C-Cubed Comic Book Review: “Die Hard: Year One”

Hello, my friends.  We live in an era where several long-running properties has managed to endure for several decades and their iconic names, images, lines, characters, set pieces and tales are fully-ingrained into our popular culture.  One of those particular franchises started with a film that went against the era’s expected muscle-bound action movie hero of Schwarzenegger & Stallone and gave us a thrilling exploit of a regular law-abiding joe who came out to the West Coast to take in some Yuletide celebration but unintentionally found himself going up against foreign thugs and their lethally sophisticated ways.  That movie is none other than the ’80s action masterpiece that is…

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Debuting in L.A. on July 12, 1988 before getting a widespread release on July 15, this film was based on a 1979 Roderick Thorp book called “Nothing Lasts Forever”, which originally told the tale of former NYPD Detective Joe Leland visiting his daughter Stephanie Gennaro who’s at a Christmas Eve party at the Klaxon Oil Corporation before he has to deal with German terrorists under the lead of Anton “Little Tony The Red” Gruber and their plans to expose the company’s shady foreign dealings.  This literary sequel to the 1966 book “The Detective” (which itself became a 1968 film starring Frank Sinatra) changed certain elements around after Sinatra declined to reprise his role due to his age (his early 70s).  Written by Jeb Stuart & Steven E. de Souza, directed by John McTiernan and starring Bruce Willis as NYPD Detective John McClane, the film actually received mixed reviews upon its initial release yet became a financial success, grossing over $140 million on a $28 million budget.  Since the initial movie, it’s spawned four sequels, several video games and even a comic book series which serves as the subject of this review.  As such, we head back to Johnny’s earlier days to venture into a tale known as…

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Published from September 2009 to April 2010, this eight-issue mini-series was written by Howard Chaykin, drawn by Stephen Thompson and colored by Matthew Wilson.  What sort of trouble did our main man come across before he ever crossed paths with Hans Gruber?  Let’s dive in and find out.

We open in New York City at 7:16 am, but it’s not just any morning.  It’s the morning of America’s Bicentennial: July 4, 1976.  As John McClane approaches the NYPD station as a young officer, he narrates that he came from the borough of Queens and that he used to serve his country over in Vietnam.  Upon arriving, he’s approached by his training officer named Ken Bingham as they head out to patrol the streets on this busy day.  With both of them assigned to foot patrol, Bingham mentions to John that he managed to acquire a police car but only as a means to periodically rest.

We then have a quick scene where we’re introduced to Rosie Haskell, a woman who moved here from Indiana six months ago and shares an apartment with five other ladies.  Afterwards, we shift over to Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn where a harbor patrolman named Russ Ciardello is in a verbal dispute with his wife Rochelle.  After he viciously slaps her, he’s restrained by his partner Peter Noonan (who’s been sleeping with her for years, yet her husband doesn’t care) before they take their leave.  We then shift over to Hicksville, Long Island where a man named Ira Lewis is unable to part ways with his childhood home even though his parents have long since moved on.

After a quick look-in on a rich (yet unhappy) couple named Walden and Daina Ford, we cut over to Central Park where a guy named Alan Douglas is on a morning bike ride when he arrives at a ringing phone booth. Shortly upon answering it, he tells his fellow caller how “Lewis and his greed” should be an easy hurdle to overcome.  As he’s working on handling traffic within Manhattan, McClane narrates the reputation NYC had during this period for being “crowded, dirty and noisy” yet he’s been able to cope.

While Russ and Peter make their way through a Central Park crowd, we shift over to a luncheonette where Ira and Alan meet up.  Douglas mentions about his means to help the planet, but Lewis doesn’t believe it and only believes that they’re both in dire need for money.  Afterwards, he tells Alan to get him his proper payment or else they can “forget about the turtle”.  Back on the streets, a devious man pit-pockets an elderly man while his girlfriend distracts the victim by flashing her breasts at him.  Fortunately, John sees this crime-in-progress and chases the perp down.

Meanwhile, the Fords make their way down to their yacht as Walden mentions the Talle Ships Parade that he’s hosting aboard his craft as the event’s Grand Marshall and that the mayor (named Ted) will be in attendance.  Back on the streets, McClane narrates about his childhood when he played contact tag on Union Turnpike, Grand Central Parkway and Parsons Boulevard while he’s chasing the pit-pocketer.  He manages to tackle the perp before fighting him off.  John then rejoins his partner who’s with the thief’s girlfriend named DeeDee and proves her guilt with a bystander’s Polaroid picture of her flashing her chest as she & her boy-toy are arrested.

