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Adventures of Jack Burton

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Jack Burton/Snake Plissken: I Don't Even Know Myself
"I Don't Even Know Myself"
Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #6 (BOOM! Studios)
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Daniel Bayliss
Colors: Triona Farrell
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover by Daniel Bayliss
March 2017


Jack Burton and Snake Plissken in the final showdown against the forces arrayed against them!


Story Summary


Despite the danger posed by the powerful blasts of the guitar tank, the President continue to order O'Reilly to fire at Snake. Snake mounts and gains control of the Snake dragon and turns it against the U.S. forces, but then the female Snake knocks him off and takes control of the dragon herself and begins to use it against Jack and his friends.


Helene knocks out O'Reilly, depowering the tank and allowing Blind Apple Mary to get her guitar back, which she uses to turn the female Snake and the dragon into skeletons. Then she uses the guitar more physically to knock out Hauk.


With the world saved, Lo Pan's spirit returns to collect on Jack's arrangement with him (made in "The Greatest Snake Plissken in the Multiverse") to give up his life force to the sorcerer. Snake pulls Jack aside behind the twisted ruins of the tank and knocks him out, switching shirts with him and standing in for Jack with Lo Pan. The sorcerer begins to suck up Snake's life force thinking he's Jack, but begins to choke on Snake's more twisted soul. Lo Pan's spirit sputters away in agony. Blind Apple Mary accuses Snake of being more heroic than he lets on and the disgusted Snake stalks off down the road alone.


Bobby and Helene think there's got to be something back at the U.S. Vault of Supernatural Research in Lubbock to send Jack back to his own world, but Jack decides there's no hurry returning home and wouldn't mind hanging around to help out folks from the Federal Culture Bunker. But Blind Apple Mary says that she can help them now with the help of her magic guitar.


But Jack still thinks he's buddies with Snake, so he drives the Pork-Chop Express on down the road and catches up to him. Snake retorts, "More time with you is the last thing I want." Then Lo Pan's spirit pops in again, seeking revenge against Snake for his deception. He has a last bit of magic that opens up a new wormhole that sucks up both Snake and Jack. The two find themselves in San Francisco on a world filled with Jack Burtons of all different stripes! Jack is pleasantly surprised, but Snake...isn't.




Notes from the Jack Burton and Snake Plissken chronologies


This issue opens in 2001.


Our 6-part story ends with Jack and Snake transported out of Snake's world and onto an Earth occupied with Jack Burtons of all different stripes. This particular storyline has not been continued beyond this. The next Snake Plissken story, "Up and Running", would seem to take place in approximately 2010-2011, 9-10 years after the events depicted here. The next Jack Burton story is Old Man Jack, in the year 2020. All of these later stories seem to take place on each character's respective Earths, with no mention made of the Jack/Snake crossover.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this issue


President John Harker

Bob Hauk

Sergeant Clarence O'Reilly

Snake Plissken

Blind Apple Mary

Bobby Liu

Helene Chow

Jack Burton

The Greatest Snake Plissken in the Multiverse (dies in this issue)

female Snake Plissken from Earth 563 (dies in this issue)

David Lo Pan (spirit form)

alternate Jack Burtons


Didja Know?


This was a 6-issue mini-series published by BOOM! Studios that features a cross-over story of the characters of Jack Burton and Snake Plissken, both portrayed by actor Kurt Russell in the John Carpenter films Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York (and Escape from L.A.), respectively.


This issue did not have an individual title. I have given it the title of "I Don't Even Know Myself" from the lyrics of a song Blind Apple Mary sings in this issue.


Didja Notice?


On page 16, notice that Jack's hair is parted on the left instead of his actual style of having it combed straight back, an early hint that Snake is impersonating Jack for the pay off with Lo Pan.


Discovering Snake's deception on page 17, Lo Pan says, "This really pisses me off!" He said the same thing in Big Trouble in Little China, when Jack and Wang's friends showed up to rescue them.


At the end of the issue, Lo Pan seeks revenge against Snake for his earlier deception and sends both Snake and Jack to yet another Earth...this time one populated with limitless Jack Burtons!


The alternate Jacks seen on the last page of this issue are: a female Jack, cartoon Jack, obese Jack, flying monkey Jack, old man Jack, giant mecha Jack, dinosaur Jack, muscle-bound Jack, Robocop Jack, Pinocchio Jack, businessman Jack, hot dog Jack, mama Jack with baby Jack, and Orangutan Jack. A Pork-Chop Express air balloon is seen in the sky as well as a Pork-Chop Express billboard. It appears they've landed in the San Francisco of this Jack world, as the street is hilly and what appears to be the Golden Gate Bridge is seen in the background. Notice also that the Pork-Chop Express big rig in the background appears to have a pair of eyes on the windshield, almost suggesting it may be a sentient vehicle a la the Cars animated films.


Unanswered Questions


What happens from here? Do Snake and Jack find a way back to their own worlds? As of June 2019, this plot thread has not been tied up.


Are the Jack Burton and Snake Plissken seen in this mini-series the same two versions we see in the films Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York respectively? Considering the story was a little on the silly side, even accounting for the source material, it might make more sense to think of it as a story of an alternate Jack and Snake.

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