Graphic Novel Review – Snowpiercer, volumes 1 & 2

Snowpiercer Volumes 1 & 2
by Benjamin Legrand, Jacques Lob, & Jean-Marc Rochette
Release Dates:
Volume 1 – January 28, 2014
Volume 2 – February 25, 2014
Publisher: Titan Comics

snowpiercer_vol_1_the_escape_cover

Snowpiercer-Vol.-2-The-Explorers-cover

I am constantly amazed with the impressive concepts authors and filmmakers are coming up with in regard to potential post-apocalyptic societies and how they might play out. From futuristic, peaceful groups to feudal tribes to desolate wasteland scavengers, thousands of different scenarios have been played out in various media. But I can honestly say I never considered the remnants of humanity traveling on a perpetual train. Thus is the premise for SNOWPIERCER, a French graphic novel that has recently been released in English. And while the idea might sound simple, it’s not; there is a lot going on in the storyline, which makes this series an epic must-have for comics fans!

If you are not familiar with the SNOWPIERCER series, here is the plot synopsis:

Snowpiercer is the enthralling and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic graphic novel that inspired the critically acclaimed movie starring Chris Evans (Captain America, Fantastic Four). Originally published in French, this marks the first time that Snowpiercer will be available in English.

In a harsh, uncompromisingly cold future where Earth has succumbed to treacherously low temperatures, the last remaining members of humanity travel on a train while the outside world remains encased in ice.

The surviving community are not without a social hierarchy; those that travel at the front of the train live in relative luxury whilst those unfortunate enough to be at the rear remain clustered like cattle in claustrophobic darkness. Yet, things are about to change aboard the train as passengers become disgruntled…

I was hesitant to even read this series at first; the idea of the world’s survivors traveling around the globe on an enormous train almost sounds too far-fetched to even consider. But I was also intrigued. If a film star like Chris Evans liked the material enough to be in a movie version, then there must be something there. I’m glad I gave the series a chance, because it’s excellent!

SNOWPIERCER is written very well and flows at a nice pace. There’s a lot of drama involved in the first volume, but the second picks up the pace even more so. I am very impressed with how the writing moves you so quickly through the story. I finished the books before I even realized it!

The artwork looks great as well. My sole complaint is that I wish it had been done in color. I understand the black-and-white aspect can create more drama, but I would really have liked to have seen the detail. This is certainly nothing that should dissuade you from reading it…just a simple, personal opinion.

SNOWPIERCER is a unique vision of what the future could potentially hold for mankind. It is a solidly original entry into the post-apocalyptic genre, and a welcome one at that. I highly recommend giving it a look. Volume 1 is available now, while Volume 2 will hit store shelves next week.

MSB

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