As McClane heads on his way, we head back to Rosie who enters a subway station.  The narration captions mention how her parents warned her about moving to NYC, yet she did and became a file clerk for a low-end law firm.  Because of the low pay, she accepted a quickie job (worth $25) to sit and wave for a couple of hours.  However, she also has to wear a skin-tight body suit as part of the gig.  Up on the street-level, Ira meets up with Russ and Peter in an alley.  They’re mad that Lewis has raised his asking price due to a changing situation.  A short time later, Rosie emerges from the subway as the narration boxes mention how after six months, she’s still having trouble with navigating the ins-and-outs of the city’s underground mode of transportation.  As a result, Issue 1 (told over the span of 4 hours, 53 minutes) ends with her unintentionally witnessing Russ and Peter murdering Ira.

Issue 2 opens at 12:10 pm with Rosie accidentally seeing Lewis’ murder within an alley.  She tries to slowly back away, but she bumps into a cat and attracts the attention of the corrupt officials who proceed to chase after her.  Fortunately for her, she manages to evade them within a crowd a people.

Meanwhile, John manages to arrest a flasher without a hitch.  However, Ken has to cause a minor problem as he smacks the perp with his baton.  McClane tells him that the guy was already subdued, but Bingham ignorantly says that “degenerates” shouldn’t be given any chance.  During their argument however, the flasher managed to escape.  We then cut over to the McBurney YMCA where Alan has been working out before calling up Russ and Peter where he learns about their screw-up.

Later, John and Ken are at the docks as Bingham exclaims that he’ll “take care of the paperwork” involving the flasher.  Shortly afterwards, they’re approached by Daina who assumes that the mayor assigned them to look over the gala yacht party.  Following a quick subway scene where Rosie is on the run while being leery of any and all official, we head back to the docks as Alan arrives with a gyro.

Meanwhile, John is in the middle of a conversation with a flirtatious Daina when he suddenly notices Rosie walking by.  Later, Russ and Peter continue their desperate search when they ultimately come into the eyesight of Ken.  They tell him that they’re hunting down “a little blonde” but falsify about her “turning tricks” and look to save her from a non-existent pimp.  Beliving their story, Bingham promises to keep his eyes open.

Back aboard the yacht, John is approached by Walden as he gets the subtle hint of the strained relationship between the wealthy couple.  Back on the Manhattan mainland, our two devious officials continue their pursuit as Russ exclaims that he’ll personally kill their witness once they find her.  Not too long afterwards, they spot Rosie and close in on her.  However, a perverted man intervenes in time as she sees them and takes off.  As she discards her trenchcoat, her body suit shows off the job that she signed up for as she hops onto a patriotic float to join her fellow star-spangled ladies.

Afterwards, McClane checks back in with Ken exclaiming that the Fords had him run a security check aboard their yacht.  Afterwards, Issue 2 (told over the span of 2 hours, 28 minutes) ends with Russ and Pete having lost their target before they’re approached by Alan who isn’t too worried but exclaims that if they don’t fix their problem soon, they’ll be in huge trouble “for a lot more than one count of homicide”.

Issue 3 opens at 7:27 pm before we shift ahead 11 minutes as Rosie hides out with her fellow star girls on a float during the Bicentennial Parade before ultimately stepping down to make her way into the crowd.  Later, John is patrolling through the event when he notices her stealing a dress in order to hide her body suit.  He approaches her while he narrates that “busting her for shoplifting wasn’t in my game plan”.  Just then, he’s approached by Daina and the police commissioner as they inform him that he’s been assigned to look over her yacht party while Rosie manages to slip away.

After they arrive back at the Ford’s personal boat, Daina subtly hits on McClane while her husband Walden talks with the commissioner.  Later than night, Russ and Peter have reported back to Alan about their failure aboard his vessel.  Just then, they notice Rosie amongst the patrons and proceed to to pursue her.  Fortunately, she notices them and manages to reach a group of party-goers.  Russ and Peter are initially bummed that they can’t reach her within the large group until they realize that this actually plays into their hands in a different way.

Later, the Ford’s party is in full swing while fireworks light up the night sky.  With John in regular civilian clothes, he’s suddenly approached by Daina who’s wearing more of a go-go dress.  She continues to woo her charm towards him and even whispers some dirty words into his ear before she heads out to mingle.  Later, Russ and Peter reemerge within their police boat as they prepare to enact their plan.  Back aboard the Ford’s yacht, John sees Rosie and approaches her.

