For the Adherent of Pop Culture
Adventures of Jack Burton ] Back to the Future ] Battlestar Galactica ] Buckaroo Banzai ] Cliffhangers! ] Earth 2 ] The Expendables ] Firefly/Serenity ] The Fly ] Galaxy Quest ] Indiana Jones ] Jurassic Park ] Land of the Lost ] Lost in Space ] The Matrix ] The Mummy/The Scorpion King ] The Prisoner ] Sapphire & Steel ] Snake Plissken Chronicles ] Star Trek ] Terminator ] The Thing ] Total Recall ] Tron ] Twin Peaks ] UFO ] V the series ] Valley of the Dinosaurs ] Waterworld ] PopApostle Home ] Links ] Privacy ]

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

"Of Hunan Bondage" Part 2
Buckaroo Banzai: The Prequel #2
Story: Mac Rauch
Story consultant: W.D. Richter
Art: W. Chew Chan
Covers: Ken Wheaton and Paul Mounts (A) and Joe Corroney (B)

Buckaroo and Peggy are captured and tortured by Hanoi Xan for the secrets of the OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER.


Story Summary


Picking up from last issue, Buckaroo and Peggy are captured by Hanoi Xan's men. Xan then has them both tortured in separate cells in an attempt to gain the technology of the OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER. Buckaroo finally agrees to build him one in exchange for Peggy's freedom.


Later, a large Mongolian guard in Xan's employ reveals to Buckaroo that he is really a Blue Blaze Irregular and will help him in any way he can. Buckaroo builds a small overthruster device in an attempt to allow himself to pass through the walls of Xan's compound. While chomping down on the device in his mouth, Buckaroo has the Mongolian swing him into his cell wall; his head and torso pass through and he gets a glimpse of beings in the 7th dimension before being pulled out again. Just then, Xan arrives and the two men make a break for it. They head straight for Peggy's cell, but find it empty. They then manage to free a number of other captives and they all grab guns to defend themselves against Xan's men, but are soon cornered and all looks hopeless.


Meanwhile, Rawhide, Perfect Tommy, Reno, and Illinois Mongoose have been tracking Buckaroo down, and they crash through the compound's wall with the Jet Car. This gives Buckaroo the break he needs to escape, but there are a number of injuries and Illinois Mongoose later dies from his wounds.


Buckaroo's double, Wilbur, also dies back at the Institute, having choked on one of Mrs. Johnson's meatballs.


Making it back to the States, Buckaroo and the Cavaliers bury and remember Illinois Mongoose and Wilbur. They also vow to get Peggy back from Xan.





Didja Notice?


On cover A, Peggy is wearing earrings in the shape of the stylized BB of the Banzai Institute.


On page 2, Rawhide identifies the tire tracks in the Changsha desert as Michelins. Michelin is a French company which manufactures tires sold around the world.


Also on page 2, Perfect Tommy comments on a disappearing cactus in the desert, calling it a Potemkin Saguaro. The saguaro, of course, is a cactus species. The Potemkin reference may be to "Potemkin Villages", an idiom based on the myth of Russian minister Grigory Potyomkin's alleged attempts to impress Empress Catherine II on the occasion of her tour through Crimea in 1787 by having the local peasants build fake villages along the banks of Dnieper River. So, Tommy is referring to a fake cactus.


On page 8, Buckaroo has a vision of Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, and Albert Einstein. He comments that he was just pondering Newton's theory of light. Though he's more known for his theories of gravity, Newton also theorized on the refraction and particle-like properties of light.


On page 9, the Mongolian mentions heavy water. This is water in which the hydrogen component is mostly deuterium (heavy hydrogen, containing both a proton and neutron at its nucleus, as opposed to just a proton) instead of standard hydrogen.


Page 9 suggests that Buckaroo Banzai is of Mongolian descent.


Also on page 9 is the first mention, chronologically, of the Blue Blaze Irregulars. The Blue Blaze Irregulars are described more fully in Across the 8th Dimension and are a civilian group of volunteers around the world that help Buckaroo in his adventures as needed.


The term "khan" used by Buckaroo's rescuer is a Mongolian term for "king".


On page 10, Rawhide suspects the World Crime League is getting protection from the PLA in China. The PLA is the People's Liberation Army, the army of communist China.


Also on page 10, Rawhide comments that the PLA's stronghold looks tighter than Fort Knox. Fort Knox is the United States Bullion Depository, where the U.S. Federal Government's gold reserve is kept, at Fort Knox Army Base in Kentucky.


On page 13, as Buckaroo passes through the wall with his miniature overthruster, he sees three beautiful naked women who welcome him to seventh heaven. This is a reference to the seven heavens described as part of the cosmology of many religions, such as Judaism and Islam, among others. The women also refer to it as the seventh dimension, a call-forward to the eighth dimension which we will see in Across the 8th Dimension


As Buckaroo and the Mongolian escape their cell on page 14, notice the Deathhead guards attacking them are carrying dwarves on their backs. Perhaps these are representative of the death dwarves later mentioned in the novelization of Across the 8th Dimension.


Notice also on page 14 that Xan is in the background of panels 3 and 4, and appears to be riding on some kind of floating device.


Near the end of the story, Illinois Mongoose dies of his wounds and is buried by the team. However, in "Return of the Screw" Part 1, Buckaroo remarks that Illinois Mongoose died while climbing the Himalayas on his honeymoon; no mention is made of what seems to be his death in this adventure.


Back to Buckaroo Banzai Episode Studies