We’ve been following BOOM Studio’s continuing adventures of Jack Burton and the rest of the characters from John Carpenter’s 1986 classic Big Trouble in Little China fairly closely, as fans of Carpenter, Jack, BTiLC, and just good comics in general. Whether it’s a fandom shattering crossover between Jack Burton and Snake Plissken – two Carpenter characters played by Kurt Russell – or the previous Big Trouble series written by Carpenter and Eric Powell, we’ve been on board to see Carpenter and crew get a chance to revisit some of our favorite worlds in comic form.
The latest series to revisit Jack Burton and the fantastical world originally created by Carpenter debuts with this week’s Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack #1, written by Carpenter and Anthony Burch, with art from Jorge Corona and Gabriel Cassata.
“The year is 2020, and hell is literally on Earth. Ching Dai, sick of relying on screw-ups like Lo Pan to do his bidding, has broken the barriers between Earth and the infinite hells, and declared himself ruler of all.
Sixty-year-old Jack Burton is alone in a tiny corner of Florida with only his broken radio to talk to, until one day it manages to pick up a message. Someone is out there in the hellscape, and they know a way to stop Ching Dai.”
The new series plays a bit of an homage to Marvel’s Old Man Logan, which also took a look at a fan-favorite character at an older stage in his life. We spoke briefly with Old Man Jack co-writer Anthony Burch about the new series, and what fans can expect from this new Jack Burton adventure:
GEEK: The obvious question from a fan of the series has to be what is it like writing with John Carpenter?
ANTHONY BURCH: It’s been an absolute delight. John has made some of the most important films of my life, so it’s been incredible working with him. We once had a conversation about character arcs and how to subtly convey them à la Snake Plissken, and my head basically exploded. I mean, John single-handedly saved the first issue—I was about to make a dumb writing mistake that would have made Jack Burton actually understand what was going on in the world, and John kindly suggested that Jack be extricated from the main plot so that he can remain a confused, buffoonish outsider.
We’ve seen Jack show up a few times in comics now, do you find your version of Jack Burton to follow what’s come before in the comics or are you basing the character more from the original film?
Old Man Jack is primarily written for those who are only familiar with the film, but it absolutely takes place in the same continuity as the rest of the comics. Characters like Wang’s daughter, Winona (who only appears in the comics), may well show up at some point…
While it looks like we can expect a lot of classic Jack Burton banter that fans grew to love over the last few decades, what’s new that readers can expect to see in Old Man Jack?
Big Trouble in Little China took Jack and put him into a Raiders of the Lost Ark-ish adventure story. Old Man Jack takes our man and throws him into a Mad Max-ish post-apocalyptic road story, if Mad Max took place in Hell and Max was in his 60s. You can expect to see Jack teaming up with an unlikely ally; you can see how our favorite doofus manages to survive when Hell literally arrives on Earth; you’ll find out what Jack’s version of paradise looks like.
How has Jorge Corona’s art helped shape the story you’re telling with Old Man Jack?
Jorge’s art is so strong that I can completely half-ass the script but still sleep at night knowing that his incredible art will save me.
There’s an obvious association with Marvel’s Old Man Logan with the title of your new series, is there something that fans of Old Man Logan will enjoy in Jack Burton’s latest adventure?
Even though the two series are drastically different in tone—Jack will never be as dark as Logan, no matter how old he gets—I think fans of Old Man Logan will see some similar issues tackled in Old Man Jack. How does it feel to look at the life you’ve lived and still have some regrets? (For instance, does Jack regret not kissing Gracie before he left at the end of the film?) Jack’s always been kind of an arrogant buffoon, but can you teach an old dog new tricks? If so, what will it take for Jack to finally grow up and learn to take responsibility?
You can check out the first few pages of the debut issue below:
Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack #1 from BOOM Studios hits shelves this Wednesday, so be sure to pick it up to read the latest words of wisdom from old Pork Chop Express.
Images: BOOM Studios