Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Escape From New York #1
Sebela & Barreto
Escape From New York, the comic book, launches this week from Boom! Studios with a very good issue to start things off. If you are looking for a comic book to catch the vibe of the original film with some updated visuals and storytelling then you will not be disappointed. This is definitely worth a look if you like wall to wall action with some snarky dialogue here and there. Check this out.
There are three things that I felt this comic book had to do in order to succeed in the first issue. The book needed to capture Snake Plissken’s attitude and voice. It needed to contain a ton of action. Finally, it needed to find a reason to exist. The final point, I believed, would be the most challenging. The good news is that two of the three are done perfectly. The mixed news is that the third one accomplishes what it needed to in this issue but it’s not clear how long it will hold up. We’ll have to wait and see.
Snake’s voice, attitude and look are captured perfectly. The book doesn’t try to make Snake anything that he wasn’t in the original film. They found the vibe immediately and the move from movie to comic book is seamless. The trap would be to give him too much dialogue or too many jokes, but that doesn’t happen here and it makes the read perfect when looked at from Snake’s perspective.
The comic book has great pacing throughout. When you look at where the comic begins and where it ends there is a ton that happens in here. These days, this comic book could have been dragged out to six issues but thankfully the move to condense this makes for a swift moving comic book. The action seems over-the-top ridiculous with the helicopter chases and the jump from jeep to chopper but it makes for a great read that sticks with what the movie presented. After all, Snake landed a glider plane on one of the World Trade Center towers in the film.
The purpose for the book is a tough one. The film had a tight reason to exist: go into the Manhattan Island prison and rescue the President. What do you do to top that? Well, you put Snake on the run. This works for this issue, but he arrives at his destination and then what? Well, he’s in mortal danger but what next? This could work in kind of an Indiana Jones serial style of story where the story just carries the character into unexpected adventures and diversions that seem completely unrelated to where the character started. The trap, of course, is that the character is drifting too much with no end in sight. This will be interesting to watch in the coming issues.
The artwork is very good. The depiction of Snake is perfect and the action scenes are very sharp and life-like. The comic struggles with the gas station incident, particularly with the flow and visuals of the supporting characters. The placement of vehicles, characters and even what they look like are not consistent. Overall, the art works well but could be tighter to make the reading experience perfect.
Escape From New York is nearly thirty-five years old. Can there still be an audience for this movie to support a comic book? Based on the contents of the comic, it might not matter because this is an action packed issue that leaves the film behind immediately. It stands on its own, making it extremely reader friendly. I enjoyed this issue and definitely plan to check out the future issues.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles