Snow: The Dawn
Part 1 of 12
Review by Brad Gischia
Written by Nick Goode
Illustrations by Harry Hughes
In 2080, the world has flooded. Ice caps have retreated and added hundreds of millions of gallons to the oceans, erasing the coastlines of the continents of the world as we know them. In the United Kingdom what remains of London has been divided into boroughs, each under the leadership of a councilman.
Welcome to Snow: The Dawn, an independent comic written by Nick Goode and illustrated by Harry Hughes. It is the world that former vice-president Al Gore warned against. It is the future that will surely happen if humanity cannot get their act together and stop screwing the environment up.
Our hero is not one. James Snow works for the councilman of Islington, one of the boroughs, a man consumed with work because there is little else for him to do. After work one night he is mugged and shot with some kind of dart. He wakes in a heap in an alley and struggles home, where he is violently sick for several days. When James goes to the grocery store a couple of days later he witnesses a hold-up, and stops it. This is only the beginning. His reaction is fast and violent, everything that James has never been, and his eyes have changed color from dark to cold blue. Something has changed in James, something essential and at his core.
The end of the world scenario has been well used in recent years. Even the most casual comic reader knows the concept behind The Walking Dead. Inside the world of comics, as in popular media everywhere, there are countless examples of the future gone awry. Judge Dredd, I Am Legend, even the “Days of Future Past” storyline from X-Men, all give a future in which survival is a struggle and the outcome is bleak.
The world of Snow is one in between. A catastrophe has occurred and the world is in the process of trying to live with it. Nick Goode has done a great job in imagining what such a world would be like. Is there complete anarchy? No, but there are shortages of certain commodities, cars are an item exclusively for the rich. There is still order, and James Snow is part of that machinery. But given the powers that he appears to have gained from this dart…a drug of some kind, DNA rewrite, whatever it may be, how will that change how he operates within that machinery? It has given him the physical ability to do stop crime, and the cold calculating mind to execute those actions. (He drives a knife through the muggers shoe and pins him to the floor.) Will he still be able to keep his head down, to keep plugging away at the mundane life he has led up to now?
Harry Hughes has done a great job with the art. His use of color helps to set the tone of the book, blues when James is feeling “icy” and yellows and browns when he’s trudging through the mundane workday. There is just enough of a futuristic vibe that we can feel that this story is in the near future, something that could happen in our lifetimes.
Goode and Hughes have shown us a world that could be, and Snow: The Dawn hails the rising of a great new indie comic.
Follow Brad Gischia on Twitter: @comicwasteland