Just then, they see Russ and Peter boarding the ship as they order the party-goers to hand over their valuables.  Fortunately, McClane and Haskell managed to hide below deck in time.  Meanwhile, Walden summons his security team to help him out.  However, it turns out that they’re working with Russ and Peter as one of them knocks Mr. Ford out with a vicious face slap.  Later on within the yacht’s kitchen, John and Rosie hurriedly hide inside the cabinet as two of the goons execute the chef and shove his corpse inside unaware that our heroes were close by.

Back up top, Russ and Peter pilfer the guests of their money, watches and jewelry while the crucial part of the plan comes into fruition.  Meanwhile, McClane learns from Haskell that she saw the two corrupt officials kill a guy but couldn’t report on it due to her fear and the fact that she’s not originally from here.  Just then, they confront one of the goons as John proceeds to beat him up.  Back up top, Issue 3 (told over the span 3 hours, 2 minutes) ends with Russ and Peter opening their box of explosives while their boss Alan finally arrives in his personal submarine.

Issue 4 opens with Douglas in full control as he tells the hostages to cooperate or face the wrath of his men.  He then confronts Walden as he explains his reasoning for his action.  He says that he’s out to stop the oppressive rich and their “fellow Earth rapists”.  Unbeknownst to him and his men down below, McClane and Haskell are overhearing this conversation via a walkie-talkie that a subdued thug (Avner) had on him.  John tells her that despite this posturing, he’s seen enough of these felons before to know that it always comes down to money.  Just then, Peter decides to check in on Avner as McClane disguises his voice and lets him know that he’s currently looking over the lower decks.  Afterwards, he tells Rosie to stay put and hide while he takes care of the situation.

As Alan’s thugs places explosives around the hull, the narrative captions speak about John’s hunch towards Douglas’ motives; namely a blue-collar guy’s toxic mistrust on the upper-class.  Meanwhile, McClane has been stealthily going through the lower decks in order to take the explosives from the wall and place them in a bag.  Later, Alan tries to check up on Avner but doesn’t get a response.  As such, he tells Russ and Peter to find their comrade.

John manages to get out of sight as Russ passes by, but he unintentionally gives away his location due to the static noise from Avner’s walkie-talkie.  As such, the two of them get into a tussle as McClane manages to take Ciardello’s gun and shoots him down.  Haskell catches this and runs off in horror, only to get caught by Peter.  After John guns down two more thugs, Douglas contacts him and orders him to surrender or else he’ll kill Rosie.

As John hands over his guns, Peter begins to climb down into the mini-sub.  However, he gets the surprise of his life when he discovers their dynamite inside their craft and ultimately dies in the blast.  The rumbling effect allows Haskell to escape Alan’s grasp as McClane shoots the two remaining thugs.

As midnight strikes, John disorients Douglas by tossing the money bag at him before delivering a gut punch.  They fight for a while before John ends the situation by slamming Alan’s head into the wall.  With the mastermind captured, Walden emerges and thanks McClane for his services while Daina expresses her appreciation by whispering more dirty talk into his ear.

Sometime later, John gets rewarded for his service with a promotion to 3rd-Grade Detective.  Later, he takes a taxi to Rosie’s new luxury apartment and is met upon by the sophisticatically-dressed Haskell.  Afterwards, the initial story ends with Walden present as a house guest as he congratulates McClane for his promotion.

Issue 5 opens on July 13, 1977 at 11:16 am.  In the 1+ year since becoming a detective, he’s taken on a Puerto Rican female partner named Olga Cruces as they confront an ethnic boy with flyers about a string a parlor robberies.  Despite some minor difficulties, the ultimately agrees to help them out.  Meanwhile, an unemployed man named Alan Oster (under the guise of a Jewish man) arrives as a massage parlor called Eve’s Apple and heads inside as the masseuse is unaware of his concealed weapon.

Back on the street, John gets a hot dog from a street vendor as Olga rolls her eyes over the unhealthy contents within his food.  She then spots a hippie-looking man selling some items and asks him if he has a vendor’s license.  He struggles to find it before McClane calmly buys his partner a belt to lighten her up.  As such, she returns the favor by introducing him to some Greek food.  Meanwhile at a newly-restored apartment building, a young woman named Terri Keller (who’s also the lone occupant) is furious that her boyfriend Peter Cummings is breaking up with her.

