Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Eric Powell
Artist: Brian Churilla
Release Date: 29th April. 2015
After sacrificing himself to save his friends, Jack Burton finds himself in the The Hell of No Return. Not only that, but Lo-Pan bound his twisted spirit to Jack at the time of his death, so our hero faces spending eternity in the company of his nemesis. As Egg and Wang-Chi work on a plan to revive their fallen comrade, Jack devises his own plan to leave the inescapable hell. All he has to do is win a card game against some demons and turn left at the flayed torso of Hitler…
With the new creative team of Fred Van Lente and Joe Eisma set to take the wheel of the Pork Chop Express, there are only a few issues left of this run by the current creative team, and I for one will be sad to see them go. Sure, the ongoing story has at times felt a little drawn out, and perhaps could have been separated into shorter arcs, but as a fan of the film it’s been great to see the universe of Jack Burton and company extended beyond the borders of San Francisco Chinatown and into the fantastical realm of the myriad Chinese hells.
After a slight dip, it feels like the series has very definitely found it’s feet again, and this issue ranks up there with some of the funniest of the series so far, featuring numerous laugh out loud movements of both written and visual comedy. Powell has previously toyed with further development of Jack, especially in those truly engaging early flashbacks, but it’s clear he understands that there is only so far you can go with an established character before losing what made them popular in the first place. This is the Jack Burton we know and love, a comical combination of John Wayne and Inspector Clouseau.
From an art perspective, the issue leaves a pretty high watermark, and finds the sweet spot in regard to the relationship between art and colours. Gonzalo Duarte’s subtly textured colour blending and highlighting is the best of the series by far, and really brings out the best in Brian Churilla’s artwork, who has outdone himself here. He adds yet more outlandish demons and beasts to his ever-growing menagerie, and every panel simply oozes quality. If there is ever a print commissioned of the vertical half page splash on the first page, I’ll be first in line to buy.
So, the Pork Chop Express is very firmly back on track for the last few issues of this current run, bolstered by some great artwork and big dose of hilarity.
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