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Snowpiercer Volume 1 Review

March 6, 2015

With the film (sloooowly) winding it’s way to UK shores, I thought it was time to republish a review of the source material, that originally appeared on The Cult Den.

WritSnow-Piercer-web.jpg.size-600 cover imageer:
Jacques Lob
Artist:
Jean-Marc Rochette
Publisher:
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 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 well in telling what is, despite dealing in an accessible topic,  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 despite being pigeonholed 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.

Snowpiercer is like that great French novel you 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.

Cover image courtesy of Titan Comics.

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From → Comics, Reviews

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