The early 1990s were an odd time for Sylvester Stallone movies. The Rocky and Rambo franchises had ended but he was still in that “bankable action star” phase where he could thrown his weight around Hollywood, and even ventured into restaurant franchising (Planet Hollywood still exists but is not as huge as it used to be). The film choices he made ranged from the really solid (Cliffhanger) to the facepalmingly bad (Stop or My Mom Will Shoot!). Demolition Man, to my recollection, falls on the side of one of his better movies of the time. It’s due for a rewatch because it’s very much a comic book movie (albeit without source material), and that’s why it made total sense that DC adapted the film in a four-issue series.
I found issue #3 in a 50-cent bin at a comics convention a few years ago. I think I had it in my mind that I was going to start amassing a collection of comic book movie adaptations and then do a podcast episode about it. Nothing really came of this except a bunch books that remained unread until I started working through that pile, and as a result, I’ve only got this one issue, which comes at a pivotal point in the film where we find out that the “utopia” of the future is only for the rich. The poor have been oppressed and are living on the streets, having to fend for themselves. Plus, the person in charge of everything–the “benevolent savior” of that utopia–is responsible for Wesley Snipes’ villain having returned. It’s what you would expect out of a film like this.
Gary Cohn, creator of Blue Devil and Amethyst, has the writing chores here and Rod Whigham (of G.I. Joe fame) does the art. Both keep the adaptation faithful to the movie but without making it feel like I’m looking at narrated stills. In fact, I hadn’t watched Demoltion Man since maybe the mid-Nineties (I saw it in the theater and am pretty sure I watched it at least once on video), and their adaptation did exactly the two things it needed to: 1) made me remember what I liked about the movie, and 2) made me want to watch the movie. Still haven’t done the latter, although I may.
So will I hold onto this one and see if I can find the rest? I kind of want to, but this doesn’t strike me as the type of comic that I’d spend more than a quarter or 50 cents on, so I might give myself a deadline to find the rest or get rid of it.
Keep, Sell, Donate, or Trash?
Keep. For now.