Two of Kurt Russell's most famous roles stem from John Carpenter movies. Disillusioned soldier-turned-mercenary Snake Plissken, from the dystopian world of Escape From New York and sequel Escape From L.A, and bumbling but well-meaning trucker Jack Burton from the mystical action-adventure Big Trouble In Little China. Though played to perfection by the same actor, the two characters and even the worlds they come from have very little in common.
Which is why it makes perfect sense for them to cross paths in comics, where creative teams can explore those character pairings that could never take place on the big screen.
Escape From Little China
In an interview with ScreenRant, Big Trouble In Little China/ Escape From New York comic writer Greg Pak and John Carpenter talked about their bonkers collaboration. While the title could use a bit more imagination, the crossover's premise is thick with it.
Jack Burton is magically transported from the mystical Little China into the future, where New York City has been turned into a massive prison. Snake Plissken later hears of someone who could be his doppelganger and sets out to find out who's impersonating him, only to find the dim-witted driver of the Pork Chop Express. The two then join forces to find out who sent Jack into New York and the motivations behind doing so.
The blend of comedic mysticism from Big Trouble In Little China and the dark sci-fi of Escape From New York may sound like a recipe for disaster, but Pak and Carpenter think the contrast is all part of the fun. Pak even described the crossover as an "anti-buddy story" of sorts, where the appeal stems from the core differences between protagonists.
Carpenter and Russell both enjoy seeing their old works regain new life and traction, and the two have given their full blessing for the comics. Here's hoping their horror collaboration The Thing finds its way into a crossover as well.
Big Trouble In Little China/ Escape From New York is written by Pak. Daniel Bayliss will provide the art while Triona Farrell adds colors. The first issue can be bought from BOOM! Studios, the same studio responsible for separate comic book spin-offs for both Big Trouble In Little China and Escape From New York.
Cult Classics: The Comics
Two Carpenter and Russell characters are not the only ones to meet in comics pages for a second life. Previously, many other icons from the decade of Reagan and toy-based cartoons joined forces and/or fight one other in four-color glory.
Here are but a few of the craziest '80s and '90s mainstay comic crossovers.
Heroic Saturday Morning Mash-Ups
No childhood would be complete without Saturday Morning Cartoon staples such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or GI: Joe. When comics featuring their favorite teams joining forces went on sale it was the fulfillment of many kid dreams.
Recently, DC unleashed the combined powers of anthropomorphic cats and bare chested men in He-Man/ThunderCats. The ninja turtles allied themselves with the Ghostbusters, and the most famous (and longest lasting) crossover between titles is that of the warring Transformers factions and the para-military forces of GI: Joe.
Slasher Killers V Slasher Killers
Slasher horror movies from the '80s may not exactly be the best examples of the genre today, but they still stand as some of the most creative outputs the genre has seen. Thanks to the colorful killers, many slasher movies got more sequels than necessary, resulting in a surge of popularity for these characters.
Crossover duels between slasher villains became commonplace, like Leatherface and Jason Voorhees duking it out in Jason Vs. Leatherface and Hellraiser's Pinhead fighting the monster gang from Night Breed (both of which are Clive Barker creations). Freddy Kruger would later participate in a three-way melee against Jason and Ash Williams from the Evil Dead movies in Nightmare Warriors.
Sci-Fi Movies Collide
Thanks to the power of comic books, action movie icons like Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous Terminator have fought other notable sci-fi beings. Some of the T-800's notable comic fights include a duel with RoboCop, and a three-way battle against the Alien Xenomorph and the titular Predator.
Meanwhile, the ape dominated wastelands of Planet Of The Apes collided with that of the futuristic Alien Nation. The story states that a Tenctonese ship time travels to the future of Planet Of The Apes, with the Newcomers intending to conquer the apes' domain.
Ash V Everyone
When it comes to '80s action heroes, no one does it better than Ash Williams. With his trusty Boom Stick, chainsaw hand and one-liners, Ash became the perfect embodiment of all things '80s. This is also why Ash has been the go-to protagonist for some of comics' craziest cult classic crossovers.
Ash's allies and enemies included Darkman, Freddy Kruger, Jason Vooerhees, the Re-Animator's resident mad scientist Herbert West, and Xena the Warrior Princess. As usual, most of the conflicts are started by someone reading from the pages of the Necronomicon, and it's up to Ash to save the world from the demonic Deadites and the Army Of Darkness with the help of different heroes and killers.
Recommended Reading: Hack/Slash V Horror Movies
Though she's not based on any movie in particular, Cassie Hack from Hack/Slash owes a lot to the cult horror movie scene. After surviving a slasher horror movie's plot, the final girl Cassie makes it her personal mission to kill as many murderous "Slashers" as possible with the help of her gigantic friend Vlad.
Cassie's regular enemies are killers inspired by different slasher movies, but she also fought actual characters from well-known cult movies, all of whom author Tim Seeley considers to be a part of the Hack/Slash universe. Slasher Cassie fought include Chucky from Child's Play, Victor Crowley from Hatchet, Herbert West and, fellow monster slayer Ash Williams. For those who love both horror movies and comic books, Hack/Slash is a great homage to everything that made horror movies fun.
The only problem with cult classics is that the likelihood of getting more is slim. Despite scoring popularity in an obscure fanbase, cult classics rarely get direct sequels from the original creators that are not reboots. But thanks to comics, cult films from nostalgic decades like the '80s can live on and are given the chance to do crazy things like crossover into each other's different worlds.
Stuff like Big Trouble In Little China/ Escape From New York are the kinds of stories that will never make it to the big screen, and as campy and silly as the writing tends to be, these comic crossovers are still a treat for fans and a good entry point for newcomers.