Christopher Sebela’s “Escape From New York” #1 does the heavy lifting of defining a world created by John Carpenter. For the most part he succeeds, but there is a lot of heavy lifting required to get this story in motion. It suffers from heavy amounts of exposition but it’s a thousand times better than Escape From L.A. It’s the sequel we deserved.
WRITTEN BY: Christopher Sebela
ART BY: Diego Baretto
PUBLISHER: BOOM! Studios
RELEASE: Dec 3, 2014
A moment of reflection on Escape from New York will remind you that the actual plot of the film is a little empty. It had some really big ideas within it, but you have to unpack them to really get immersed in this world. Christopher Sebela isn’t afraid to unpack these ideas, in fact he comfortably builds Carpenter’s world in a fun and faithful way. But, far too much of it happens here, which sadly damages the momentum of this first issue.
It’s still an incredibly fun to see Snake Plisskin grace page. Sebela nails the tone of the character, and offers some truly stellar Snake dialogue. The script features some fantastic problem solving from Snake, and when the action is ramped up there are no shortages of awesome moments.
The series picks up literal moments after the conclusion of the film. The President is about to deliver an address to the public and Snake all but spits in his face. He takes off on the run, and becomes public enemy number one, yet again. A concept that people may find silly, but it’s okay because Sebela directly addresses it, seriously, that makes it okay. I don’t mind if something is silly, so long as it’s still silly within the world of the book.
Anyway. Snake takes to the road. And while there he runs into a collection of devout travelers who tell tale tails of a beautiful place called “Florida.” I’m sure Sebela is actually conning us since Florida is already hell, but perhaps in some strange state of affairs the wang of the United States is where this book really kicks into high gear.
Of course, just as things get really interesting. The first issue closes. I can’t wait to see what lies within the free state of Florida.
Diego Baretto does a fine job in brining Carpenter’s bleak world to life. He adds a certain edge to Snake that really makes the antihero stand out in every panel. His action scenes are serviceable if not a little confusing at times, but for the most part his work is clean, exciting, and does justice to the world.
“Escape From New York” #1 is a first issue that takes its time to build the world around it. It’s a fine introduction to fans new and old to the property and nails the tone of the main character. However, it’s far from anything new. The real treat is to see how well Christopher Sebela’s style compliments this world. With future issues taking us into the great unknown of this crazy and fucked up version of the United States, I have no doubt this book will become legendary. As it stands it’s merely a heavy-handed reminder of a movie I loved. But one things for sure, “Escape from New York” will kick your ass out of the world.