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Snake Plissken Chronicles
Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Snake Plissken Chronicles: Escape to New York The Snake Plissken Chronicles
"Escape to New York"
Escape from New York #9 (BOOM Studios)
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Maxim Šimić
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Cover A: Jason Copland
August 2015


Snake returns to New York in order to break into the prison.


Story Summary


After his escape from Siberia and picking up a motorcycle in Alaska, Snake rides through Canada and shares drinks at a bar with some old army buddies who've fled the U.S. But the former president's men manage to track Snake there and blow the place up with an RPG launcher and then machine gun it to get him. As the men leave the rubble behind them, reporting Snake dead, the man himself emerges from the wreckage, his friends dead. He says, "Okay, Mr. President. You want a war?"


Snake rides to New York where the former president has been incarcerated after his impeachment. On the shore looking out at Manhattan Island, Snake finds a daredevil setting up his launching ramp and rocket car to attempt a spectacular jump into the island prison. Instead, Snake steals the car and makes the jump himself.


Inside, Snake helps a woman being held by the Broadway crazies escape and she tells him there is a new Duke in town. When he finally sees the Duke at a rally in Times Square, he sees that it is the former president.




Didja Know?


The issues of this series do not have published individual titles assigned to them. I assigned the title "Escape to New York" to this issue based on the "next issue" blurb at the end of the previous issue.


Characters appearing in this issue


Snake Plissken




Tom (radio personality)

Suicide Gorchnik

Ed (dies in this issue)


The Duke of New York (former President Harker)





Didja Notice?


Snake's former army friend, Parker, wears what appears to be a New York Yankees baseball cap.


On page 4, the radio talk show host refers to former president Harker as "Ex-President Benedict Arnold". Benedict Arnold was an American general during the Revolutionary War who defected to the British. In the U.S. his name is virtually synonymous with "traitor" or "treason".


In panel 5 of page 4, the radio station Snake is listening to identifies itself as New York's last remaining radio station, WFMU. WFMU is a real world community-supported radio station in Jersey City, New Jersey.


When a couple of his fans approach him at the lookout view of New York City, asking, "You're Snake, right? Snake Plissken?" Snake responds, "I heard he was dead."


On page 5, Snake's fans tell him they followed him since he robbed the depository. This is a reference to the events of "The Bank Robbery".


On page 6, the Snake fans tell him they're truth-seekers about cover-ups, conspiracies, and unearthly events. They're also skeptical of the stories from Florida of magic twins and nukes; this is a reference to events in "Don't Let a Snake into the House".


Snake tells the star-spangled daredevil character of Suicide Gorchnik that he saw him on TV as a kid. Suicide responds he jumped the St. Lawrence, Mount Rushmore, and the Grand Canyon and had his own action figure. "St. Lawrence" refers to the St. Lawrence River, which flows out of Lake Ontario northeast along the border of New York and Canada and through Canada to empty into the Atlantic Ocean. Mount Rushmore is a gigantic granite sculpture, in the rock of the mountain called Mt. Rushmore, of four of what have been considered America's greatest presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The Grand Canyon in Arizona is one of the world's largest canyons. Suicide Gorchnik seems to be loosely based on Evel Knievel (1938-2007), an American stunt performer who wore red-white-and-blue costumes and performed spectacular stunts using motorcycles, cars, and even a steam powered rocket, attempting to jump Snake River Canyon and often discussed jumping the Grand Canyon; he also had his own action figure in the 1970s.


Inside the New York prison on page 13, Viola tells Ed they shouldn't have gone down Broadway. Broadway is a road running through Manhattan (famous for passing through the theater district). In Escape from New York, Maggie also warned Brain and Snake about driving down Broadway, where they run into trouble with a bunch of crazies.


On page 14, the leader of the crazies begins to count, "Eeny, Meeny, Miney--". This is from the children's counting rhyme "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe", variations of which have existed since at least the early 19th Century.


When Viola tells Snake he should go see the Duke, Snake says, "I would if he wasn't dead on the 69th Street bridge." The Duke of New York was shot to death with a machine gun by President Harker on the 69th Street bridge in Escape from New York. Snake learns there is a new Duke of New York now, who turns out to be the former president.


On page 18, Viola tells Snake that the new Duke is the best friend the bourgie folks ever had. "Bourgie" is a derogatory shorthand term for "bourgeoisie", members of the upper middle class in the social strata.


In panel 3 of page 18, Snake and Viola walking through a pile of old automobiles in the street outside the subway. The following issue reveals that the new Duke has had bulldozers brought in which his recruited prisoners have used to push the old wrecks around to form blockades in various places throughout the city. Notice also that the ground there is crawling with rats.


Viola tells Snake that the Duke and his people live and stay in the midtown district of Manhattan. Midtown is Manhattan's central business district, where many of its most famous landmarks, buildings, and businesses reside.


The Duke holds rallies every other day in Times Square. Times Square is a major intersection in Manhattan known for it's huge and colorful ad displays and has become a symbol of New York also known as the Crossroads of the World.


In his role as the new Duke, Harker appears to be wearing the same clothes the old Duke wore in Escape from New York. He must have gone back to the 69th Street bridge and taken them from the Duke's body (or had someone do it for him). He also seems to be wearing a blond wig, for he did not have long hair before; perhaps he was inspired by the wig Romero had put on him when he was a captive of the old Duke, also in Escape from New York?


When Snake recognizes the new Duke and tells Soto and Joe, "That's not the Duke," they ask, "Who the hell do you think it is then? Santa Claus?" Santa, of course, is the folkloric figure who brings gifts to children around the world on Christmas Eve.


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