Director John Carpenter returns to one of his cult classic films with the Boom! Studios comic book Big Trouble in Little China Vol. 1. Carpenter contributes the story with Eric Powell (who is the writer for the comic) to bring the continuing misadventures of Jack Burton and the Pork Chop Express. This is a direct continuation of the film in which Jack is on his way out of Chinatown after he and Wang Chi saved the world from the evil Lo Pan. He’s not more than a few feet out of town when he realizes that he has an unwanted passenger, which is Lo Pan’s pet demon which has now attached itself to him since he killed its master.
He decides to return the demon to Egg but this happens to coincide with Wang and Miao Yin’s wedding day which is further interrupted by an evil disciple of Lo Pan’s by the name of Qiang Wu who wants revenge on those who killed his master. Now Jack and the gang have a new evil to face in Chinatown and this new adventure will take them beyond the gates of the imagination.
Powell does a great job channeling the Jack Burton character and for fans of the film this will be an eye opening read as Powell delves more into Jack’s past especially his marriages (yes, he’s been married several times) to great comic effect. The mysticism is here and Egg plays a more active role in the story since Wang is absent for most of this volume due to the fact that he’s a hostage of Qiang Wu who’s ultimate plans are far from revealed in this volume. This is a much bigger story than the film and the comic medium allows for a lot more freedom than the movie could ever have.
Artwork is by Brian Churilla who at first glance may not have been my first choice but after reading the volume fits the tone and story complimenting Powell’s words nicely. This book is a great draw for fans of Dynamite’s Army of Darkness series as both Jack and Ash have some of the same “bumbling” hero qualities that have endured them to audiences for so long. I look forward to seeing what Carpenter and Powell and company come up with next.