DC Comics (1990)
SCREENPLAY: Ronald Shusett, Dan D’Bannon, & Gary Goldman, with John Povil helping on story
ADAPTATION: Elliot S. Maggin
ARTIST: Tom Lyle
COLORIST: Lovern Kindzerski
LETTERER: Bob Pinaha
EDITOR: Robert Greenberger
I also reviewed the novelization as my third Chapter By Chapter series.
Douglas Quaid has a good job and a smoking hot wife…but still dreams of life on Mars and another woman. With Lori, the wife, not up to moving to Mars due to the civil unrest, Quaid goes to a fake memory place called Rekall against the advice of his co-worker. Said co-worker tries to kill him when the implanted memory is stopped by a real memory. He’s been to Mars, his wife is with the bad guys (including her real husband who not surprisingly wants him dead), and going to Mars is the only place to find answers. There he finds a rebel working undercover at a brothel who takes him to the resistance leader, the mutant Kuato. The planet’s administrator, Cohaagen, wants to keep the device found in a space pyramid a secret and continue to use its power source ore for riches and power. Long story short, Quaid manages to turn the machine on and the planet gets an atmosphere while Cohaagen gets dead. Of course, this could all be a dream or Quaid and the rebel may have a future together.
I’m breaking formula for this review because frankly everything mixes together on the “right” and “wrong” discussion. Cohaagen’s plan is still confusing, there’s a line of dialog that’s slightly altered, but I only notice it because both the novelization and comic adaptation use “get ready for a big surprise” rather than “get ready for a surprise”, all the important beats are hit, but due to the limited pages you don’t really get the action or drama out of it. Granted I didn’t have to sit through a decompression scene straight out of Large Marge from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure so points for that. Some actors are better adapted than others, the most off-model being the alleged guy from Rekall getting a beard and possibly more hair. He looks nothing like Roy Brocksmith and doesn’t visually portray the doctor’s fear nearly as well before he’s shot.
Overall I just wrote a summary of a summary. Total Recall the comic isn’t the worst adaptation because I’ve played the NES game and it’s just as lame as you’ve heard. However, you’re better off with the movie or even the novel than going looking for the comic.