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Adventures of Jack Burton

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138-at-popapostle-dot-com
Adventures of Jack Burton: Second Beginning Adventures of Jack Burton
"Second Beginning"
Big Trouble in Little China #25 (BOOM! Studios)
Written by Fred Van Lente
Illustrated by Victor Santos, Dan McDaid, Joe Eisma, Brian Churilla
Colors by Gonzalo Duarte
Letters by Ed Dukeshire
Cover by Jeffrey "Chamba" Cruz
June 2016

 

Jack is back in 1986...just in time to relive his battle with Lo Pan!

 

Story Summary

 

The issue opens near the beginning of Big Trouble in Little China, with Jack and Wang in the Pork-Chop Express chasing down the gang members who've abducted Miao Yin, observed by the time-displaced Jack and Winona. Egg pulls up in his tour bus and picks up Jack and Winona, explaining that he pulled back to 1986 to help him stop Lo Pan's plot to use the girl with green eyes to resurrect his mortal form.

 

So, through the story, the time-displaced Jack and Winona are working behind-the-scenes, unseen, to aid themselves and the others in the action we see in Big Trouble in Little China. Jack manages to befriend Pete (the Hell-beast) again and Pete drives away the giant centipede monster.

 

As the adventure winds down, Egg at last sends Winona back to her time of 2015 and lets Jack stay 1986. But then, Jack suddenly starts to fade out and finds himself pulled back into his body a few days later, brought back by Egg and P'an Ku after Jack's journey in the Hell of No Return in "The Luck of the Righteous Fool". Egg reveals he managed to save the Pork-Chop Express for Jack and Jack drives off in his truck, unaware that the centipede monster sits coiled on the back.

 

THE END?

 

Notes from the Jack Burton chronology

 

Most of the events of this issue take place concurrently with those of Big Trouble in Little China, after Jack's time travelling takes him back to 1986.

 

Characters appearing or mentioned in this issue

 

Egg Shen

Wang Chi

Jack Burton

Winona Chi

Lords of Death

The Three Storms (Thunder, Rain, and Lightning)

Lo Pan

Pete

Miao Yin

Gracie Law

Eddie Lee

Margo Litzenberger

Tai Sui Laohu

P'an Ku

Chin (mentioned only, deceased)

 

Didja Know?

 

This was the final issue of BOOM! Studios' Big Trouble in Little China comic book series, though it was followed by the 2016-2017 cross-over mini-series Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York and the 2017-2018 mini-series Old Man Jack.

 

Didja Notice?

 

This issue opens near the beginning of Big Trouble in Little China. The tour speech Egg gives to his passengers here is word-for-word from the beginning of the film.

 

Egg's tour bus is drawn not-quite-accurately to the 1936 White Model 706 seen in the film.

 

The Far East Flea Market is seen in the background of panel 5 on page 1, just as depicted in the same shot of the film.

 

On page 3, Egg mentions casting spells from the I Ching. The I Ching is a classic Chinese book of divination, cosmology, and philosophy.

 

Egg says that the building he owns is on Ross Alley. This is an actual alley in Chinatown, the oldest alley in San Francisco, formerly home to a number of brothels.

 

On page 4, Egg takes his tour bus to the T'ein Hou Temple, saying it was built in 1852, destroyed in the great earthquake of 1906, and rebuilt in 1911. The T'ein Hou Temple was built in San Francisco's Barbary Coast neighborhood in 1852, but I've been unable to confirm whether it was destroyed in the great quake and rebuilt.

 

On page 5, panel 1, Jack, under the influence of the incense of clear-sight, suddenly comments that Winona looks slightly different, "But still well within the licensor parameters!" This is a joking reference to the "artist's jam" nature of this issue, with page 5 being the start of a new artist's renditions after the first four pages.

 

On page 22, the sound effect of Gracie Law kicking Pete between the legs is "NUTKRAK"!

 

On page 31, Jack warns Wang to stay away from the Arby's discount menu.

 

Also on page 31, Egg wishes Jack good luck and continues, "As they say in China, 'May you live in interesting times.'" The phrase has been known as a Chinese curse since the early half of the 20th Century, but is likely apocryphal.

 

Jack is back in 1986 at the end of the issue and reunited with his beloved Pork-Chop Express. As he pulls away in his rig, the giant centipede creature from Big Trouble in Little China and "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" is seen riding on the back, implying more adventure in store for the hapless Jack Burton. This is also a callback to Pete hiding on the back of the rig at the end of Big Trouble in Little China. What this adventure might have and what happened to the giant centipede is left unrevealed, even in the two later mini-series Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York and Old Man Jack.

 

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