Review – Big Trouble in Little China #12 (BOOM! Studios)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: BOOM! Studiis
Writer: Eric Powell
Artist: Brian Churilla, Gonzalo Duarte (Colours)
Release Date: 1st July 2015

Having acquired the ‘Breath of the Green Flame’, and with Jack and Slinky in hot pursuit, Lo Pan heads for the ‘Hell of Ice and Sorrow’ seeking the ‘Black Serpent’s Sword’, a magical weapon that bestows upon its bearer the power of life and death over all. Meanwhile in the physical realm, Wang and Egg finally return with P’an Ku, whose powerful magic might be just be able to bring Jack back from the dead…but it looks like they forgot the beers.

The first full arc of BTILC draws to an epic conclusion in this twelfth issue, and also marks the end of the road for the current creative team of writer Eric Powell and artist Brian Churilla, who have done exemplary work in bringing John Carpenter’s quintessentially ‘80s property to the comic page. Over the course of the series, both men’s obvious love for the film has shone through in their ability to faithfully recapture its unique magic on the page, and expand the canvas beyond the confines of the screen.

Powell signs off in fine fashion, treating us to more of the same rapier-like witticisms and off-hand put-downs that have peppered the series to date, before neatly tying up story threads and preparing the ground for the new creative team, who it seems likely, will be taking Jack into uncharted territory judging by the book’s conclusion. There have been a few wrinkles for sure, but one of Powell’s many strengths is characterisation and he truly nailed each of the main players, whilst creating an efficient and highly enjoyable narrative.

Each issue has flowed effortlessly from a visual perspective, thanks to the ever-impressive Brian Churilla’s art. Stylistically, it’s so vibrant and lively, and his impeccable caricatures emphasise the comedic tone perfectly. So much so, that when I imagine Jack in my head, it’s Churilla’s iron-jawed version that instantly springs to mind. A special mention must also go out to Gonzalo Duarte, whose fantastic colour work meshes perfectly with Churilla’s style, truly helping bring it to life.

From start to finish, the series has been an absolute joy and I can only hope the next arc is of a similar level. So, If you haven’t been collecting the monthly series, then do what good Ol’ Jack Burton does in a situation like that…buy the trade!

Rating: 4/5.

MDAVThe Writer of this piece was: Martin Doyle
You can follow Martin on Twitter
You can check out more of Martins reviews and thoughts on random retro things over at Retromuse

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