What I Remember:
I read this book long before I ever saw the movie. My dad brought this comic home from work at Columbia Pictures. He also had an awesome Total Recall t-shirt with the kickass tag line of, “They Stole his mind. He wants it back!” on the back. Anyway the book came home but the movie was Rated R, so my mom prevented me from seeing it until I was a little older, yet I read the comic over and over.
"Total Recall: Movie Special #1"
The Carolco Film:
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Directed by: Paul Verhoeven
Produced by: Buzz Feitzshans & Ronald Shusett
Screenplay by: Ronald Shusett &Dan O’Bannon &Jon Povill
Inspired by the short story: “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick
The DC Comics Adaptation
Writer: Elliot S. Maggin
Illustrated by Tom Lyle
Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
Letterer: Bob Pinaha
Editor: Robert Greenberger
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: 1990
Cover Price: $2.95
Re-Collection Price: $1.75
I’m not going to bore you with the play-by-play of a 26 year-old movie. Douglas Quaid wants finds himself dreaming of Mars and wants to travel there but his idea is shot down by his wife. He sets up an appointment with a company called Rekall that implants memories, in order to get the vacation of his dreams. While the memories are being implanted it’s discovered that Quaid already has been to Mars.
He then finds himself hunted by the men who erased those martian memories from his mind, while trying to learn what they wanted him to forget!
In the Sci-Fi classic we’re treated to mutants, three-breasted hookers and the mutant rebel, Kuato.
Quaid gets his mind wiped, runs around with a towel turban and even pulls a tracking device out of his nose. There’s a subway chase, Johnnycabs and a fully created world of Mars world full of distinct, unique characters.
If you haven’t seen Total Recall, watch it now, it’s on the Starz app.
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This book doesn’t add anything unique to the story of Total Recall. It’s faithful to the film and looks like they at least saw a cut of the film before working on the comic but it doesn’t offer an unique take or even do some of the visual effects justice.
Take the x-ray scene, where Quaid forgets he’s carrying a weapon and sets off the x-ray detector(where the film predicts today’s TSA) and bursts through the x-ray machine. In the film it’s a great sequence showing great special effects, for 1990, this was groundbreaking and visually interesting:
But in the comic, it’s not that special. You would think that this would warrant a splash page or even a two-page spread, but it doesn’t. It’s just there.
Maybe it’s a space issue, if they had to cram a 2-hour movie into one oversized comic, some artistic expression is going to be lost, just because there’s no space to do it.
The book also greatly shortens the final sequence and removes a lot of drama from it. Take a look at the film version:
And now check out the comic:
It’s not the same is it? That’s it with this book, it’s just not the same as the movie.
We revisit Clark Kent’s college days and his romance with a mermaid? It’s Superman #12 by John Byrne and Karl Kesel! See you next week!