Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack is BOOM!’s new story about Jack Burton and David Lo Pan’s crusade through Hell on Earth to banish Ching Dai, save the world, and bring order out of chaos.
This third installment brings us out of the frying pan and into the fire, literally, as Jack and his old buddy David Lo Pan trek across the Hellocalypse and straight into the Plains of Fire. This is not only a realm of burning torment and physical agony, but also one of mental anguish and trickery. It is here that Lo Pan and Burton must face the ghosts and demons of the past. For David Lo Pan it is in the form of Miao Yin, the beautiful girl with the green eyes whom he was to wed and sacrifice to appease Ching Dai all those years ago. For our bumbling hero Jack Burton, the Plains of Fire expose a more sinister, tragic and diabolical series of events involving his best friend Wang Chi. His haunting reveals the truth about Ching Dai’s ascension from the Realm of Infinite Hells and how the Earth was made to burn. Could it be that the man that David Lo Pan has sought out to help him stop the Demon God of the East is the very man responsible for this Hell?
The artwork here is bright and colorful. At times it is very reminiscent of 1960s Rat Fink cartoon drawings by Ed “big daddy” Roth. The styling of the artwork can seem severely cartoonish, but it is quite beautiful and Jorge Corona does capture the look and caricatures of both Jack Burton and David Lo Pan very well. Gabriel Cassata does a brilliant job with the use of color and it makes the artwork and action literally leap off the page. At times it does feel a lot like a cartoon parody rather than a sequel faithful to the look and the styling of the original film, but that’s one of the aspects that makes it so much fun.
John Carpenter is back at the helm of the writing alongside Anthony Burch from the Borderlands series. The story is very entertaining, interesting, and funny. Using the Plain of Fire’s mental trickery to reveal the truth about what has happened to the world, how Ching Dai escaped hell to rule, and how Old Man Jack is responsible for the entire thing is clever. The dialogue can be a bit wacky at times and Jack Burton’s elderly character comes across like a senile, pervy version of Mr. Magoo, whereas David Lo Pan seems to be the responsible and rational hero of the two. In the past Jack’s motivation has been to save the world from the forces of evil, now it seems he’s only concerned with saving a buxom Asian blonde with big boobies while the world burns. It’s funny in its own way but does not feel like the characters from the movie in this respect.
Overall if you’re a fan of the film, you may find this a funny and colorfully amusing romp through an apocalyptic world of monsters and demons. Although it feels like a departure from the original source material it is funny, very entertaining and it looks great.
If you’re looking for something that looks and feels like the film then this might not be the title for you, but it is definitely worth checking out and it continues the story in a fun, fresh way.