Treasure Island is a comic remake of the 1950 film Treasure Island, drawn by John Ushler. It features Jim Hawkins, Long John Silver, Doctor Livesey, Squire Trelawney, Captain Smollett, William Bones, George Merry, Ben Gunn, Israel Hands, Black Dog, Mr Arrow and a number of other sailors and pirates. Captain Flint is repeatedly mentioned.
In 18th-century England, the death of peculiar guest William Bones sends young innkeeper's son Jim Hawkins, alongside honorable locals Squire Trelawney and Doctor Livesey, on a perilous journey to a treasure island where Captain Flint's loot of 700,000 pounds is buried! But the bombastic one-legged cook hired by Trelawney, Long John Silver, who soon becomes friends with Jim, has a dark secret…
Behind the scenes
This story was only published in the U.S.A. in 1950 in Four Color Comics #624. It was also printed in English in the British Super Mag #9.
Differences from the film
Although a generally faithful adaptation of the film, the story takes a number of liberties; firstly in the designs of some of the characters, who are dragged away from resembling their actors too much (most notably Jim and Silver); and secondly in various plot points of varying importance:
- The first discrepancy occurs in the opening of the story, where Blind Pew no longer appears — instead, Black Dog gives the Black Spot to Jim with instructions to take it to Bones, after revealing that he has spotted Bones's sea chest (whereas in the film he catches a glimpse of it but does not tell Jim). This seems to contradict the idea that the almost ritual action of passing the Black Spot from hand to hand is key to the tradition, as seen elsewhere in the film.
- Two more departures take place at Silver's inn: here, Silver does not warn the Squire that his seamen "won't be pretty-lookin'", and thus offers no explanation as to why such honest seamen would be out of work; and he tells Jim to keep his gun out of Captain Smollett's sight right after giving it to him, instead of doing so after Smollett and Arrow begin restricting the men's firearms. A little later, although attention is still given to the barrel of apples, Jim Hawkins overhears the talks of mutiny between Silver and his men while in the corridor, not from within the barrel.
- Perhaps the wildest departure is that the murder of Mr Arrow by Long John Silver on the way to the island is completely omitted; hence Arrow is the one responsible with keeping George Merry's men under lock and key after their failed uprising.
- Ben Gunn has now been stranded for ten years, not five, on Treasure Island; furthermore, it is explained that Silver had brought him along on a previous journey to the island, but failed to find the gold (as he didn't have the map, just the location of the island itself), and marooned him in anger at his failure to help him find Flint's gold. In contrast, in the movie, Gunn was unaware that Flint was dead and Silver no longer his quartermaster, implying that he was a survivor from Flint's original expedition to the Island. The comic's version is closer to the original novel than the movie's, but both lengths are notably longer than the one in the book: Stevenson only had Ben marooned for three years in all.
- During the battle for the stockade, the shot that hits Captain Smollett comes from offscreen — hence, there is not even a suggestion that Long John Silver himself was the one who fired it.
- The confrontation between Jim Hawkins and Hands on the Hispaniola is much shorter, and does not involve Jim fleeing up the mast; the stabbing of Jim and shooting of Hands comes mere moments after the two meet.
- When Jim returns to the stockade, he collapses before realizing that it has been overtaken by Silver's men, whereas it is precisely the sight of Silver in Doctor Livesey's place that causes him to faint in the film.
- The three-way parlay between Silver, Jim and Livesey goes rather more poorly than it does in the film, as Jim calls out Silver on his hypocrisy for claiming to care about him, arguing that Silver only wanted him alive as a bargaining chip. This is what prompts Silver to reveal that he already has the map (since it was on Jim's person).
- Nothing is said about the black spot Silver receives being torn from a Bible, and thus he does not object to tearing it up when the crew decides to keep him on as captain.
- After the treasure is uncovered in Ben Gunn's Cave, a mocking Ben taunts Silver about the fact that he'll share the gold with all but him, in revenge for Silver's abandoning him those ten years ago.
- During his final escape, Silver does not promise Jim to let him off on the strip of land — instead, he appears to be intent on taking the boy with him to Jamaica, and it is Jim's own quick wits which allow him to get off the boat.