Hey, comics fans! It’s Four-Color Bullet for the week of June 4, 2014. Thanks for checking in. New Comic Book Day is over, so let’s get to it, shall we?
For Marvel fans this week, Moon Knight investigates sleep experiment subjects who are being driven insane, in Moon Knight #4; Cyclops and his dad take an intergalactic road trip to bury the hatchet, in Cyclops #2; the end of Captain America is at hand, as the Iron Nail brutally brings down the Star-Spangled Avenger, in Captain America #21; and all hell breaks loose as secrets are revealed, the Winter Soldier, Moon Knight, and Gamora make a startling discovery far from Earth, and someone loses their head, in Original Sin #3.
At DC Comics this week, Superman fights against the Doomsday virus in Part Five of Superman: Doomed, in Action Comics #32; Mr. Terrific’s new technical achievement is revealed but it may spell trouble for the DC Universe, in Futures’ End #5; Seattle is under siege, Diggle is in the clutches of crime boss Richard Dragon, and the Queen Legacy is in danger, in Part One of Broken, in Green Arrow #32; Robbery! On a speeding train! Batman and Robin! Green Hornet and Kato! Together again! A deadly new enemy revealed! All in Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #2.
Jet City comics brings us the adaptation of Hugh Howey’s best selling, dystopian tale, Wool, and BOOM! Studios teams up with horror legend John Carpenter for the continuing adventures of Jack Burton and the Pork Chop Express, in Big Trouble in Little China #1.
Original Sin has been my favorite Marvel event to date. And there have been plenty over the past year or so. Not only am I getting a decent murder mystery, but the pairings of certain Marvel heroes as investigators has been fun to read, too. And now, in just the third issue, the top may have been blown off the pressure cooker that is the Marvel Universe.
D-list Ghost Rider villain, The Orb, a guy whose head is a giant eyeball (seriously, I had to break out my Marvel Encyclopedia for this guy), has gotten hold of one of the Watcher’s eyes, and has used it to release hundreds of the Watcher’s secrets on anyone standing nearby, a traumatic event for several of our heroes in the immediate area, to be played out in their respective books. Jason Aaron continues his good work and he has made this into an event that I’m waiting on pins and needles for with every issue.
Mike Deodato’s art, dark, rich, and beautiful, graces the pages, but the darkness of his art makes me linger on the pages a little longer than I usually might, hoping I didn’t miss anything in the shadows. And like I said above, the Marvel Universe has turned into a pressure cooker that’s about to blow, and I seriously can’t wait to see how this thing wraps. But with five more issues to go, especially after the shock-and-awe ending of this one, there’s no telling what’s going to happen. Major things happen in this issue, so if you’re reading it, you’d best be sitting down. We were promised an “Oh, crap!” moment. Well … we got it.
BOOM Studios, publisher of the popular continuation of the Farscape series, has teamed up with with John Carpenter to bring comics readers the continuing adventures of Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China #1. Eric Powell (The Goon), who is no stranger to writing horror-comedy, takes the reins, with John Carpenter acting as Executive Producer and Creative Consultant, the same way that Joss Whedon is doing with Buffy the Vampire Slayer from Dark Horse, and Chris Carter in IDW’s Season 10 of The X-Files. And Jack Burton’s return was just as fun as I had hoped it would be.
Big Trouble in Little China #1 — The Continuing Adventures of Jack Burton and the Pork Chop Express Part One: The Hell of the Midnight Road and the Ghosts of Storms takes place in 1986, literally picking up where the movie left off, with Jack talking into the CB radio, waxing philosophical, when that demon clambers onto the back of his truck. The story begins when that demon-beastie makes his way to the cab of Jack’s truck, and he finds out that the demon-beastie has taken a shine to him. Jack, always a loner, doesn’t want a traveling companion so he doubles back to Chinatown where he crashes Wang Chi’s wedding to find a way to ditch his new partner. Once there, Jack realizes that no good deed goes unpunished, and there are people who want Jack and company to pay for their part in killing Lo Pan.
It’s Carpenter’s story with Powell’s words, and Powell captures the voices of the characters perfectly. He nails Jack’s seeming inability to tell a story without turning it into a monologue. Egg Shen is also treated well. And honestly, the best part of this issue is Jack telling the story of how he met his second wife. I hope there’s some foreshadowing in there, because that was too funny to not be used. The opening story is a little zanier than the film, and I really really hope that Carpenter and Powell don’t make the mistake that most writers of licensed properties-turned-comics make. It’s easy to think that the sky is the limit since there’s no budget constraints, but lots of books end up hurting from that. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight took some serious heat for its “out there” and “cosmic” stories. The X-Files Season 10 is a great example of staying low key, even when you have the ability to do whatever you want. Artist Brian Churilla’s art is cartoony and takes a little getting used to, but I think it’s a good fit for this book.
My only real problem with it, is that it isn’t reader friendly, as the first issue starts off where the film Big Trouble in Little China ended. And there’s really no exposition as to what came before, so if you haven’t seen the movie you may be lost. I hope the second issue will at least offer something in the way of explanation as to what has come before. As a fan of the movie and a John Carpenter ground-worshipper, I am crazy ecstatic that I get more Jack Burton. But I’m also not about alienating fans new to the awesomeness that is the Pork Chop Express. This may be the thing that puts BOOM! Studios on the map. Good for them.
And that concludes this week’s Four-Color Bullet. Comments and emails are always welcome. If you get a chance, and you haven’t seen it, go check out Big Trouble in Little China. I think you’ll like it.
It’s a great time to be a comics fan. See you guys next week!
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Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for SCIFI.radio!