Sunday, June 21, 2015

Snake Plissken - The Leningrad Ruse - Ray Wonsowski


Panel 1- the skyline of wartorn Leningrad, night. Blue gas explosions dot the buildings and black sky.

CAPTION: Captain Berrigan called it "the Ruse". Dragoon choppers would loudly attack the west end fortifications of Leningrad...

Panel 2- SNAKE PLISSKEN fighting the controls in a Gullfire ultralight cockpit, the glider plane on fire around him. He's wearing flare goggles, but he's removed the air mask from his lower face, his teeth grit from the effort.

CAPTION: ...while Black Light squadron glided in silently and carpet-bombed the Russian premier's bunker.
CAPTION: Bullshit.

Panel 3- the Gullfire crashes down the middle of a gas-strewn street, anti-American graffiti in Cyrillic marking the walls. The gas is a toxic pea-soup green fog.

CAPTION: Plane controls jammed on all of us when we tried to release our payloads. We were expected to kamikaze to complete the mission...

Panel 4- SNAKE retreats down an alley, Desert Eagle .50 caliber pistols in his hands as he steps over the dead homeless. We can see the goggle glass over his left eye is shattered.

CAPTION: Brass didn't expect any of us to stumble back behind our lines. They tried to polish the turd best they could...

Panel 5- SNAKE looks at his reflection in a cracked bathroom mirror. His left eye has lost all color, and is a sickly milky grey. His shirt is off, and we can see that he has hastily taped his ribs.

CAPTION: ...gave me a Purple Heart and the Medal of Valor. After the ceremony, dropped'em in the White House urinal.

Panel 6- close-up, the eyes of SNAKE PLISSKEN. The left is covered by the infamous black eye patch, but the right burns with rage.

CAPTION: Government wants to play by prison rules, fine.
CAPTION: But I'm making'em my bitch first.


  1. This is amazing. My personal experience with Snake and Escape from New York is admittedly somewhat limited, but your panels and captions really seize on the style and tone of the series. I don't know if there's an established story behind Snake losing his eye, but I'd be happy to take this one as canon. Great stuff.

  2. In the original EFNY, Hauk tells Snake that the ultralight he'd fly into New York is similar to the Gullfire Plissken flew over Leningrad. The novelization of the movie gives a few more details, such as Captain Berrigan not telling Black Light Squadron that "the Leningrad Ruse" was a suicide run, Snake's broken goggle and a gas attack caused the loss of his eye, and that this was the pivot where he turned to crime and treason. Carpenter's notes, and cowriter Debra Hill's script notes, say that the lessons Snake learned in Leningrad helped in his assault on Fort Knox (not for the gold, but the weapons cache). If you can find the paperback in a used book store, it's a quick and entertaining beach read. Cheers!


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