Big Trouble in Little China is one of those movies people expect you to have seen; seriously, try telling someone you know you’ve never seen it and I’m willing to bet there’s a good chance they’re going to look at you, mouth agape, and say something like “How could you NOT have seen Big Trouble in Little China?” Anyway, I’m doing something pretty interesting with this review…I’m watching the movie first. I’d be a poor reviewer of comic books if I weren’t familiar with the source material, so here it goes, my informed review of Boom! Studios Big Trouble in Little China #1
I really dug the movie! I can totally understand why many people regard it as a classic action adventure film. As for the comic book, it continues the story at an indiscernible amount of time after the original movie concluded. Jack Burton (played by Kurt Russell in the iconic film that I hadn’t seen until last night) and his truck encounter Lo Pan’s big hairy ape demon and turns it into his own personal Chewbacca, which is kind of funny considering Kurt Russell was up for the part of Han Solo in the original Star Wars back. With Pete the Giant Hairy Ape Demon at his side, Jack meets up with familiar characters from the film. We’re introduced to the new antagonist that’s taking Lo Pan’s place since his demise in the film. Not a lot happens in issue #1, it’s mainly to set up the direction of the series, but is it enough to hook me into looking forward to issue #2?
Well yes, and no. I hate the art style; it seriously looks like something out of MAD Magazine. I’m not knocking the art style of MAD Magazine, but it works for it because the features of characters and people are so over exaggerated that it comes off as funny; I get that Big Trouble in Little China is a film chock full of comedy gold, but the art doesn’t work for me. I wonder if using this silly art style was a way to get around likeness issues? Whatever it was, I’m just not digging it. The writing, however, perfectly captures the tone of the movie. Eric Powell, the creator of The Goon and one of the early writers for IDW Publishing’s wonderful Godzilla series takes a story he co-created with the film’s legendary director John Carpenter. I found myself reading Jack Burton’s lines in Kurt Russell’s voice, and it was mostly hilarious, but at certain times it came off as a little too corny and immature.
Despite thinking that the art style needs to be toned down from the over the top exaggerated look, I’m excited to read issue #2. Fans of the movie will love the comic book, and I should know…I’m Big Trouble in Little China’s newest fan!
Writer: Eric Powell
Story by: John Carpenter & Eric Powell
Colorist: Michael Garland
Artist: Brian Churilla
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire