I had pretty high hopes for The Warriors. It’s an iconic flick and a favorite of mine. It also marks the first time I’ve ever bought a comic that adapts a movie. The appeal of movie adaptations is pretty thin for me. I’m a lot more comfortable, though only marginally, watching a movie based on comic. Movie adaptations usually have a cheap, rushed feeling about them but The Dabel Brothers have had thirty years to develop this book. You’d think that with that span of time they’d have kicked out a better product.
The draw of this comic is the alleged further adventures of the gang from Coney that the outstanding video game published by Rock Star delivered on. This five issue series, a sort of back door pilot to a longer ongoing series, adapts the movie almost verbatim. Omitting a word from the dialog here and there, it matches the first fifteen or so minutes of the movie yet seem to rush things a bit. We start with the opening montage that introduces The Warrios and sets it up. They’re heading up to Pelham Bay Park to hear Cyrus, leader of the Grammercy Riffs, present his big idea on how to take over the city. However, as he’s whipping the gangs into a frenzy, Luther, leader of The Rogues shoots Cyrus and pins it on The Warriors and so begins the chaos and the run back to Coney as the police raid the meeting.
I’d address David Atchison’s script were there an original script or at least some creative riffing to talk about but you must understand, this is the movie word for word. The draw of the movie is the charismatic performances of the characters. What makes Cyruses speech so powerful is Roger Hill’s fantastic delivery. Reading through the comic, the movie is brought to mind at every turn (and a certan song by Biohazard), which is a strength but it loses points as nothing about it seems larger than life. The presentation is very, very flat but what ultimately sinks The Dabe’s book here is Chris DiBari’s boring art. The Warriors could have been a worthwhile book had it been represented by the urban style of the period. DiBari is hardly a newcomer and his pencils are usually solid comic book art, but The Warriors seems to be a low priority for him. Everyone is represented with thin, noodly lines and nothing to suggest action.
It’s still early and there’s four issues to go but The Warriors is a dud. It lacks every ounce of punch that Walter Hill’s movie has and glosses over some of the best scenes of the entire first act. It fails to spotlight the colorful gangs in the early scenes and features nearly as many pages of advertisements as comic.