BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA OLD MAN JACK #4

“Untitled”

Writers: John Carpenter & Anthony Burch

Artist: Jorge Corona

Jack Burton manages to grab on to his truck after being pushed out. Lo Pan still tries to knock him off when the truck hits a ditch and propels both out of the truck. They are saved by a monster which takes them to an arena. There they have to fight the Beast which rules them. The beast turns out to be Jack’s old friend Wang. Yet Wang is not happy to see Jack. He blames him rightly for killing his family and destroying the world. Wang tries to kill Jack but decides it isn’t worth it. Instead he goes after Lo Pan. Jack has to intervene to stop Wang from killing Lo Pan. He realizes that Lo Pan is the only one who can get them to Ching Dai so they set the world back to normal. Wang agrees to accompany them on their mission.

So we introduce another character from the movie in Jack’s friend Wang. This is the Wang he made a deal for to bring back from the dead which resulting in the world being destroyed. We get some real funny dialogue between Jack and Lo Pan. Jack talks to himself like he is talking to the audience which drives Lo Pan nuts. It was a touching scene when Jack finally admitted to his mistake which is what Wang really wanted from him. So now three characters are on the quest to save the world.

PLANET OF THE APES GREEN LANTERN #2

“Untitled”

Writers: Robbie Thompson and Justin Jordan

Artist: Barnaby Bagenda

Hal Jordan finds himself now in the ape future and his ring doesn’t work. He is captured by gorilla soldiers. Cornelius is back in the mutant city and finds Taylor. The mutants were questioning him too hard and he is dead. Cornelius is shown their god the Omega bomb. He uses his power ring to dismantle the bomb and make many other power rings. Back on the Guardian’s planet Gardner confronts them about the disappearance of Jordan and Sinestro. They tell of how a Guardian named Rami was trying to create a ring that would harness the infinite power of the emotional spectrum. He failed but others tried and one combined sorcery with science to crate the Universal Ring. The ring was alive and sent into an alternate reality. One where apes ruled a post-nuke Earth. It was hoped this realm was a dead end and the ring would stay lost.

Only Sinestro managed to find the location. The Guardians send Gardner and his friends to stop Sinestro and give him shields against the ring. Back on the Planet of the Apes, Jordan manages to escape from his cell and makes friends with Zira and the chimpanzee scientists. Sinestro comes to Dr. Zaius . Back on our Earth Gardner makes a stop at Belle Reve Penitentiary to retrieve Gorilla Grodd who he hopes will help him on the Planet of the Apes.

So far the story is quite interesting. The writers manage to balance multiple storylines and keep each interesting and the reader can follow them. I am not real familiar with Green Lantern but understand what is going on so that is a plus. The origin for this crossover makes sense and the Planet of the Apes universe is consistent from the movie. Some beautiful artwork and an interesting story make this a worthwhile read.

BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA OLD MAN JACK #3

“Untitled”

Writers: John Carpenter & Anthony Burch

Artist: Jorge Corona

Jack Burton and Lo Pan are driving across the fire plains on their way to San Francisco. Lo Pan warns of the deadly illusions they have to watch out for. No sooner said then a vision of Miao Yin comes floating by. She tells Lo Pan that she now loves him and he falls for it. Jack snaps him back. Then he gets visions from his past. We see that his friend Wang was driving with him in the Pork Chop Express when a dog comes on the road during a stormy night. The truck swerves and kills Wan. So Jack steals a spell book from Egg Chen and summons Ching from the underworld. A deal is struck to bring back Wan. All Jack has to do is agree to be friends with Ching and shake hands. This opens the door to our world. Lo Pan is furious that Jack is the one responsible for bring Ching to Earth and tosses Jack out of the truck.

So this issue we finally get to find out how Jack managed to bring Ching Dai into our world. I found it a very entertaining story. The flashbacks were done in a way to flow with the current storyline. They gave the reader the whole story which I was wondering about so far. There is also fun humor where Miao is trying to seduce Lo Pan. She tells him how she just loves creepy weird dudes with goatees. I am definitely enjoying this series.

PLANET OF THE APES GREEN LANTERN #1

“Untitled”

Writers: Robbie Thompson and Justin Jordan

Artist: Barnaby Bagenda

On some mysterious planet a hooded figure is conducting a ritual. He is surrounded by bound aliens that wear yellow and red lantern suits. An energy engulfs them and shoots toward Earth. The hooded figure was Sinestro and he now knows the location of the Universal Ring. On the Planet of the Apes, Cornelius finds a crater and in it is a ring. He takes it for study. On the planet Oa the Green Lantern Corp is battling Red Lantern Corp. After the battle Hal Jordan gets an alert from his ring of a crosschronal disruption. It is located in New York on Earth. So he goes there and meets Sinestro and they do battle. Cornelius puts the ring on and this opens a portal to present day Earth. Hal and Sinestro fall through with Hal losing his power. He crawls from the ocean and passes out in front of the ruins of the Statue of Liberty. Cornelius now has a yellow lantern suit and is confronted by hooded mutants. They want the ring but Cornelius gets angry and the ring incinerates the head mutant. The other mutants bow down before him.

