REVIEW SUMMARY: The first volume of Snowpiercer, The Escape, is a grim and gritty post-apocalyptic dystopian allegory that carries on the best traditions of the genre. The story’s only weak point is a cliffhanger ending that serves as a lead-in to volume two.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The apocalypse has come in the form of a global ice age. The last remnants of humanity eek out a tenuous existence within the claustrophobic confines of a thousand-car train that never stops. A single passenger has escaped from the tail-section of the train, where starvation and disease runs rampant, in an attempt to find a better life for himself. As he is escorted to the front cars to be judged by those in power, he witnesses the corruption and indolence that has warped the train’s social hierarchy, threatening the continued survival of everyone on board.
PROS: A nostalgic window on a favorite genre of the eighties; action-packed; great tension; vivid imagery; cutting social commentary; absorbing storyline.
CONS: One-dimensional characters; lack of development of the protagonist; the cliffhanger ending.
BOTTOM LINE: If you grew up on the post-apocalyptic films of the eighties, whether it was The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Max, Night of the Comet, The Quiet Earth, or Terminator, you’re going to love this comic. Written in 1982, this comic embraces all of the genre’s best conventions.