Titan is bringing a Mad Max-style series to comic shops this week based on Ian Livingston’s 1985 book Freeway Fighter. With a strong female protagonist and enough muscle cars to satiate any gearhead, fans of sci-fi and cars should take note.
Writer: Andi Ewington
Artist: Simon Coleby
Publisher: Titan Comics
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
Speed into the world of danger, death and fast cars! The smash-hit Fighting Fantasy gamebook comes to comics for the very first time! New story based on the cult-followed series of game books. Written by Andi Ewington (Exmortis, Sunflower) and illustrated by Simon Coleby (Judge Dredd, The Royals).
Why does this book matter?
A brand new story with Mad Max sensibilities and hyper realistic art from Simon Coleby means a new story with a lot of the things you might love.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Simon Coleby’s art blew me away right out of the gate with an excellent car racing sequence set in the year 2022 where the world has been hit by a mysterious plague. De La Rosa is introduced, driving the lead car in a race and we quickly see she is determined and competitive. She’s also capable of killing a man, which transitions well to the now of the story in 2024 where she’s killing someone else; this time though, it’s in a souped up muscle car complete with armor and a front end that could kill. Coleby draws cars so very well which makes the sequences where they’re breaking up into pieces that much more pretty. There are also some clever panels to show inside the car, which give you a top down look at the detail inside (and the weapons on the dash too). There’s a gritty realism to everything that helps drop you into this futuristic world.
This leads to an excellent chase sequence that quickly conveys what De La Rosa is like. Mostly likely unforgiving when she was a racer, she’s even more so now that she has to kill for a bit of gas. Writer Andi Ewington doesn’t have to do much to convey who De La Rosa is, in part because the art does a lot of the talking, but in short bits of captions we get a sense of this woman. She’s cold, but also a survivor, which should make most relate to the character.
Don’t cross her!
It can’t be perfect can it?
The only negative I can see is how fast it is to read this book. With much of it action the comic moves very quickly. So quickly I was a bit surprised it was already over. That said, Coleby’s art is gorgeous and is worth lingering on just to see the detail he’s put into the pages.
I’m sure Mad Max fans will cry foul as to how similar this series is and with little development in this issue it’s hard to note many differences, though it is set in America and the protagonist has an interesting racer background that sets it apart. Visually it’s quite close, with souped up rigs and car vs. car battles taking place.
Is It Good?
An excellent issue with fast cars, car fighting action, and a cool protagonist you’ll want to see more of. It may have a lot of the hallmarks of Mad Max, but you can’t deny it’s visually sharp and offers a fun ride.
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