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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Snake Plissken Chronicles: Siberia Bob The Snake Plissken Chronicles
"Siberia Bob"
Escape from New York #5 (BOOM Studios)
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Diego Barreto
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Cover A: Mike Henderson
April 2015


Snake is sent back to Siberia!


Story Summary


Picking up from last issue, Snake is plummeting from a plane over Siberia, with his hands cuffed behind his back. As he falls, Snake twists his arms so that he dislocates his left shoulder, allowing him to bring his arms over his head to the front. This allows him to pull the ripcord on the parachute that was strapped to him and survive the fall.


Landing in the snow, Snake sees a battle nearby between Russian and U.S. forces and heads in the opposite direction. As he begins his journey, his mind flashes back to various moments during his last mission in Siberia when he was a member of the U.S. Army. But, in the here-and-now, he encounters a trio of bears, who attack him. Snake is able to use the powerful jaws of one of the beasts to sever the chain of his handcuffs, then a U.S. soldier clad in a strange suit of spiked armor anthat  even covers his head chases off the bears. The man removes a glove to shake hands with Snake and it appears to be badly scarred, probably burned, suggesting his whole body may be that way. When Snake refuses to join the U.S. forces in the battle, the man clonks him on the head with a tree branch, knocking him out.


Snake awakens next to a U.S. troop truck and is compelled to assist the men in a shootout with Russian soldiers. The armored man is there as well.


A few hours later, Snake is ensconced with the U.S. 81st Battalion at a temporary base camp. Suddenly, the Russians attack it in a trio of large motorized balls bristling with guns. Snake jumps on a snowmobile and takes them out in a game of follow-the-leader. After this, the battalion heads to the main base, where General Mellon tells them that Russia is about to make a push for Alaska across the Bering Strait and it's up to them to stop it.


Meanwhile, the armored man seems to have a personal grudge against Snake, revealing that Snake was dropped into Siberia so that he could kill Snake himself.




Notes from the Snake Plissken chronology


It's not clear when the previous issue ("Don't Let a Snake into the House") ended, but judging from the last known date there and the early morning lighting conditions at the beginning of this issue, it seems to be early on Saturday, November 1, 1997 and continuing on into that day.


Didja Know?


The issues of this series do not have published individual titles assigned to them. I assigned the title "Siberia Bob" to this issue based on the alias of "Bob" Snake uses here to avoid giving his real identity. 


Characters appearing in this issue


Snake Plissken (aka Bob)

Bob Hauk (the armored man, identity not revealed until "Snake on a Train")

Colonel Johnson (mentioned only)

Special Forces Major King

General Mellon

Officer Schmidt

Officer Moore

President Sutter


Didja Notice?


On page 1, it appears that Snake is able to dislocate his left shoulder, allowing him to bring his handcuffed hands over his head from his back to his front. Luckily for him, or otherwise he wouldn't have been able to pull the ripcord on his parachute! Did his captives know that before they tossed him out of the plane at the end of "Don't Let a Snake into the House"?


On page 3, the U.S. forces are carrying M16 rifles and the Russian forces Kalashnikov rifles. These are, more-or-less, the correct weapons for soldiers of each country.


On pages 3-5, Snake is attacked by a pack of three adult bears. Bears do not tend to travel (or attack) in packs.


On page 8, a Russian soldier says, "Siberia is ours," and a U.S. soldier responds while firing his machine gun at him, "Not yet, Ivan." "Ivan" is a name occasionally used as a generic for a male Russian by foreigners.


On page 10, a U.S. soldier tells Snake, "Wasn't for you, we'd be dead as Dillinger." The phrase "dead as Dillinger" is a reference to John Dillinger, an infamous gangster and bank robber during the Depression who was killed by FBI agents during a shootout in Chicago on July 22, 1934.


On page 10, the American soldiers ask Snake who he is and he responds, "Call me Bob." This may be intended by the writer as a way to account for why a USPF Duty Sergeant refers to him as "S.D. 'Bob' Plissken" later in Escape from L.A., whereas his file, as read by Hauk earlier in Escape from New York, refers to him simply as "S.D. Plissken". Seemingly, "Bob" is just an alias he chooses to use here (possibly in honor of Fresno Bob, with whom he and Harold Hellman partnered for a bank robbery in Kansas City as mentioned in Escape from New York).


On page 11, the U.S. forces have retired to a base camp made up mostly of Quonset huts. Quonset huts were introduced by the U.S. Navy during WWII as a lightweight, easy to ship and assemble building for housing offices, barracks, latrines, and medical facilities. Surplus huts were also sold throughout the U.S. after the war and can still be seen in many parts of the country.

Quonset huts


In panel 4 of page 11, Snake is seen to pour a mini bottle of vodka into his coffee at the base camp. The bottle has a red star on it, a red star being traditionally indicative of communist ideology, like the government of the Soviet Union.


On page 12, the major throws her beer bottle in anger and some of the shattered glass lands in Snake's coffee mug (though the art keeps it subtle). This is why Snake pours his coffee out on the floor on page 13 and tells the major she owes him a coffee.


On page 13, panel 5, there is a box of Trixx sitting next to the coffee maker. This is probably a play on Trix brand breakfast cereal, though another parody name of the same cereal, called Drix, was seen in "Collared".


On page 20, the General tells the assembled troops that Russia is about to make a push for Alaska across the Bering Strait. The Bering Strait connects the Pacific and Arctic Oceans and is only about 50 wide at its narrowest point between Siberia and Alaska, just as the general states.


The airplanes seen flying at the bottom of page 20 look to be Air Force One (the aircraft that carries the President) and couple of U.S. fighter jet escorts (possibly F-16s). The U.S. government generally has two planes in service designated for official use as Air Force One, which would explain how the new President, Sutter, is able to be flying in it now, even though Air Force One crashed in New York City and was destroyed just days ago in Escape from New York. It was revealed that the former president (Harker) was being impeached in "Freedom Isn't Free".


The general reveals that the former president's men made an attempt on the new president's life and the former president is now in federal custody on charges of treason.


On page 21, the general tells the U.S. troops they will be moving on Krasnoyarsk at 0500. Krasnoyarsk is the third largest city in otherwise sparsely populated Siberia.


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