Over in the nearby town of Tuxedo, a trio of siblings called the Rice brothers (Garrett, David & Buddy) are chatting away with each other until one of them gets a phone call.  Back at NYPD headquarters, John and Olga are meeting with their boss named Lieutenant Busch.  She expresses her frustration over getting stuck with investigating a string of robberies instead of helping out in the hunt for the infamous serial killer David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz.  However, he refuses to budge as he learns that she and McClane have a series of witnesses lined up for interrogation.  During said process however, their four eyewitnesses each claim different descriptions about the thief.

One hour later, they end their interrogations in failure and decide to travel around the city in order to search every beauty parlor and get a lead.  Over at Eve’s Apple, Alan beats up the masseuse following his massage and ties her up in order to rob her business.  Over at a bank, Terri asks an employee named Mr. Chase to open a safe deposit box so that she can get a few items from it.  However, he explains that he’s not allowed since she doesn’t have “written and notorized permission” from Peter.  Frustrated with this obstacle, she storms out.

Later on in “the Industrial Base of the Northeast Erode”, the Rice brothers are contemplating about an upcoming gig that one particular brother sees as a way to get enough money in order to help out his home town of Tuxedo.  Later on back in the city, John and Olga get a distress call on their CB Radio.  A masseuse over at the Tahitia Parlor asks for help and starts to give them the address, but the felon intervenes with a punch.

McClane realizes where the business is as he takes off on foot to get there ahead of traffic.  He reaches the front door, but narrowly avoids a barrage of enemy gunfire.  Olga eventually arrives at the hostage situation as the thug demands to be allowed an escape or else he’ll harm one of his captives.  As such, Issue 5 (told over 5 hours, 42 minutes) ends with John talking to the gunman in order to buy some time for a proper resolution to form.

Issue 6 opens at 5:01 pm as we learn about the thug holding up at the Tahitia Parlor.  Alan Oster is an out-of-work actor who’s struggles to find theater work and has decided to rob instead of waiting tables.  Just then, McClane and Cruces get some police backup as she orders the arriving officers to work on crowd control while she distracts the local news reporters and John continues to search for a peaceful end to their crisis.  Across the street, Terri is overlooking the event from her apartment while having a phone call with someone who can help her out of her current dilemma in exchange for $25,000.

Back at street-level, McClane compliments his partner for her masterful handling of the press.  Olga explains that she graduated from Fordham within the Top 5 of her class with a minor in marketing.  Afterwards, John says that he managed to contact the parlor’s building supervisor.  Meanwhile outside of the Buchanan South Power Station, David Rice learns that he and his brothers will make $15,000 from their upcoming mission.  Garrett explains that it’ll be used as “seed money to spread around” as he tells David to stay in contact while he and Buddy drive off.  While McClane and Cruces are confronted by the building super named Brian Vincent Callanan, we head across town where Garrett meets up with an associate named Bobby Nacomulli and brings both him & his men in on a grand plan that’ll land them a big score, starting with cutting the city’s power.  As such, Bobby decides to hear how it’s going down.

Back with our main characters, they learn from Brian about the only way into the massage parlor aside from the front door: the air duct.  John is the only one among them who can fit, so he uncomfortably looks forward to heading in.  Over at the Bethesda Fountain, Terri meets up with Garrett as he looks to collect his payment.  As night falls, Olga tries to call Alan but he refuses to answer (unless it’s his agent).  Meanwhile, McClane begins to crawl through the air vent as his narration mentions his claustrophobia.  Following a quick scene where Garrett, Buddy, Bobby and company purchase some walkie-talkies in preparation, we cut back to John where he narrates about his initial experiences with claustrophobia: first as a child when he was suckered into crawling under the Westgate House to retrieve some dirty magazines, followed by his time in Vietnam when he crawled through a tunnel in order avoid “an abortive fire mission described the U.S. Government as friendly fire”.

Back at the power station in Buchanan, David heads in with a group of workers but secretly breaks off from them to head inside a restricted area while the narration captions mentions his ambition towards doing something apart from his brothers.  With Olga unable to contact Alan, McClane has worked through the air ducts to get within striking distance  With David successfully shutting off the electricity, it takes several minutes for the city to get effected as Issue 6 (told over 4 hours, 42 minutes) ends with all effected parties surrounded in the pitch blackness of New York City’s most infamous Blackout.

