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September 24, 2009

Princess Powerful Attacks: The Tale of Buckaroo Banzai

Buckaroo Banzai

Buckaroo Banzai playing the guitar

Buckaroo Banzai. It’s a pretty legendary name, don’t you think? Now you’re wondering who might this man be? Buckaroo Banzai is a top neurosurgeon, particle physicist, a rock star, and a comic book hero (I’m seriously not kidding on this).

Buckaroo is the main character of the film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension! or as it is usually referred to as The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai.

This film revolves around Buckaroo and his friends the Hong Kong Cavaliers, Penny, and The Blaze Irregulars (civilian volunteers) who save the world from Lord John Whorfin and his inter-dimensional alien followers.  Lord John is after the Buckaroo Institute’s invention called the Oscillation Overthruster that allows people to go through solid matter.  Lord John hopes to use the Oscillation Overthruster to free his exiled followers in Dimension 8 and return to Planet 10 to conquer it.  In turn, Planet 10 warned that unless Buckaroo stopped Lord John, the planet Earth would be destroyed.   It’s up to Buckaroo and his friends to stop Lord John from succeeding.

bbtale02The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai was directed by W.D. Richter and written by Earl Mac Rauch, and was released on August 15, 1984 in theaters.  The characters in the film are treated as real people and the movie is often referred to as a docudrama.  The movie starred Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum, and Christopher Llyod (amongst many others).

This film is a very interesting and complex tale that is filled with back story.  The theatrical version of Buckaroo Banzai was an edited version of the workprint that was tested in theaters before the release.  For example, Buckaroo’s references to his nemesis Hanoi Xan were edited out completely from the film.  The DVD release restored some of the footage from the workprint, but not all of it.

Buckaroo Banzai and his affliates

Buckaroo Banzai and his affiliates

The movie did poorly in the theaters, but did fairly well on Video/DVD distribution which later developed a cult following.  The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai has been referenced in many different mediums; like in the end credits of the film The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou when the cast reenacts the end credits of Buckaroo Banzai.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai has spanned off into a novelization and a comic book series.  There are also sequels and TV shows based on Buckaroo Banzai that never made it. A VFX demo reel for the one of the  TV series entitled Buckaroo Banzai: Against Secrets and New Mysteries is available for viewing online or on DVD.

The following comics are based on The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai that have been released over the years:

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Buckaroo Banzai #1

Title: Buckaroo Banzai

Writer: Bill Mantlo

Pencils: Mark Texeira

Colors: Ken Feduniewicz

Inker: Armando Gill

Letters: Rich Parker

Cover: Mark Texeira & Armando Gil

Issue: #1-2

Publisher: Marvel Comics Group

Release Date: ( #1) December 1984;  ( #2) February 1985

Price: $.75

Where to Find It: Auction sites like Ebay or if you’re lucky, or in your local comic book shop’s back issue bin.  Prices will usually vary higher than the original price (for example, my copy of #1 cost $1.75 from my comic shop). The story has also been compiled in Marvel Super Special #33.

Side Notes: A comic adaptation of the film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension was also created as part of a limited series.

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Marvel Super Special #33

Title: Marvel Super Special: Buckaroo Banzai

Writer: Bill Mantlo

Art:Mark Texeira and Armando Gil

Issue: #33

Colors: Ken Feduniewicz

Letters: Rick Parker

Cover: Mark Texeira

Publisher: Marvel Comics Group

Release Date: 1984

Price: $2.50

Pages: 64

Where to Find It: Auction Sites like Ebay or through a search online. Prices will vary higher than the original price.

Side Notes: This version has both issues of the movie’s comic adaptation with an additional segment called An Interview with the Director of Buckaroo Banzai W.D. Richter by James Burns which is  illustrated with stills from the film.

bb-thepreview Title: Buckaroo Banzai: The Preview

Writer: Earl Mac Rauch & W.D. Richter

Art: Stephen Thompson, Keith Williams

Cover: Dennis Calero

Issues: #1

Publisher: Moonstone

Release Date: 2005

Price: $.50

Pages: 16

Where To Find It: Auction sites like Ebay, or if you’re lucky, your local comic book shop.

Side Notes: It includes art from Return of the Screw, back story on the characters, pinups, and an interview with W.D.  Richter. It is basically a preview of Return of the Screw.

Return of the Screw #2, Cover B

Return of the Screw #2, Cover B

Title: Buckaroo Banzai: Return of the Screw

Writer: Earl Mac Rauch; adaptation/new material: Joe Gentile

Issue: #1-3

Pencils: Stephen Thompson

Colors: Ken Wolak  ([#1] with Mike Kowalczyk & Wally Lowe), ([#2] with Dave Alusik & Wally Lowe), ([#3] with Wally Lowe)

Inker: Keith Williams

Letters: Erik Enervold

Cover: #1 – (A) Matt Haley, (B) Michael Stribling, (C/ltd ver.) David Michael Beck; #2 – (A) Dave Ulanski, (B) Stephen Thompson, (C/ltd ver.) Dave Dorman; #3 (A) Dave Aikins, (B) Michael Stribling, (C/ltd ver.) David Nestler

Publisher: Moonstone

Release Date: 2006

Price: $3.50

Pages: 32 (per issue)

Where To Find It: At Moonstone’s website, through your local comic book shop, or auction sites like Ebay.

Side Notes: Available in trade paperback (with added features).

