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Adventures of Jack Burton

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138-at-popapostle-dot-com
Adventures of Jack Burton: Death to the Deathless Adventures of Jack Burton
"Death to the Deathless"
Big Trouble in Little China #19 (BOOM! Studios)
Written by Fred Van Lente
Illustrated by Dan McDaid
Colors by Gonzalo Duarte
Letters by Ed Dukeshire
Cover by Joe Eisma
December 2015

 

Jack squares off against Harry Potter; the Chi sisters bond.

 

Story Summary

 

Not wanting to go against his fellow members of the immortals council, Egg Shen conscripts Winona and Whitney to find the hidden silver needle that can bring death to the immortal Koschei. Meanwhile, Jack faces off one-on-one with a young magician in the poker tournament, with the winner gaining access to the immortals round of play. Little does Jack know that Egg is helping him behind the scenes.

 

CONTINTUED IN BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA #20

 

Characters appearing or mentioned in this issue

 

Egg Shen

Koschei

Baba Yaga (mentioned only)

Ivan Tsarevich (mentioned only)

Winona Chi

Margo Litzenberger (mentioned only)

Whitney Chi

Yu Shi

Wang Chi

Gracie Law

"Harry"

Jack Burton

Miao Yin

Uncle Chao (mentioned only, deceased) 

 

Didja Know?

 

Most of the issues of this series did not have individual titles. I used the title "Death to the Deathless" given in the next issue blurb of the previous issue.

 

Didja Notice?

 

On page 1, Egg Shen tells of how the ancient witch Baba Yaga told the great Russian knight Ivan Tsarevich where to find Koschei's death. Tsarevich's story is part of the actual Russian fairy tale "The Death of Koschei the Deathless".

 

On page 4, Wang tells Winona he's going shopping at the Hugo Boss store so he can look his best for dinner with Yu Shi and Miao Yin.

 

On page 6, the "Harry Potter" character gives Jack a telling of how he got the star mark on his forehead. It is similar to how the Harry Potter of the book series got his lightning bolt mark.

 

On page 7, Jack thinks about his card hand and that he has pocket rockets. "Pocket rockets" is a term used for a pair of aces in Texas hold 'em poker.

 

On page 10, the boots Winona wears with her patriotic America costume are similar to those worn by the eponymous Wonder Woman in the TV series of the same from 1975-1979.

 

Wang brings to the dinner party a bottle of wine labeled "WINE! (SPARKLING)" on page 10. But in the flashback to this scene found later in "All-In", the bottle's label is "WINE? I GUESS?".

 

Also on page 10, Winona says that Whitney, in her frilly dress and hair, "looks like she crawled out of Jane Austen's butthole". Jane Austen (1775-1817) was an English writer known for her novels of women suppressed by, and chafing against, British social structure.

 

On page 11, a Russian nesting doll emerges from the elevator. This is the young woman who was speaking up against Koschei and was then turned into a Russian nesting doll by him in anger in "Big Trouble in Little Heaven".

 

On page 12, Jack thinks on how he hates playing heads up. "Heads up" is a poker term for a game played between just two people.

 

On page 14, Yu Shi admits he didn't make an impression on anyone growing up until he began his fortune in the mah jong parlors of Fuzhou province. Mah jong is a Chinese game similar to the card game rummy, originating in the 17th Century and often played for money between opponents. His statement of "Fuzhou province" seems to be in error; Fuzhou is the capital city of Fujian province, China.

 

Yu Shi remarks that he and Miao Yin met again as adults online through Facebooking. "Facebooking", of course, refers to updating your own profile or browsing those of other people on the social network Facebook.

 

On page 15, Winona mentions the memorial of her Uncle Chao. Presumably, Chao was a brother of either Wang or Miao.

 

On page 16, "Harry" refers to Jack as a "gummle". This is a play on the word "muggle" in the Harry Potter books, a word for a person not born into a magical family and with no magical abilities.

 

On page 17, "Harry" says that he is "The Boy That Breathes". This is a play on Harry Potter's appellation "The Boy Who Lived".

 

A short, robed figure in the background of panel 1, page 19 has glowing yellow eyes, appearing to be a Jawa from the Star Wars franchise!

 

On page 19, Jack tells "Harry", "If I see that nameless character up there in the immortals floor...I'll give him a swift kick in the bangers-and-mash for your folks," for which, "Harry" thanks him. Bangers and mash is a British dish of mashed potatoes and sausage. Obviously, Jack is using the term as a euphemism for male genitalia.

 

On page 21, Winona uses two actual martial arts to take down the guard at the Kunlun Casino, Golden Leopard Turns Around and Tiger Tail Kick (see Shaolin.org).

 

The being that emerges from the green oak tree, above Winona and Whitney is the Four-Armed manifestation of Mahākāla, a deity in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism.


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