issue appear to be a Smith & Wesson Model 67 with mounted scope, similar to what he carried in Escape from New York (last seen in Maggie's possession near the end of the film) and a machine gun with silencer and scope that looks at first like the MAC-10 he also carried in the film, but here it appears to be an Uzi pistol instead.

 

Bobby wants Snake and Jack to rescue the people trapped in the Federal Culture Bunker in Cleveland, Ohio and get them to the city state of Free Toronto. The Federal Culture Bunker appears to be a fictitious location. "Free Toronto" is presumably the post-war version of Toronto, Canada, about 300 miles northeast of Cleveland.

 

Notice that the end of the issue (as well as issues 2-4) says "TO BE SNAKE-TINUED!


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