Review: Snowpiercer Vol. 2 – The Explorers
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Benjamin Legrand
Artist: Jean-Marc Rochette
Translator: Virginie Selavy
Letters: Gabriela Houston
Review: Tony Farina
On a future, frozen Earth, a train that never stops circumnavigates the globe. On board: all of humanity that could be saved from the great disaster that wrapped the planet in ice.
It has long been thought that Snowpiercer was the last bastion of human civilization… but there is another train. Coursing through the endless, wintry night, its occupants live in a constant state of terror that they will collide with the train that went before… From this second train emerges a small group of the passengers who are willing to risk their lives in the deadly cold to explore what’s left of our world.
Snowpiercer Vol. 2 – The Explorers is drawn once again by co-creator and artistic genius Jean-Marc Rochette. The characterizations in this issue are both comical and haunting. The explorers wear numbers on their chests, which serve several purposes in the story but work as a reminder to the reader that people are numbers to those in charge of the Snowpiercer.
In the above two panels you can see how amazing Rochette is with pain and agony. Everything hurts. Living on the train is brutal and it comes through. However, the look of the helmet, a sort of happy snowman, is delightful in all the ways this book needed. There is so little joy on the train or in these books, that some small moment of levity is needed
This volume suffers from the fact that this is not only a middle story, but it is two middle stories. The first one is designed to set up why there are these other people on another train. It works for a while until the big reveal, which I will not spoil here, but that does not work or really make sense. Once we get past that, the story is satisfying in that it builds up this incredible world, but off-putting in its lack of clarity.
Snowpiercer Vol. 2 – The Explorers suffers from what many middle stories suffer; the journey, while important, is not fulfilling and desperately needs the finale. There are some really smart ideas here. The art, as always, is top notch, but the fact that this literally leaves readers hanging, it feels a bit cold (pun intended).