Issue 7 opens at 9:33 pm as New York City is engulfed in a widespread Blackout.  Back over on the streets outside of the Tahitia Parlor, Olga tells her fellow officers that this sudden darkness isn’t limited to their area and to keep the patrons at a safe distance from harm.  Over in the building’s air ducts, John mentions in his narration how he’s been in a tight, enclosed and darkened space before: once as a boy and once over in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the Rice brothers inform Bobby to set their plan in motion.  Terri expresses some doubt over the operation, but Garrett tells her to let him and his men do their job.  Back inside the parlor, Alan starts to get paranoid as he tells the patrons to stay back by firing his gun into the ceiling as stray shots narrowly miss McClane.  He then mentions in his narration about some similar perils from his past: a bulldozer arriving early to demolish the house he was underneath and Russian bullets penetrating the underground tunnel due to rain weakening the ground-level dirt.  Olga and company hear the gunfire from outside as the lieutenant wants to head in, but she shoots that idea down and states that she got her current job due to helping “the department off the hook” for the lack of Puerto Ricans on the force, thus she doesn’t want to take any unnecessary heat for her comrades’ mistakes.

Following a quick scene where Bobby and his men take advantage of the Blackout with their robberies. we head back into the air ducts as John slowly begins to unscrew the vent shaft with his narration showing a positive outcome to his two past events.  As a young boy, he got out from the demolished house with the discovered Playboys in tact.  Over in Vietnam, he finally emerged from the underground tunnel.  Back at her apartment, Terry learns that Garrett is doing more in his job that what he was originally hired for and that it’s beyond her initial payment.  He tells her that he’ll still perform the originally-planned bank job, but tells her to shut up and let him work.  From there, he heads out while leaving Dave to watch over her.  From there, he reaches a blown-up hole in the wall and proceeds with his plan.

Meanwhile, a real estate agent named Holly Petrillo is being accosted by a drunk as she fends him off and continues on her way.  Back in the parlor, McClane sees the gunmen forcing the patrons into the back office and sees his opportunity to finally break in.  However, Alan keeps one of the masseuse named Denise for himself.  Meanwhile, Holly reaches the bank’s rear entrance and heads inside when she’s suddenly approached by a thug who grabs her from behind.

Back with John, he takes advantage of the gunman’s self-distraction and makes his way in.  In a string of events, the lieutenant ignores Olga’s order and leads a charge inside, Garrett and a group of thugs are robbing the safety deposit boxes and Holly manages to escape her captor’s grasp.  Meanwhile, John dodges the opposing gunfire before Alan runs out of bullets, allowing him to beat the felon up.  Afterwards, Issue 7 (told over 1 hour, 26 minutes) ends with Olga and the lieutenant arriving onto the newly-calm scene.  McClane thinks that the perp caused the power outage, but she says that it’s actually much worst.

Issue 8 begins at 11:01 pm with the hostage situation resolved as Cruces comforts Denise before informing McClane about the blackout being a city-wide issue.  With Alan arrested, our two detectives have their work cut out for them due to the multitude of activity going on throughout the city.  Unbeknownst to anyone, Garrett and his men are plundering the deposit boxes while Holly is being chased by Buddy as she calls for help via her C.B. Radio.  John and Olga get just enough of her plea and her current address before she gets captured. so they decides to check it out.

Later, they arrive at their destination with Cruces getting a vague sign of movement from street-level while McClane is on the adjacent rooftop and decides to to leap over towards the bank.  Despite a running start, he doesn’t entirely make it but he’s able to grab onto the ledge.  Back at Terri’s apartment, she’s approached by David as he sends his fellow henchmen away before telling her that Garrett has found more than what was expected and that she should sit back & let things happen.

Meanwhile, John manages to climb back onto the bank’s rooftop only to see two thugs hanging out there.  They spot him as he’s forced to evade their gunfire before shooting one and wounding the other.  Ultimately, McClane manages to interrogate the perp before informing Olga that the recently-engaged thugs are under the employ of Bobby Nacomulli and that the blackout was caused by “three hayseeds for Tuxedo” since they cut off the power from the Indian Point Power Station in order to easily break into the bank and steal photos for Terri.  He says that she’s engaged to the governor’s son and was looking to acquire blackmailing pics of her with members of the New York Knicks.  As Olga connects a backup generator to the bank, she learns that Garrett informed Bobby of the impending blackout “in return for a piece of action” while he looks to hang onto the incriminating photos in order to continually leech more money from Terri.

