Monday, May 2, 2016

CBR The Adventures of Snake Plissken

After he escaped from New York, but before escaping from L.A., Snake Plissken had to escape from Johnny Law and robots made in his own images!

These are The Adventures of Snake Plissken!

Eyz takes a look at John Carpenter's impressive filmography in the following reviews:
John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China
Vol. 1: The Hell of the Midnight Road & The Ghosts of Storms
John Carpenter's Escape from New YorkJohn Carpenter's Escape from L.A.
Halloween series - Halloween (2007) - HII (2009)
Halloween (Chaos! Comics)
One Good Scare - NightDance - 30 Years of TerrorThe First Death of Laurie Strode
Christian Nyby's The Thing from Another World"Who Goes There?" and other scifi classics
John Carpenter's The Thing
The Thing from Another World (Dark Horse Comics)Climate of Fear
John Carpenter's Prince of DarknessJohn Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness
"They Live" and other scifi horror talesJohn Carpenter's They Live
John Carpenter's Village of the Damned / John Carpenter's The Ward

Comic title: The Adventures of Snake Plissken #1
Written by Len Kaminski
Drawn by Rod Whigham & tephen Baskerville

Published by Marvel Comics/Paramount pictures
From January 1997
Lineup John Carpenter's Escape From series
Format: One-shot special issue The Adventures of Snake Plissken #1.

Sometimes a character can become a pop culture icon on his own right and leave a bigger mark than the piece of work he or she originally came from.

Specially when it comes from an obscure 1980s action film in a decade that gave us dozen of iconic action film classics. Strangely out of all of John Carpenter classics (Halloween aside):The Thing, They Live or Big Trouble in Little China ; only Escape from New York somehow received a proper direct sequel!

Escape from New York follows pretty closely your typical old west formula. In fact you could say its hero Snake Plissken is an archetypal western protagonist. That's why this character portrayed by Kurt Russell works so great on screen, he basically acts like Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name from Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy. He's a man of few words. He gets stuck in this situation, saves the day and basically tries to leave at the end to move on something else.

The 1981 film would received its long-overdue sequel just short of 15 years later - titled Escape from L.A.!

Following these two films several tie-in products were released after the two films over the decades, from novelizations to games, as well as several comics and even an anime project at one point!

The first comic book being a Marvel Comics one-shot The Adventures of Snake Plissken, taking some place sometime in between movies, before his famous "Escape from Cleveland" mentioned in the second film. 

Released in January 1997, The Adventures of Snake Plissken was written by Len Kaminski and illustrated by Rod Whigham.

The Adventures of Snake Plissken takes place around 2008, about 11 years after Escape from New York but 4 years before Escape from L.A..

Nobody had heard or seen Snake Plissken in a while. Plissken just stole a virus from the Atlanta CDC. He set up to meet a potential buyer in Chicago, but it turned out to be a trap set up by the authorities!

But now that the United States Police Force have been able to narrow down the pursuit, they can let the latest state of the art tactical weapon after him - the A.T.A.C.S. (or "Autonomous Tracking And Combat System"). A sort of robot designed to catch the most fearsome criminals by imprinting their personalities on its AI programing, to predict and anticipate their next move. And since Snake's currently America's public enemy number one, they'll need all the tools available to capture him!

This A.T.A.C.S. robot will emulate Snake's brain pattern and be able to think like him! Which makes this robot the only thing Snake Plissken won't be able to run from... himself!

While Snake's having a blast punished the drug buyer that sold him out with the drug he wanted - turning him into a creature not unlike The Thing itself (nice John Carpenter by the by) - the A.T.A.C.S. soon catches up with our anti-hero. They duke it out in the streets, endangering a few illegal homeless folks. But Snake blinds the bot in one of its eyes.

The machine is forced to reboot.. only the emulation of Snake Plissken's neural patterns take over the machine, which really turns it into another Snake Plissken!! Becoming his personality!

The robot recognizes the government as the true enemy and wants to sides with Snake, but Snake destroys it, "I don't need the competition".

Time to disappear, and move somewhere else. Plissken heard Cleveland was nice this time of year...

The Adventures of Snake Plissken was a pretty fun one shot.

The comic tells Snake's encounter with the A.T.A.C.S. robots just before heading to Cleveland. It's a fun cheesy "old school" type of story, something the film wouldn't have been able to afford considering its modest budget. The robot is kind of overkill, but he works in this punk post-apocalyptic dystopian universe.

The art is decent as you'd expect from gritty mid-90s comic. They kinda overdid the whole body builder "superhero" type of body for Snake. But while he didn't look much like Kurt Russell to me, I could see the character of Snake Plissken in these pages.

It's a pretty fun but short comic.

Since the comic was titled The Adventures of Snake Plissken, I honestly think this was meant to be the starting point for a possible ongoing series, showing various tales of Snake around the films. But it wasn't noticed by many fans and was quickly forgotten at the time. I mean, it didn't even cover the Cleveland story alluded to in the film!

Finally this issue also contains a sweet afterwords with editor Mark Paniccia about how this Escape comic fell into the ends of this specific creative team, all big fans of the film himself included. You can really feel this was a big pet project for them.

Overall, The Adventures of Snake Plissken is a decent if somewhat adequate tie-in comic that fans of both Escape films will surely love.

It's nothing much, really, so I doubt anyone would be interested in this comic if you're not familiar with the films. It's decent. And fun. Check it Out if you're a fan only!

While The Adventures of Snake Plissken would not be pursued at Marvel, CrossGen would continue the actual further adventures of Snake Plissken and publish a 4-part miniseries in 2003, John Carpenter's Snake Plissken Chronicles.

I give it:
2 / 3 Snoopies!

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