So another crossover with Planet of the Apes. This one a well known superhero from the DC universe. I can’t say I am a fan of Green Lantern so don’t really know much of what is going on in that universe. I mainly got this for the Planet of the Apes. The apes parts starts just after the first movie. This I understand and so far the story is interesting. Interested to see where this goes.

BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA OLD MAN JACK #2

“Untitled”

Writers: John Carpenter & Anthony Burch

Artist: Jorge Corona

Jack finds out that it wasn’t a buxom blonde he came to save but David Lo Pan. Jack tries to kill him and almost falls on his own knife but Lo Pan saves him. Seems he needs Jack and his truck to get him across the country to San Francisco. He tells how he was overjoyed that Ching was freed and now on Earth. He looked forward to serving him but Ching was not happy with Lo Pan. All he accomplished in Ching’s name was creep after green-eyed women and get himself killed by a man with a mullet. So he makes Lo Pan mortal and sentences him to the Hellpocylipse. Lo Pan needs Jack’s truck which is the only one left in the world to get him to San Francisco to defeat Ching.

Jack decides he wants nothing to do with him and kicks him back into the hole to Hell. Then gets in his truck and drives off. He comes on a blond woman and her gang. They think that Jack is some great hero for having a truck and welcome him. Only later someone comes bearing the picture of who released Ching. When they find out it was Jack they tie him above a face in the ground and lower him to be eaten. Lo Pan comes and rescues Jack and gets him to agree to take him across the Sea of Fire that separates the country.

I love this series. Jack Burton is such a total idiot who completely has no awareness of his stupidity. Yet there is something very likable about the guy. We find out that Lo Pan didn’t get the reception that he was expecting from his god. The dialogue is just spot on hilarious and the story is very engaging. I look forward to Jack and Lo Pan’s quest to save the world.

BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA OLD MAN JACK #1

“Untitled”

Writers: John Carpenter and Anthony Burch

Artist: Jorge Corona

Jack Burton is an old man now living in a small Florida town. He is the only one there and it is surrounded by fire. He spends his days eating, drinking and looking at porn. We find out from a flashback that Jack accidentally released Ching Dai the Demon God of the East. For a reward he is placed in a save area that magically generates stuff as the rest of the world goes to Hell. This existence gets a bit boring and one day he picks up a voice on the CB. A young attractive woman needs help. So Jack gets in the Pork Chop Express and drives through the flame wall. He finds himself in a hellish landscape. The woman on the CB tells him that Ching Dai united the world of the living with the underworld of the dead.

The voice leads him to a hole that enters the Hell of Minor Discomforts. A little green creature runs this. It has someone getting static shock from a door handle. A guy getting a text message from a girl saying “Okay” which he doesn’t know what it means and a guy at a restaurant who after getting his meal says “you too” when told to enjoy it. Naturally Jack is not impressed with this namby-pamby Hell. He tells the text guy that the girl isn’t into him. The restaurant guy to man up and kicks open the static shock door. The creature is horrified that someone has absolutely no shame so this hell has no effect on Jack.

He continues on to the next level which is the Hell for Dudes who Creep on Women. A horseman is about to creep on a woman when he was interrupted. Jack tosses his knife at the creature but misses and it imbeds itself hilt first in the wall. Then Jack trips and knocks the horseman into the knife blade head first. He finds that the woman he came to rescue isn’t a buxom Chinese blonde woman between 18-25 but Lo Pan.

Big Trouble in Little China is probably my second favorite Carpenter movie. Finally got around to reading this. I feel I may have missed a series before it that shows why Jack released Ching Dai. Yet the exposition at the beginning tells everything the reader needs to know. This is a Jack who is in his sixties but still the same lovable screwup who comes out on top. It helps that Carpenter is writing this and it has started out strong.

PLANET OF THE APES THE SIMIAN AGE #1

“Mother of Exiles”
Writer: Jeff Jensen
Artist: Jared Cullum

Amy is a chimpanzee who lives in the Statue of Liberty. She keeps it clean and is some refugee from ape society. She avoids others but one day a mutant comes injured. She helps him enough so he can move on.

“Apex”
Writer: Matt Kinot
Artist: Matt Smith

Apex is a gorilla in the army. He trains and does hard work keeping up the scarecrows at the borders of the Forbidden Zone. One day his unit finds a cave of humans that results in a fight. Later Apex decides to start a revolution to save the humans.

“Cloud and Rain”
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Artist: Lalit Kumar Sharma

Cloud and Rain are two young apes with Caesar’s group. They come on an injured human while foraging. While they try to help Koba comes and kills the human. Later Rain tries to get the proof that Koba killed a human to bring to Caesar. Instead Koba beats him to death and blames the human. Later he also decides to get rid of Cloud to cover his secret. At the end he meets with Caesar who shows him his new law. Ape shall not kill ape.

So another one shot. This one being focused on the apes. The first two were intriguing but sadly just too short and vague to really be effective. Now if the story had more room I think they could be quite good. The third was a look at Koba the villain from the new movies. We already see his hatred of humans and desire for power. A cool idea that needed more length to properly bring to its potential.

