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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Snake Plissken Chronicles: Escape from Siberia The Snake Plissken Chronicles
"Escape from Siberia"
Escape from New York #8 (BOOM Studios)
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Diego Barreto
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Cover A: Mike Henderson
July 2015


Snake does what he does best.


Story Summary


Snake and Bulgarov undergo a symbolic death at the hands of the Tunguska cult and then Snake causes some actual chaos, allowing he and the scientist to escape the doomsday cult's clutches. They then steal a dog sled and head for the Bering Strait.


Near the strait, the pair are intercepted by the 81st Battalion and Major King sets them free before moving on to the war against the Russians, but Snake is forced by Hauk into a showdown. Snake kills his adversary.


Snake sets Bulgarov, who plans to rejoin the Tunguska cult and lead them, possibly to their desired end of the world, free. Snake dives into the waters of the Bering Strait, headed for Alaska. He is eventually intercepted by a native Alaskan rowboat and recuperates at a native home on the Alaska shoreline. He arranges to trade a weapon he took from Bulgarov for a motorcycle and makes his way southeast across the North American continent to New York.




Didja Know?


The issues of this series do not have published individual titles assigned to them. I assigned the title "Escape from Siberia" from the title of the four-issue story arc implied at the end of Escape from New York #4.  


Characters appearing in this issue


Snake Plissken

Anton Bulgarov

Hauk (dies in this issue)


Major King


President Harker (mentioned only)

President Sutter (mentioned only)


Didja Notice?


On page 4, Bulgarov tells Snake he's negotiated with Kremlin officials before, so he knows who to speak to crazy people. The Kremlin is the official home of the Russian President.


On page 8, Snake pulls out the ever-present pack of Marlboro cigarettes.


On page 9 there appears to be an aurora borealis (northern lights) occurring in the sky over Tunguska.


The jet fighters flying overhead on page 14, panel 5 appears to have swept back, variable position wings. They may be U.S. F-14 or F-15 fighters.


On page 15, Hauk reveals that President Harker is still in charge, despite the alleged impeachment (reported in "Freedom Isn't Free"), telling the new President, Sutter, what to do.


This issue seems to suggest that Snake wants the world to end. Near the end of the issue, he lets the brilliant Russian scientist Bulgarov, who does want to destroy the world with his fusion bombs, go back to the Tunguska doomsday cult; and earlier in the issue he even answers Bulgarov's question about whether he wants to blow the ship (the world) up, "Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I do. Right now I don't. I want a bed. A beer. Then you can blow it up."


This issue suggests that Snake and Bulgarov can escape the cult in the Tunguska region and arrive via dog sled at the far eastern Russian shore along the Bering Strait in a matter of hours. But Tunguska is about 2,000 miles from the Bering Strait!


Snake dives into the waters of the Bering Strait with nothing but his usual clothing on. Although the amount of time is not stated directly, it's implied he spends a fairly long amount of time swimming past U.S. and Soviet ships and floating on his back for rest before finally encountering a rowboat of native Alaskans who pull him aboard. Presumably, Snake's plan was to swim the 50 miles of the strait to the U.S. shores of Alaska, but the waters in the Bering Strait are in the range of 31-41˚ Fahrenheit...heat loss occurs much more rapidly in water than in air, so he would have frozen to death in less than hour probably.


On page 21, the native Alaskan who has taken care of Snake in his home for the past two days remarks that Alaska is about the only sane part of America now that Hawaii is gone. It has not been revealed what happened to Hawaii.


Unanswered Questions


Though Bulgarov tells the monks of Tunguska that he is able to see the map of Heaven on the meteor, he soon admits to Snake that he doesn't, he just knows how to speak to crazy people. But the meteor does appear to have some maze-like etchings on the top of it. How did they get there? Did someone from the cult etch them? Did the meteor arrive that way?


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