Snowpiercer: Volume 1: The Escape

From fearsome engine to final car, all
surviving human life is here: a complete hierarchy of the society we lost.
The elite, as ever, travel in luxury at
the front of the train – but for those in the rear coaches, life is squalid,
miserable and short. Now the poor have had enough: it’s time to seize control
of the engine – and their future!
Jacques Lob
Jean-Marc Rochette
Titan Comics
Film adaptations come thick and fast these
days. From superhero movies to more esoteric tastes, the comic book adaptation
is a hot property if dealt with properly. Through a bizarre sequence of
circumstances, the English translation of Snowpiercer in the UK has arrived
after the release of the film (itself crippled after the director refused to
play Hollywood politics). I’m very happy to say that the wait was worth it.
Set in a future where the remainder of
humanity is crammed onto a single train that travels endlessly around a world
endlessly trapped in snow and ice, the entire scenario is pure science fiction.
Dealing in a scenario that is more metaphor than something trying to be
realistic, it’s a novel that is talking about class and how it ties into
society, something that cuts across the many cultural borders that exist in the
world and I’m pretty sure is relatable to anyone.
Rochette’s artwork compliments Lob’s
dialogue very well in telling what it, despite universal themes, still a very
French take on the nature of society and how those at the top seek to prey upon
those with less than them. It’s mired in existentialism throughout, with
characters seeking to prove that they should have greater choice and that they
aren’t defined by where they came from. This holds key to the central character
Proloff, who even though everyone tries to pigeonhole as an ignorant savage or
a poor oppressed prole, refuses to be reduced to a sum of his parts as he
travels further up the train.
Snowpiecer is like that great French novel
read or film you saw once, some parts wry fused with a rebel spirit and a sense
of anger. As such I can only recommend it. Even if you don’t like foreign films
and the thought of intellectualism leaves you cold, the books universal themes
and appeal should be apparent given the blockbuster adoption.
You should check it out. Not only because
it’s a statement about today. But because it’s a statement about the human
condition itself. All wrapped up in story that should make sci-fi fans proud.

Snowpiercer: Volume 1 is available from Titan Comics or your local comics retailer.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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