G B Ralph, Author

Snowpiercer

The world is a frozen, post-apocalyptic wasteland, with the only surviving humans left perpetually circling the globe aboard the luxury train, Snowpiercer, 1001 cars long…

Snowpiercer graphic novels - volume 1, 2 and 3 (covers)
Snowpiercer graphics novels (TV series tie-in paperback English 2020 editions)

The premise

The train’s constant movement provides the energy required to keep her passengers alive and safe from the inhospitable conditions outside. However, the ceaseless forward motion also means the wear and tear on the train worsens as the years drag on. Even surviving those challenges, keeping the last of humanity cooped up and forcing them to adhere to rigid class divides leads to social and political revolution, meaning it’s not particularly safe inside either.

The graphic novels (titled Transperceneige in the original French), film, and TV series all start with this climate disaster premise, but soon take off in different directions, meaning each version tells a different story and can be enjoyed in isolation.

Snowpiercer (Film, 2013) poster
Snowpiercer (Film, 2013)
Snowpiercer (TV series, 2020–) poster
Snowpiercer (TV series, 2020–)

Graphic novels, film and TV adaptations

Years ago, I saw the 2013 film and then read the first two graphic novel volumes. I was excited to hear another adaptation had been announced, this time as a TV series (I believe it’s currently available to watch on Netflix outside the US, and on TNT in the US). I’ve watched each season since the first was released in early 2020. But following the TV series’ recent third season finale, I needed more while waiting for season four!

I looked up the graphic novels again and discovered a third volume had been released in the original French in 2015, and translated into English in 2016. So I re-read volumes 1 and 2 before jumping into volume 3. This was a whole new story, and it was exciting to see where some inspiration was taken for characters, settings and situations for the TV series.

The Snowpiercer (Transperceneige) graphic novels were illustrated by Jean-Marc Rochette, and written by Jacques Lob (vol 1, 1982), Benjamin Legrand (vol 2, 2000), and Olivier Bocquet (vol 3, 2015). French editions are published by Casterman and English editions are published by Titan Comics.

Snowpiercer graphic novels - volume 1, 2 and 3 (1 opened)
Snowpiercer graphics novels (TV series tie-in paperback English 2020 editions)

Have you read or watched any or all versions of Snowpiercer? How do you think they compare? Do you have a favourite? I’d love to hear your thoughts – you can drop me a message via my website’s contact form or on social media.

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