It was announced at San Diego Comic Con last week, that BOOM! Studios will publish a new “Escape From New York” comic series that will serve as a sequel to the cult classic John Carpenter film, starring Kurt Russell. The book will be written by Christopher Sebela, with art from Riley Rossmo and Tim Bradstreet.
This news comes less than 2 months after BOOM! started publishing a “Big Trouble in Little China” series with Eric Powell and, the man himself, John Carpenter writing the story. I’ve actually been reading the “Big Trouble…” book and I like it a lot. Kurt Russell has brought some pretty memorable characters to life and Jack Burton is certainly one of them. Snake Plissken is another, and maybe even his most memorable character. I remember seeing “Escape from L.A.”, the film sequel to “Escape from New York”, when I was a kid. My dad took me to see it at the $1 theater and then got a business call and spent pretty much the whole movie in the lobby. Which was probably good for me seeing as how had he seen just about ANY of it he would have made me, his 12 year old son, leave immediately. But after that I found out about “Escape from New York” and I bought a VHS copy from a used video store. I loved it! I’m pumped to see more adventures of Snake Plissken. (Yes I’m aware there were already comics based on this movie once before, but we’re not here to talk about that.) And that got me to thinking… How many other Kurt Russell characters would it be awesome to see have continued adventures? I present to you my 5 nominations…
WARNING: If you haven’t seen any of the films below, there WILL BE SPOILERS. You’ve now been warned.
5. Soldier (1998)
Character: Todd 3475
Plot: In “Soldier”, Russell plays a brainwashed-from-birth… uh, soldier… who ends up being involuntarily retired, and cast away to a desolate planet. There he sort-of befriends a colony of refugees, and in particular one little boy who does not speak. They connect because due to his military brainwashing Todd also does not speak much. The film ends with him saving them from some corrupt military baddies and sailing off into space.
How to make a comic sequel: It could be an epic space adventure/drama, focusing on Todd leading the refugees to a safe planet but encountering road bumps along the way. The fact that two of the main characters do not speak much may be a red flag, but if you’ve read any of Warren Ellis’ and Declan Shalvey’s soon-to-end Moon Knight run, you’d know that you don’t always need pages cluttered full of dialogue to tell a good story.
Who should write it: The aforementioned team of Ellis and Shalvey, or Jeff Lemire, cause that dude is great with sci-fi and space stories.
4. The Thing (1982)
Character: RJ MacReady
Plot: Here Russell plays a helicopter pilot who gets caught up in a vicious mess of cold and brutality as he and others try to survive being stalked, tormented and murdered by a…Thing (I’m starting to see a very self explanatory nature to all of Kurt’s film titles). The film ends with MacReady and Childs (played by the massively underrated Keith David) sitting around the charred, burning rubble of their camp and cracking open a bottle of Scotch in the acceptance of their doom.
How to make a comic sequel: But what if they aren’t doomed…? What if at the last minute they’re rescued by the military and brought in to help with another similar situation in, say, the Arctic Tundra or something. It could be dark-ish horror-esque comic with some good humor. Keith David in comic form would be AMAZING, and partnering up his Childs with Russell’s MacReady would make for a super fun read.
Who should write it: Well obviously John Carpenter needs to be involved. He’s responsible for the other two Kurt Russell movies that now have comics, and this is one of his flicks as well. As I mentioned previously, he’s writing the story with Eric Powell for the “Big Trouble…” book , and he’s speculated to be involved with “Escape…”. Here, I’d recommend bringing in Scott Snyder (Batman, The Wake, American Vampire) to script alongside Carpenter, and Brian Posehn (Deadpool) to help with story and dialogue. Snyder is the new master of comic horror, and Posehn has me laughing out loud with every weird, twisted new issue of Deadpool.
