In 1981, John Carpenter’s Escape from New York introduced filmgoers to anti-hero Snake Plissken, the one-eyed former Special Forces soldier turned criminal. Cynical and hypocritical of the government, he’s a bad boy – a survivor at any cost with humor as sharp as a switchblade. Plissken has made periodic returns to the public eye via the silver screen in the 1996 Escape from L.A., but his story has been featured in comic book form with The Adventures of Snake Plissken (1997 one-shot from Marvel Comics) and John Carpenter’s Snake Plissken Chronicles (2003 four-part series from CrossGen and Hurricane Entertainment). This month, BOOM! Studios released Escape From New York Volume 1: Escape from Florida, written by Christopher Sebela, with art by Diego Barreto, colors by Marissa Louise, letters by Ed Dukeshire, and cover art by Tim Bradstreet. The first volume collects issues one through four – the rebellious bad boy is back!
Volume 1 picks up right at the end of where Escape from New York ends and follows Snake as he heads south to Florida, which has seceded from the Union. The state is led by spoiled, twin teenage brothers with a warped sense of freedom and an obsession with Snake, but it is the one place that police will not follow Snake. Yeah, the cops may not have followed, but trouble did. And, some of that trouble is stirred up as a result of Snake’s unique charm and wit.
Sebela and Barreto pen and visualize a fun, over-the-top story that is fast paced and includes numerous pithy one-liners. The cast of characters are many and colorful; everyone wants something from Snake, but often to the detriment of their own lives. The twin boys and their guardian, Meemaw, are fascinating characters that readers will love to hate. Barreto’s art blends bold lines and an overwhelming amount of black, reminiscent of Frank Miller and commercial artist Aidan Hughes, also known as Brute (album cover artist for KMFDM). The artistic style complements Sebela’s story and, by extension, the strong-willed and unforgettable Snake Plissken.
Louise’s colors are subtle, and she incorporates muted, earthy tones, allowing the story to shine. Dukeshire’s letters are crisp, uniform, and flow well with the visuals. They are also easy to read, which is always a plus. Bradstreet’s covers round out the creative team; his covers are bold and channel the spirit of Snake from the original Escape from New York film. BOOM! Studios’ trade paperback is a worthy entry in furthering Plissken’s canon.