Snake Plissken returns with an attitude and a ton of Rambo-style action. But is it good?
Escape From New York #1 (BOOM! Studios)
Escape from New York #1 is an opening issue, but if you have not seen the movie (I’ll admit I haven’t seen this one) it takes quite a bit of the first half of the issue to figure out why Snake is being hunted down. Fortunately, the “why” recedes to the back of your mind as writer Christopher Sebela and artist Diego Barreto jump into an exhilarating chase sequence.
Snake Plissken is “Public Enemy Number One” as Sebela so eloquently puts it and he is on the run. Diego Barreto’s artwork is able to convey the ingenuity and believability of Snake’s actions whether he is jumping from an Army Jeep onto a helicopter or bringing down a helo with power lines. Each panel leading up to these actions clearly conveys the steps taken to accomplish his desired outcome and Barreto’s panel layout structure assists in easily deciphering Snake’s actions. When Snake jumps out of the Army Jeep, Barreto uses a five panel page — he emphasizes Snake’s action by placing two fairly large squares smack in the middle of the page: one showing his boots on the roof of the Jeep with the helicopter in the background and the second displaying Snake’s arm grabbing hold of the helo with the Jeep rushing by below.
Barreto employs a unique style with almost each panel having a different point of view from the last. In one panel he depicts a ground view of the helicopter crash and the following one is a bird’s-eye view of the same crash. This unique style provides the reader with a global view of the action.
Highlighting Barreto’s artwork is Marissa Louise’s colors. She uses drab colors and starts the book with blues and greens transitioning to browns, reds, and yellows. The drab colors highlight the dystopic nature and barrenness of the world Snake inhabits.
The surrounding background of the world may be barren, but the characters are all but barren. Snake is a true bad ass. He is driven and ruthless when it comes to defending himself yet he does have a moral compass and shows no mercy for murderers and thugs.
Getting back to the story, Sebela sets up a fascinating focus on a set of twins with mystical powers who have taken control of the state of Florida, which they have walled off in an extremely interesting way. How Snake will deal with the twins sets up a very promising first story arc.
Is It Good?
Escape from New York #1 is action-packed and explores the character of Snake through his in-the-moment decision making. Diego Barreto uses a unique style giving a different point of view for almost every panel. However, it takes a bit to get into the story especially if you have not seen the movie.