3. Tango & Cash
Character: Lt. Gabriel Cash
Plot: Two Beverly Hills police lieutenants, Ray Tango (Sly Stallone) and Gabe Cash (Kurt Russell), are framed for a crime they didn’t commit by a crime lord they’ve been causing problems for. They are indicted and sent to prison. After breaking out, they get to the business of clearing their names and bringing the real criminal to justice. The film ends with them essentially achieving what it is they set out to do, stop the bad guy and reclaim their innocence.
How to make a comic sequel: It practically writes itself… “The New Adventures of Tango & Cash”! Or you could just call it “Tango & Cash” I guess. (The whole “New Adventures” thing is kind two decades ago.) We pick up with fellas as they go on the hunt for a drug cartel leader who’s trying to bring a massive shipment of cocaine into the city. I say go all out and make the most blatantly early 90’s cheese-fest you can with this book. Acid-washed jeans, lots of neon colors, mullets… go for the gold here.
Who should write it: This one’s a little tougher to peg, but I’m gonna go with Amanda Connor and Jimmy Palmiotti. Their work on Harley Quinn has been hilariously brilliant and I think they could nail the feel of a 90’s buddy-cop-comedy comic.
Character: Captain Ron (this is getting redundant)
Plot: A family of four inherits a yacht from a dead uncle and they hire Captain Ron (Russell) to help them sail it home. However, Captain Ron turns out to maybe be more trouble than he’s worth and hijinks ensue. The film ends with the family amicably parting ways with Captain Ron and sailing off into the horizon.
How to make a comic sequel: Oh man… There’s so much you could do with Captain Ron. The character is like a more inebriated, less competent Jack Burton, so I’d like to see him on some kind of Indian Jones type adventure. Maybe Ron is snatched up by the guerrilla military guys he met during the film and is forced to sail them to an island where there are rumors of a great hidden treasure. Again, hijinks will most certainly ensue.
Who should write it: You want someone who can craft a great adventure story without it feeling stale and unoriginal. I mean, a high-sea treasure hunt isn’t the most unique idea around so you want a writer who can keep it fresh, and funny. I thought about this one a lot, and I’m gonna say that I think Jeff Smith (BONE) is the perfect guy for this job. He’s got a legacy of being able to write funny characters in elaborate adventures. I think if he partnered his writing approach to BONE with his art approach to his book RASL that could make for the perfect combination of creativity to craft a Captain Ron sequel comic.
Grindhouse: Death Proof
Character: “Stuntman” Mike
Plot: A washed up, and homicidal, Hollywood stunt-double, “Stuntman” Mike, terrorizes women by chasing them down is his car and causing crashes that kill them. This time though, he picked the wrong group of gals to mess with. The film ends with the girls surviving “Stuntman” Mike’s violent mechanical advances and relentlessly beating the living hell out of him.
How to make a comic sequel: Ok, HERE you probably couldn’t make a sequel. But… you could make a PREQUEL! How awesome would a “Stuntman” Mike origin story be? We could go back the beginning and see in greater detail what made him into the crafty, merciless killer he became. I have some other ideas for this one, but I don’t wanna go giving all the milk away for free. Hey BOOM! (or any independent publisher really) get at me so we can talk about “Stuntman” Mike: Blaze of Gory…
Who should write it: First off we have to get at Mr. Quentin Tarantino to get his approval, but he let “Django Unchained” be adapted as a comic so I’m sure he could be persuaded to let “Stuntman” Mike live on in a comic, as long as the story is good. But back to the question… who should write it? Someone who can handle the bizarre concept and capture the exploitative brutality of it. I feel like Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Army of Darkness) is the right guy for this job. The guy does outlandish stories very well, and he can toss some tongue-in-cheek humor in when necessary. Not that this book would need to be “funny” but you want a few laughs to balance out the carnage of the bloody, fiery wreckage.
So there you have it my friends, there’s plenty of Kurt Russell to go around and lots of stories from his characters that could be expanded on in comic book form. Is there another Kurt Russell flick you think would make for a great comic book sequel (or prequel)? Let us know in the comments below!