Snowpiercer, Volume 1: The Escape, was released January 29, 2014 as a world-first English translation of the acclaimed French comic by Titan Comics.
By Damien Townley
Whether it’s flesh eating zombies or all-out nuclear annihilation, many of us find ourselves lost in tales of survival in a grim world.
Deceased French writer Jacques Lob posthumously delivers us an extremely unique take on the ever growing post-apocalyptic survival genre.
The opening narrative describes it best: “Across the white immensity of an eternal winter, from one end of the frozen planet to the other, there travels a train that never stops. This is the Snow Piercer…”
After a global, extinction-level catastrophe, the Earth is frozen. All known survivors are aboard the Snow Piercer, an immense train traveling on as the last bastion of the human race. Just as in today’s societies, a hierarchy exists aboard the train with the rear carriages packed to the brim, stuffed with people in desolate conditions, malnourished and barely alive, all the while hearing stories about the “golden cars” at the front of the train, having but a small handful of people per carriage living luxuriously.
When one man can’t take it anymore he decides on a journey none have achieved, to the front of the Snow Piercer, to the engine, at all costs. This is where our voyage begins.
Jean-Marc Rochette brings a distinct European art style that is quite fitting for the story, and works perfectly for the black and white format in which this novel is published. From the very first panel with the Snow Piercer almost snorting, bull-like ripping through the snow, a great ominous tone is set.
First published in 1982, this originally French story, written during the time of the Cold War, brings evident the tumultuous mindset of the world’s residents.
It’s one of those types of books that continues to draw the reader’s mind back to the story again and again, long after reading. It’s such a great read even those who are not necessarily fans of the genre will enjoy.
This self-contained, deluxe hardback edition is an exact fit for this master-crafted tale of apocalypse, class warfare, and man’s desperate struggle to better his surroundings, with metaphors of our world-state abound.
After more than 30 years, it’s about time this thought-provoking story got an English language release.
Judgment: 4/5 Stars