They Stole His Mind. He Wants It Back! (Total Recall: Movie Special #1)

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.


Vital Stats:

"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


What Happens:

I think Arnold would have some issues with how his chest is drawn here

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. 

I can't not hear Arnold's voice in your head reading this.

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.

It's just not the same moment in the comic

If you haven’t seen Total Recall, watch it now, it’s on the Starz app.

Continued After Ad:

Back when TV actively tried to get kids to read.


Worth Re-Collecting?

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.

The jump through should have been a splash page.

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.


Next Issue:

Something's fishy here! 

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!

Back Cover: