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Adventures of Jack Burton

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138-at-popapostle-dot-com
Adventures of Jack Burton: The Hell of the Midnight Road Adventures of Jack Burton
"The Hell of the Midnight Road"
Big Trouble in Little China #1 (BOOM! Studios)
(Pages 1-6)
Story by John Carpenter and Eric Powell
Writer: Eric Powell
Artist: Brian Churilla
Colorist: Michael Garland
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Cover A: Eric Powell
June 2014

 

Jack discovers a stowaway on his truck.

 

Story Summary

 

Immediately following the events of Big Trouble in Little China, Lo Pan's stowaway Hell-beast climbs into the cab of the Pork-Chop Express. Startled, Jack swerves off the road and crashes through a wooden fence, skidding to a stop in the rain and mud. Jack throws open his door and leaps out, but the beast crawls through the door and joins him on the ground with a roar. Jack tries to fight it, but slips in the mud, landing on his rump. The beast pounces and begins to lick his face. Jack finds the beast to be meek as a puppy and is about to leave it behind when he begins to feel guilty about it, inviting the creature back into his cab, figuring he'll take it back to Wang and Egg to take care of.

 

Notes from the Jack Burton chronology

 

Blair Marnell published an interview with Matthew J. Elliot, author of the upcoming novel Big Trouble In Mother Russia, at Crave Online in which it is stated by Marnell (in the comments section) that the novel takes place after Jack meets the monster on his truck, but before he attends Wang’s wedding (both in this issue). The first six pages of this issue depict Jack's meeting the monster (whom he starts to call Pete). Page 7 has Jack and Pete (now sort of Jack's pet) arriving for Wang's wedding. Hence, I've broken this issue into two parts in the chronology so that Big Trouble In Mother Russia can take place in between.

 

Characters appearing or mentioned in this issue

 

Jack Burton

Pete (Hell-beast)

Lo Pan (mentioned only, deceased)

Pete (Jack's childhood dog, mentioned only, presumably deceased) 

 

Didja Know?

 

BOOM! Studios published 25 issues of a Big Trouble in Little China comic book from 2014 to 2016. The stories featured input from John Carpenter, director of the 1986 film.

 

The inside front cover of the first twelve issues of this comic book series mimic the look of a take-out menu of a Chinese restaurant, presumably because Wang owns the Dragon of the Black Pool Cantonese restaurant in Little China. It even has a coffee ring and grease stains on it! The menu border of a running pig is from the graphic on the side of Jack's truck, the Pork-Chop Express. The Chinese characters at the top of the menu are from the original title card of the film Big Trouble in Little China (actually translating "Evil Spirits Make a Big Scene in Little Spiritual State").

 

Most of the issues of this series did not have individual titles. I took the phrase "The Hell of the Midnight Road" for the title of this chaptr from the overall title of the story arc of issues 1-4, "The Hell of the Midnight Road & the Ghosts of Storms" as stated on the first page of this issue. (For the second part of this issue, I used "The Ghosts of Storms" as the title for the corresponding episode study.)

 

Didja Notice?

 

This issue opens during the last moments of Big Trouble in Little China, with Jack delivering his closing monologue into his CB radio. The dialog here is verbatim from the film. His clothing looks nearly identical, though the Harley-Davidson logo is missing from his cap.

 

The unearthly Hell-beast servant of Lo Pan who stows away on Jack's truck is the same beast that re-captured Gracie for Lo Pan in Big Trouble in Little China.

 

Jack decides to take in the inexplicably friendly beast, worried that if he leaves the poor guy out there on the side of the highway that he'd "end up gettin' shot by the highway patrol as a deranged Bigfoot or an alien or somthin'." Bigfoot is a cryptozoological hominid some people believe lives (mostly) in the American northwest.

 

The hood ornament on the Pork-Chop Express seen on page 6 is similar to the one seen on it in Big Trouble in Little China.

 

Jack decides to call the Hell-beast "Pete" after a dog he had when he was a kid.


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