Snowpiercer 2: The Explorers

snowpiercer2After reading Snowpiercer 1:  The Escape, I said to myself, alright, for a French comic, this is not bad.  I enjoyed the post-apocalyptic tale and I was eagerly awaiting the second volume, hoping this would answer the many questions I had at the end of The Escape.  The original creator Jacques Lob passed away in 1990, and during that time Benjamin Legrand took on the reigns of writing the second chapter, while Jean-Marc Rochette returns handling the art on Snowpiercer 2:  The Explorers.

snowpiercer2Now we find out that there is a SECOND Snowpiercer train also carrying the last survivors of the human race.  This train is three times as big and more advance.  The second Snowpiercer train is also traveling on the same tracks as the first train.  Like the first train, social class determines where you are on the train.  The “powers that be” have brainwashed all the classes with fear and conduct so-called “braking test”, meaning stopping the train because the fear of crashing into the first Snowpiercer train.  During the “braking test” the military sends out soldiers in space suits called “Explorers” into the freezing cold to find “human treasures” like paintings, books and other such artifacts for the rich.

Our first antagonist is Puig, who was raised in the back section and is now an Explorer.  The second antagonist is Val the daughter of an high ranking official and her job is creating escapism video for the people onboard.  The elites are weary of Puig’s antics and send him on a suicide mission, but he returns to the people as a hero.  Puig and Val come together on a mission for the truth.  They find that the first “braking test” was to cover the fact that the first Snowpiercer train did crash and the radar team finds a faint radio transmission half around the world.  Could other humans survived without the Snowpiercer trains?  Is there a “safe haven” city?  As leader, Puig decides to find the source of this transmission as hope for the human race.

After reading it, I felt a disconnect, these are basically two very different stories.  I was hoping the second chapter would build upon the first chapter, but I’m left unsatisfied.  Like how did this Ice Age happen on Earth?  What governments, scientists or corporations were involved in this disaster?  Who built these Snowpiercer trains?  Who built the train tracks and how do these tracks survive the harsh winter weather?  Questions and more questions abound!  For example, I’ve been reading Dark Horse’s comic The Massive by Brian Wood, also about a post-apocalyptic earth and this sci-fi epic seems more plausible, because Brain Wood has taken the time to tell a back story of how everything happened, unlike here in The Explorers.  Snowpiercer 2:  The Explorers is okay yarn to read in one sitting with some good sci-fi elements, but it doesn’t have the panache of Snowpiercer 1:  The Escape.

++++++++

Hardbound Graphic Novel:  Snowpiercer 2 – The Explorers

Author:  Benjamin Legrand

Artist:  Jean-Marc Rochette

Publisher:  Titan Comics

MSRP:  $24.99USD

Available:  Now

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