Le Transperceneige

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Le Transperceneige
Creative team
WritersJacques Lob
Benjamin Legrand
Olivier Bouquet
Alexis Nolent
ArtistJean-Marc Rochette
Original publication

Le Transperceneige (French: [lə tʁɑ̃s.pɛʁs.nɛʒ], The Snow-Piercer) is a post-apocalyptic French graphic novel created by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette, and published by Casterman.[1][2][3] The graphic novel was first published in 1982 under the title Le Transperceneige, and later retitled The Escape. The series was continued in two volumes by writer Benjamin Legrand, replacing Jacques Lob, with The Explorers published in 1999 and The Crossing in 2000. A fourth volume, Terminus, was written by Olivier Bocquet and published in 2015, as a conclusion to the series.

An English translation was released in 2014 by Titan Comics,[4] consisting of two volumes: Snowpiercer: The Escape and Snowpiercer: The Explorers (which also contains The Crossing). A third volume, Terminus, was released in 2016, followed by a prequel series in 2019.


The Escape[edit]

After an environmental catastrophe induces an ice age, humanity occupies a 1,001-car train called the Snowpiercer. As the story begins, a man named Proloff is quarantined after escaping from the rearmost cars, and is joined by a woman named Adeline Belleau: herself part of a movement to integrate the members of the back railway cars, who live in squalid conditions, into the rest of the train. Trying to rescue Proloff, Belleau is placed under quarantine with him. The two are eventually called to meet Colonel Krimson, passing through several different cars of the train. As they advance, Proloff and Belleau observe fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat, luxuries which they believed extinct.

Krimson explains to Proloff and Belleau that the Snowpiercer has begun to slow down, and asks Proloff and Belleau's assistance in advancing the occupants of the rear of the train, to enable the rear cars' disconnection. Belleau and the members of her group agree, but Proloff learns that Krimson intends to disconnect the rear cars while his friends are aboard them. After warning Belleau's friends, Belleau and Proloff flee to the front of the train, pursued by the military. At the same time a virus, ostensibly spread by Proloff, is infecting others aboard the train, and the healthy advance to the front.

Before reaching the engine of the Snowpiercer, Proloff breaks all the windows in the final car. Belleau dies of the cold while Proloff is rescued by Alec Forrester, the engineer behind the Snowpiercer, who appoints him caretaker of 'Olga', the engine. As they are talking, the rear cars are disconnected. Proloff replaces Forrester as Olga's guardian, but realizes that the virus has killed everyone else on board and that his own days are numbered as the train cannot run forever.

The Explorers[edit]

After losing contact with the Snowpiercer, those aboard a second train fear a collision, and send several explorers on a braking exercise, where they stop the train. Only one returns alive, and soon disappears. Seventeen years later, Puig Vallès joins one of the now semi-regular braking exercises to avoid collision with the Snowpiercer. When accused of murdering one of his fellow explorers, he is sent on a suicide scouting mission in a small plane but survives; after threatening to crash land his plane in front of the train, he is hailed as a hero. The elites then reveal that the first braking mission was to stop the Snowpiercer, and that the sole survivor is Proloff, who only talks to the engine. They maintain the myth that the Snowpiercer is out of control and still circling the world, to control the populace with fear.

The Crossing[edit]

The train detects a radio signal originating from across the ocean. Puig decides to follow the radio music to its source, and it is revealed that the train can travel off the tracks by mounting caterpillars. Living conditions worsen on the train, culminating in a failed but disastrous revolt where numerous cars and resources are destroyed, making living conditions unsustainable. The train finally crosses the frozen ocean and reaches the source of the music; but the explorers are devastated to discover there are no people -- only an automated signal.


The volume continues the story of Puig Vallès picking up immediately where the previous volume left off.

The Prequel[edit]

This volume is a prequel to the series, set before the extinction event that caused the ice age in The Escape.

Part 1: Extinction[edit]

Part 2: Apocalypse[edit]



Korean director Bong Joon-ho adapted the graphic novel to the cinema as Snowpiercer, which was originally released in 2013. It was released the following year in the United States.[5][6]

TV series[edit]

As of 2015, a Snowpiercer television series is in development with Josh Friedman writing and Bong as executive producer.[7] In November 2016, TNT ordered a series pilot episode from Tomorrow Studios.[8] In May 2017 it was reported that Daveed Diggs will star in the series and Scott Derrickson will direct the pilot and executive produce the series.[9]


  1. ^ "Book review: 'Snowpiercer: Volume 1, The Escape' by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette - Reviews - Books". The Independent. 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
  2. ^ "Book Review: Graphic Novel 'Snowpiercer Volume 1: The Esc | The Playlist". Blogs.indiewire.com. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
  3. ^ "Book Review: Graphic Novel 'Snowpiercer Volume 2: The Exp | The Playlist". Blogs.indiewire.com. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
  4. ^ Webster, Andrew. "This French sci-fi epic took 30 years to translate, and it was worth the wait". The Verge. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Snowpiercer (2013) Trivia". IMDB. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  6. ^ "'Snowpiercer' Graphic Novel Getting English Translation (Exclusive Photo)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
  7. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (November 11, 2015). "'Snowpiercer' Being Adaptaed for TV Writer Josh Friedman (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  8. ^ Schwindt, Oriana (November 21, 2016). "TNT Orders 'Snowpiercer' Pilot From Tomorrow Studios". Variety.
  9. ^ Rosen, Christopher (May 17, 2017). "Hamilton star Daveed Diggs to lead Snowpiercer show". Entertainment Weekly.