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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Snake Plissken Chronicles: Snake on a Train The Snake Plissken Chronicles
"Snake on a Train"
Escape from New York #6 (BOOM Studios)
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Diego Barreto
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Cover B: Robert Sammelin
May 2015


Snake and the 81st Battalion commandeer the Trans-Siberian Railway.


Story Summary


As the issue opens, two members of the 81st Battalion attempt to ambush Snake and kill him; he makes short work of them.


Later, the 81st arrives in Krasnoyarsk and commandeers the train at the Trans-Siberian Railway station using futuristic death ray guns invented by Nikola Tesla. Arriving at their destination farther east in Siberia, Major King blows up the train to keep the Russians from recovering it.


The armored man approaches Snake, who has already figured out he is actually Commissioner Hauk. Hauk reveals that the former president wasn't happy with him about allowing Snake to pull the switch with the Hartford Summit tape and his men tortured him, "Tore me apart." Snake is on notice that Hauk is out for blood.




Notes from the Snake Plissken chronology


This issue opens in the wee hours of Sunday, November 2, 1997. Page 19 is captioned with "3 days later, 1400 hours," making it Wednesday, November 5 at the end of the issue.


Didja Know?


The issues of this series do not have published individual titles assigned to them. I assigned the title "Snake on a Train" as a play on the title of the 2006 action film Snakes on a Plane. 


Characters appearing in this issue




Snake Plissken

Snake's mom (mentioned only)


Major King




Allie (mentioned only)

Jones (mentioned only)

Renner (mentioned only)

General Scott (mentioned only)

Bob Hauk



Didja Notice?


On page 5, Snake sees a snow leopard in the Siberian forest. Snow leopards do, in fact, exist in parts of Siberia.


Snake's portion of the 81st Battalion is assigned to clean-up and provide security on the Trans-Siberian Railway out of Krasnoyarsk. The Trans-Siberian Railway is a real world network of railways that connects Moscow in western Russia to points east, all the way through Siberia to the Sea of Japan, running a length of 5,772 miles; it does pass through Krasnoyarsk.


Page 7 reveals that Florida is still fighting against the U.S. even after the separation of the peninsula from the continental U.S. by Snake's rigging of the nuclear bombs across the state's width in "Don't Let a Snake into the House".


On pages 10-11, Snake's unit faces Russian exotroops, giant robotic walkers (similar-looking to the power-loaders seen in the 1986 film Aliens) piloted by men cybernetically wired into each cab. The exotroop robots are said to be old U.S. tech from the 1970s that was dropped because it kept crippling the they sold the plans to Russia instead. This implies that the history of Snake's Earth is quite a bit different from ours at least as far back as the 1970s.


On page 12, Snake's unit approaches the railway station in Krasnoyarsk. The art is based on the actual station in that city.
railway station Krasnoyarsk railway station
Railway station in this issue Krasnoyarsk railway station (photo by E.doroganich on Wikipedia)


In panel 3 of page 12, a soldier appears to have a pack of Marlboro cigarettes (based on the design) tucked under the strap of his helmet.


On page 12, Wimberly says "holy moley". The slightly different spelling, "Holy Moly" was first used by the super-hero character Captain Marvel in Whiz Comics #2, February 1940.


On page 13, Major King tells her people that the futuristic guns they're now armed with were invented by Tesla. This is a reference to Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), a Serbian-American electrical engineer and physicist. Late in his life, he claimed to have invented a particle beam weapon which the press dubbed a "death ray".


On page 16, one of the U.S. soldiers says, "Do svidaniya," as he pushes a Russian soldier off the train. Do svidaniya is Russian for "goodbye" or "until we meet again".


On page 17, one of the female U.S. soldiers toasts to Snake and says that he must have made his bones in Siberia. He corrects her and says it was Leningrad, "Siberia came after." The phrase "make your bones" is sometimes used to mean "learning to kill"; it originated with the American Mafia.


On page 18, the armored man tells Snake that his unit his a Special Forces unit called Texas Thunder. This is the unit Hauk told Snake he was in during their first meeting in Escape from New York.


On page 21, Major King tells her battalion their real mission is to free American POWs at a Gulag called Trakhanov. POW is shorthand for Prisoner of War. The Gulag was the Russian government agency that administered the forced labor camps of the Soviet Union from the 1930s through early 1960s; the term "Gulag" is often used for the camps themselves when discussed by the Western world. Trakhanov appears to be a fictitious Gulag.


Page 22 reveals that the armored man is actually Hauk, the former police commissioner who sent Snake into New York in Escape from New York. He says that the former president wasn't happy with him about allowing Snake to pull the switch with the tape and his men tortured Hauk, virtually tearing him apart.


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