‘Just when I thought I was out they pull me back in.’
Written by Fred Van Lente
Illustrated by Dan McDaid
Colours by Gonzalo Duarte
Upon picking up issue 17 I was struck with a horrendous sinking feeling seeing that Joe Eisma was the cover artist. Not only was it poor, it looked like a panel from the comic, neither does it have any relevance to the contents of the issue. Though if you’ve been reading comics for any length of time you get used to the covers promising you things that ultimately the story itself fails to deliver. But nothing about the cover screamed ‘buy me’ or even remotely looked like a cover.
So thank god that after the quiet frankly unmitigated disaster that issues 13-16 were, I was prepared to drop the series altogether and just cut my looses. Now I love Big Trouble and the John Carpenter/Kurt Russell combos that have given us at least three cult classics, Big Trouble obviously, The Thing and Escape from New York. All three of which have now had their stories extended beyond the silver screen and into the pages of comic books.
Then like a bolt from the blue issue 17 came along and restored my faith in Jack Burton and the continuing adventures of the Pork Chop Express. Dan McDaid’s artwork is exquisite and as far removed from Joe Eisma’s work as Eisma’s was from Brian Churilla’s . Fred Van Lente’s dialogue is suddenly snappy and witty and a joy to read. Jack Burton once again sounds like Jack Burton and not the ‘80s parody of the previous cycle.
The only draw back to new readers is that aside from knowledge of the film, even if only cursory, is that they are going to need to have read from at least issue 13 if not the very beginning to have any tangible sense of what is going on, or how anything connects together.
However as I’ve been here from the beginning I’m going to stick with the series, just don’t let me down Dynamite! And for the love of god keep Joe Eisma away from the series.