Over at the “Vampire Kings Social Club”, Bobby is basking in the stolen valuables and expresses how he has no interest in sharing his plundered goods with the Rice boys.  Unfortunately for him and his men, Olga had sent the cops his way as his crime spree gets shut down.  Meanwhile, John bursts into Terri’s apartment and engages David in a brief struggle before subduing him with a pair of well-placed punches.  She tries to shoot him, but McClane ducked and yanked David’s gun away from her, stating that any chance of her weaseling her way out of trouble has officially gone out the window.  After shoving her onto her sofa, John gives the walkie-talkie to David and tells him to follow a particular command in order to receive shorter jail time.  As such, he tells Garrett to head into the vault in order to hide from the cops.  After he and his men head inside, Olga restores power to the bank as the vault door closes on them.

With the sun shining on July 14, Terri gets arrested as Olga places her in the back of the car.  Afterwards, the series ends with McClane meeting Holly as she states that she explained herself to some fellow officers.  He offers to take her out for coffee, but she states that cocktails would be more preferable as she gives him her phone number as John’s narration states “and that’s how I met your mother”.

Die Hard-Year One-John McClane!

The overall story is more of a half-and-half feel, since it’s mainly the feeling of one event throughout the first four issues and another event during the final four.  In terms of early character development for John McClane, the series handles this fairly well.  He’s displayed with youthful energy as he handles crimes and situations that are a bit perilous, but nothing compared to what he’ll ultimately go through in the films.  It makes sense here since he’s a fairly new law-abiding official not too far removed from his fighting time with the Marines in Vietnam.  The moments from his past provide just enough details to help flesh him out when re-watching the first Die Hard, especially when he’s forced to crawl through the tight air ducts of Nakatomi Plaza.  However, because there’s a sizable cast of characters running around in both tales, he partially gets lost in the shuffle.  While it does set up each of our main villains with identifiable motivations, Garrett Rice feels more bold and daring since it seems like he’s developed a long-term plan to help out his hometown and string a helpless young lady along for as long as she’s able to pay while Alan Douglas is crashing the Ford’s party due to the execution of his initial hurdle by his two main henchmen being accidentally found out and making its way towards the fancy yacht thus spinning it into looking like something else.  The scheme from the final four issues feel a bit more grand with its villain’s plot, since multiple parties within one massive group are taking advantage of the chaos caused by the infamous Blackout.  However, John doesn’t get to engage either of the big baddies unlike the first story where he’s front-and-center by the end to stop Alan Douglas’ Bicentennial scheme.  With the first tale, McClane is active and on his feet for the entire day before earning his promotion (and even foreshadowing the gun-wielding he’ll need to take on Hans Gruber) by taking out the entire group of baddies on a yacht.  Rosie is only needed to stay alive in order to let him know that something awful went down and to ultimately be saved by the end, though she’s not a complete moron.  She does do her best to evade the bumbling duo of Russ & Peter in order to avoid their wrath, but it’s both stupid & contrived that she runs off and gets herself kidnapped after Russ gets taken out in order for our climax to get set up.  With the second story, John does get a smart partner in Olga Cruces and it’s refreshing to see a strong, ethically tough woman detective who’s pretty much ahead of her time period and doesn’t take any guff from anyone while still carrying some wit.  She’s reliable, calmly handles a situation and is more than able to be the lead of her own duo partnership.  My only complaint about her is that she doesn’t really see too much action, but I guess that’s what the macho man period was like.  Despite that, she’s able to handle the mean streets of NYC and I’d be more than willing to follow her into battle.  Finally, there’s a particular Holly who’s briefly shown near the end of the sixth issue but properly shows up in Issue #7.  She shows up at the bank and informs our heroes where the robbery is going down before she’s kidnapped and disappears from the story until the very end.  What’s weird is that if she’s supposed to be whom John ultimately marries, then one would wonder why her last name is Petrillo and not her maiden name Gennero.  According to the Die Hard Wiki article for this mini-series, it suggests that maybe Petrillo is a false name she’s using.  That maybe the case due to how New York City is described as a frustrating place to be at during this time, so maybe she’s using that as a disguise until she trusts someone enough to reveal her true self to.  Either way, it’s an odd detail for Howard Chaykin to include here.

Our Title Card!

Overall, this is a fairly nice companion piece to a mainly-beloved action franchise.  The artwork is good with a color palette that helps set the mood of its scenes, the pacing never gets too bogged down and John McClane gets some nice scenarios to start off with before he grows up to confront larger scale situations.  While the writing could have been a bit tighter and a few side characters excised, this is still a must-have for any fan of the series and serves as a delightful read for those old enough to those who’ve grown up with these films.  Anyway, this is the C-Cubed wishing a Happy 30th Anniversary to Die Hard!  Yippe-Ki-Yay, My Friends!

Die Hard (created by Roderick Thorp) is owned by 20th Century Fox.

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