JOHN CARPENTER'S SNAKE PLISSKEN CHRONICLES #1 (Mania.com)

By:Arnold T. Blumberg
Review Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Snake Plissken, one of the '80s greatest cinematic outlaw heroes - as played by Kurt Russell in the cult classic, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK - is back in an all-new comic book incarnation. Seems that his creators, producers John Carpenter and Debra Hill, have decided that the time is right for Snake to re-emerge on the pop culture landscape. I guess there just isn't enough mayhem on the roads these days - time for Snake to cause some carnage, and he is definitely just in time.

Set just after the first film (and therefore fourteen years before the disappointing sequel, ESCAPE FROM LA), the comic version of Snake's escapades kicks off with a trip to Atlantic City. But first there's some scum on the Garden State Parkway that needs Snake's tender loving care, and the results are predictably messy. Snake makes a rendezvous in AC with a guy named Marrs, and then the real story begins. Plissken and Co. are planning to steal the late President Kennedy's car - yes, that one - and they're set to get a fortune for it. But wouldn't you know it, things turn sour and soon Snake is heading for the bottom of the Atlantic in a cage. Not his day...again.

Rodriguez' art strikes the right balance between capturing Kurt Russell's swagger and imparting a bit of comic book exaggeration to Snake's features and his environment. O'Neill introduces us to Snake via a road-ripping action encounter, but it plays a bit flatter than it might have on screen. Once we get to Atlantic City, the story picks up but only in time for the first cliffhanger. This is not as strong a debut issue as you might expect given the exceptional source material and the notoriety of the lead character, but we might have to give the team time to settle in and get a feel for the print version of Plissken. It's a new frontier for the guy who lived through Cleveland, so cut him some slack. And call him Snake.

Our recommendation: stick with it, the CHRONICLES might be a cure for the summer doldrums.

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Mania Grade: B-
Authors: William O'Neill, Tone Rodriguez
Publisher: CrossGen/Hurricane
Price: $2.99