Moonstone's Holiday Super Spectacular Cover B

Moonstone's Holiday Super Spectacular Cover B

Title: “A Christmas Corrall”(featured in the comic Moonstone Holiday Super Special)

Writer: Earl Mac Rauch

Issue: #1

Art and Colors:  Ken Wolak

Letters: Terri Boyle

Cover: (A) Marat Mychaels and Bob Pedroza; (B) Michael Stribling; (C) Mid-Ohio Con variant by Dave Akins & Andy Bennett

Publisher: Moonstone

Release Date: November 2007

Price: $5.99

Pages: 56 (Banzai’s story was 12 pgs)

Where To Find It: At Moonstone’s website, through your local comic book shop, or auction sites like Ebay.

Side Notes: This was a compilation of Holiday themed stories starring the Phantom, Buckaroo Banzai, The Spider, Kolchak the Stalker, and Sherlock Holmes.

Buckaroo Banzai: Prequel #1

Buckaroo Banzai: Prequel #1

Title: Buckaroo Banzai: The Prequel- “Hunan Bondage”

Writer: Earl Mac Rauch

Issue: #1-2

Art: W.Chew Chan

Colors: Ken Wolak

Letters: Paul Mounts

Cover: [#1] Davis Palumbo, (incentive cover) Matt Haley; [#2] Ken Wheaton and Paul Mounts, (incentive cover) Joe Corroney

Publisher: Moonstone

Release Date: August 2008

Price: $3.99

Pages: 32; [#2] 36

Where To Find It: Moonstone’s website, auction sites like Ebay, or your local comic book shop.

Side Notes: Set before the movie.  Issue #2 included the story Ghost Zero in The Cast-Iron Coffin.

bb-big size1Title: Buckaroo Banzai: Big Size – Wild Asses of Kush

Writer: Earl Mac Rauch

Issue: #1

Art: Paul Hanley

Colors: Renato Guerra

Letters: Bernie Lee

Cover: (A) Michael Stribling; (B) Paul Hanley; (C/ltd ver.) Paul Hanley

Publisher: Moonstone

Release Date: January 2009

Price: $4.75

Pages: 40

Where To Find It: Moonstone’s website, auction sites like Ebay, or your local comic book shop. You can view a textless preview of the 1st couple of pages online.

Side Notes:  A One Shot story.

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Limited Edition cover

Title: Buckaroo Banzai: Origins #1 – “Tomb With A View”

Writer: Earl Mac Rauch

Art: Admin Amat

Colors: Andrew Elder

Issues: #1

Cover: (A) Ed Hannigan; (B/ltd ver.) Lee Moyer

Publisher: Moonstone

Release Date: April 2009

Price: $3.99; (Ltd) 4.99

Pages: 32

Where To Find It: Moonstone’s website, auction sites like Ebay, or your local comic book shop.  A Preview of Origins is still viewable online.

Side Notes: The prequel is set just after Buckaroo’s parent’s accident when he was a child.

Buckaroo Banzai: Hardest of the Hard #1 Variant Cover

Buckaroo Banzai: Hardest of the Hard #1 Variant Cover

Title: Buckaroo Banzai: Hardest of the Hard

Writer: Earl Mac Rauch

Issues: #1-2

Art: [#1] Shawn Van Briessen, Mark Stegbauer; [#2] Jesus Antonio Hernandez

Colors: James Brown

Cover: [#1](main) David Easterly, (variant) J. Anthony Kosar; [#2] J. Anthony KosarMalcolm McClinton

Publisher: Moonstone

Release Date: #1-September 2009; #2-November 2009

Price: $3.99

Pages: 32 (per issue)

Where To Find It: Moonstone’s website, auction sites like Ebay, or your local comic book shop.

Side Notes: Secrets are revealed of the woman who likes all things that are pointy.

bbtale08

Buckaroo Banzai is the coolest man around.  He’s multi-talented and he goes on amazing adventures.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai is a fun movie filled with quotable lines, humorous jokes, and science.  The audience bares witness to Buckaroo’s adventures continued on in comic books that help shape him as a character.

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So if you want to see a movie or read the comics with Jeff Goldblum dressed as a cowboy,  Robocop before going into the police force, Doctor Emmett Brown, Lord Farquaad as an evil guy (again), 6 degrees of Joss Whedon with Vincent Schiavelli, and Perfect Tommy being perfect, then this series is for you.

-P.S. Watermelons will be discussed later.

“No matter where you go, there you are.”

Princess Powerful
princesspowerful@comicattack.net

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6 Comments


  1. InfiniteSpeech

    This has always been one of my favorite movies! I’ve actually never read the comics and didn’t know there was a prequal out…looks like i’ve got some book hunting to do! I didn’t know about the different versions though but I do remember thinking “hey I don’t remember that!” but I just thought my memory was fuzzy from not having seen it in so long lol Thanks! I wonder if Goldblum looks at this and just laughs at his outfit lol



  2. I loved Buckaroo Banzai, That movie is still one of my all time favorites. John Lithgow was awesome as John Whorfin!



  3. I had no clue the ending of ‘Life Aquatic’ was paying homage to this!



  4. Yea, I found that little tidbit when I was researching. The credits for Life Aquatic and Banzai are on Youtube.

    I think the most obscure for me would be Back To The Future. I’ve been watching that film for YEARS and never noticed the references to Buckaroo lol.



  5. Check out the ref materials for the different Star Trek shows – Next Gen, especially. Tons of BB refs scattered around.



  6. […] to shake his Alien Overlord's tentacle, the latter replied Keep your slimeless hands off me! …Princess Powerful Attacks: The Tale of Buckaroo BanzaiLord John is after the Buckaroo Institute's invention called the Oscillation Overthruster that […]



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