PLANET OF THE APES THE TIME OF MAN #1

“Armando’s Tale”
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: George Schall

Armando takes in baby Milo and raises him. He has to keep it secret that Milo is the talking ape baby of Zira an Cornelius. Young Milo wants to be part of the world and comes up with the idea of being part of the circus by learning to ride a horse. His act is a big success. Later as time goes by we see Armando being offered a job to train apes as they are starting to be sold as pets that can do simple tasks. He finds out in 1991 he has terminal cancer. We end with him taking Milo into the city.

“Man’s Best Friend”
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Carlos Magno

Lucian is a successful orangutan lawyer who decides to buy a young human boy. He is trained and becomes part of the family. He even manages to save the life of his young son who was drowning. The boys grow up and go off to school. One day the boy named Bolo gets sick and dies. Lucian assures his son when he comes home that Bolo has gone off into the country to be well taken care of. In the end two gorillas talk of making a new coat from Bolo’s hide as he is transported in a wagon on garbage.

“Mountain”
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Morgan Beem.

A group of humans are living an idyllic live on a mountain. One day they come on an ape raiding their freshly caught fish. The ape is captured and the group debates killing him. One is the son of Malcolm who was friends with Caesar. The ape escapes and Malcolm stops the woman from shooting him. At the end other apes come but the captive ape named Roman decides to let the humans have their mountain.

This one-shot issue had three stories from both versions of the apes movies. Armando’s tale was in interesting look into the alternate future of young Caesar’s childhood. A short story that deserves to be explored in more detail. The second was a brutal one about how humans have fallen. It really hits home that even a part of the family a pet human still ends up as garbage. The final one takes place farther in the future. Sounds like it is rare for humans to still talk and the apes are well advanced in building their civilization. Also deserves to be developed in more detail. A solid and enjoyable anthology.

PLANET OF THE APES VISIONARIES

“Rod Serling’s Planet of the Apes”
Writer: Dana Gould adopted original screenplay by Rod Serling
Artist: Chad Lewis

A spaceship with four crew goes into suspended animation to visit a star called Terra. The ship lands on a planet and they awake with one of their crew Steward dead due to a malfunctioning pod. So the three get into a vehicle and head out into the desert. They find a jungle with scarecrows and the vehicle sinks into quicksand. The three find the sea and here are met by primitive humans. Later helicopters and jeeps arrive with apes that start to shoot the humans. Thomas the main character is hit in the throat and passes out. The apes think he escaped from a circus and take him back. At the compound he escapes and into the modern Ape City. Here he sees apes dressed in dresses and business suits with cars and movie theaters and store mannequins. He is found and captured by the gorilla police.

Back at the compound he manages to get a clipboard and write out that he is intelligent. Dr. Zira wants to further study him but Dr. Zaius has plans to give him a lobotomy. As he goes to surgery he recovers his voice and shocks the apes. So he becomes a celebrity and talks to gathering of apes. He wears a suit and tie and talks about Earth. He also takes Nova and starts to teach her to talk and dress.

One day he is invited to an archeological dig. They find remains of humans in a bunker with a talking doll. It is proof of a human civilization that predates apes. Zaius has the site destroyed and tries to kill Thomas. He escapes and comes on the Statue of Liberty. He stands in shock allowing the apes to shoot him.

When I heard they were doing this I knew I had to have it. I know that Serling originally wrote the screenplay as a more faithful adaptation of Boulle’s book. That is an ape society with modern cars, TV, electricity. This was obviously beyond sixties ability so it was toned down to a more primitive society. Still the main elements were retained. There is still the shock ending only a bit more sadder. The Thomas character is more of a traditional hero than the Taylor character who was more cynical and of the anti-hero mold of the seventies. Indeed the artists drew him more along the line of Paul Newman than Charlton Heston. Some elements were later used in the Escape from the Planet of the Apes movie. I could really see this movie come alive and only wonder at the possibilities. I loved the original movie and also loved this alternate version. I am glad they have given us a chance to see this.

PLANET OF THE APES URSUS #6

“Untitled”
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: Lalit Kumar Sharma

Ursus is leading the gorilla army into the Forbidden Zone. The Ape council orders Zaius to accompany him. Through flashbacks we see an earlier life. Zaius is visiting Ursus and Qama in Terminus and they are expecting their first child. He wants to offer Ursus a job in Ape City but he refuses. Terminus is a good place to raise a gorilla child and Ursus is dedicated to building his family. Unfortunately his wife dies in childbirth and leaves him alone.

So the army reached the mutant temple and starts to destroy the missile. Ursus is shot after gunning down Taylor. As Taylor and Zaius argue Ursus has a vision of his wife holding their newborn child as the world ends.

The final issue ending as expected. Most was an adaptation of the end of Beneath the Planet of the Apes. It did have some important moments to show Ursus in a more happier time. He had such a tragic life that you can understand why he is filled with such hate. Not only towards humans but God himself. You end up feeling sorry for him and sad at his death. I great way to end his story.