With the film for ‘Snowpiercer‘ getting mostly positive reviews I had a chance to get a review copy of the graphic novel that it is based off of. While originally released in French, an English translated copy has finally been made available and how could any post-apocalyptic comic fan pass up on reading over an interesting take on an Earth choked nearly dead by the cold? I know I couldn’t!
One note to keep in mind is that the movie is only loosely based off of the book. It should be more closely considered as how greatly certain arcs from ‘The Walking Dead‘ television series diverged from the comics over say how the ‘Watchmen‘ mainly made a couple of key changes. Aside from this being a train carrying the last remnants of society through a snow covered world we’re getting a different story told here.
In fact, we’re not even following the same set of characters. In the graphic novel we follow Proloff, who has escaped from the inhuman conditions of the last cars as well as Adeline, who is the unofficial leader of an activist group that is trying to bring equal rights to everyone aboard the train. Also we follow some of the military and upper classes, but these two are the primary focus of the story as we watch the two fall in love. In a cold future, all that is left of humanity survives on 1001 train cars with no room to expand. If the book follows over the course of a few generations it could be interesting to see how they would deal with overpopulation issues.
We had a lot explained to how the caste system worked with the rich in front, middle class in the center cars, and lower class in the back. We didn’t get to see much of it, though, and while telling us how they all lived was great, I felt this was a severe piece that was missing and wish Jean-Marc Rochette had more of a chance to illustrate the various areas of the Snowpiercer in detail.
What they do show us gives a great example of how the classes are treated differently, but I felt that we were left wanting more and suspect that the second book isn’t planning on delivering those specific pieces of information.
They also give us some brief flashbacks of how the lower class are living and how this all came to be. Some war where the major governments could destroy the weather of the world apparently kicked off. What our main character finds interesting is that a train existed that could run forever and keep enough sustenance around for those who are hungry and aboard.
This is a post-apocalyptic future with grim undertones. The train itself is humanity’s only salvation as the world is set in a new ice age. Not only that, but an event occurs near the climax that could change everything for the remaining survivors.
‘Snowpiercer’ is a good read for fans of post-apocalyptic comics, though feels as if we didn’t get to explore enough of the world that has been created by Jacques Lob. It is a fun setting that even is able to explain away food and other areas of living.