REVIEW: ‘Snowpiercer: The Prequel Part 1: Extinction’

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Snowpiercer The Prequel Part 1 Extinction

The Snowpiercer saga continues with Snowpiercer: The Prequel Part 1: Extinction, a prequel to both the movie, Snowpiercer and the bestselling graphic novel series that inspired it. Snowpiercer: The Prequel Part 1: Extinction is published by Titan Comics, written by Matz and Jean-Marc Rochette, with art by Jean-Marc Rochette, colors by José Villarrubia, translation by Mark McKenzie-Ray, and letters by Lauren Bowes.

If you’re not familiar with the Snowpiercer franchise, it’s set in a post-apocalyptic world where the last dredges of humanity travel on a train that never stops because the outside world is cold and harsh. But while the outside world is inhospitable, the inside isn’t much better. Those living at the front of the train live in luxury while those at the rear live in cramped, close quarters.

But the big question is, how did the world come to this? That’s where Snowpiercer: Extinction steps in. The volume describes the world before it became an icebox and what led to the never-stopping train. And the world should be very familiar. It catches readers and holds them enamored by describing the very woes that we’re facing today: climate change, increasing population size, desertification, agriculture failings, and terrorism. Using situations that we fear today and that will likely affect us in the future, the book becomes personal and even a warning.

Beyond the creation of the train and the events leading up to the new ice age, we learn about the very man who created the train, Mr. Zheng. While a very wealthy man, Zheng outwardly seems unselfish and sincerely cares about the human condition even if he bluntly speaks about how humans are ruining the environment. Zheng’s unexpected character turns some expectations on their head even while other elements are predictable, like the rise of ecoterrorism.

With such a bleak world at hand, the art renders it wonderfully. Rochette’s art emulates graphite on paper—dark, thick lines, scratchy shadows, and hatch shading. The heavy use of black creates as heavy a feeling as the dismal state of the world. Bolstering the art, Villarrubia’s colors never become too bright. This isn’t a happy story after all. While colors are nevertheless used to indicate emotion—like the wash of reds to represent violence—the color palette is muted and dull.

Unfortunately, the heavy lines don’t allow for much facial expressiveness from the characters. Still, the lettering and FX pick up the slack enough so that the dialogue hits exactly the way it needs to. And given that this is a prequel, there’s a lot of dialogue to contend with. But Bowes never lets the dialogue get in the way of the art or become cluttered.

Snowpiercer: Extinction sets up the world and ideas leading to Snowpiercer and the many people working against humanity in its last throes of life. And while it would be nice to see more animated characters to better express the dread and doom hanging over everyone’s heads, the creative team nevertheless provides a great prelude to the original series.

Snowpiercer: The Prequel Part 1: Extinction is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

Snowpiercer: The Prequel Part 1: Extinction
4

TL;DR

Snowpiercer: Extinction sets up the world and ideas leading to Snowpiercer and the many people working against humanity in its last throes of life. And while it would be nice to see more animated characters to better express the dread and doom hanging over everyone’s heads, the creative team nevertheless provides a great prelude to the original series.