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SYFY WIRE Snowpiercer

Ride the rails of Titan Comics' new Snowpiercer: Extinction prequel graphic novel

By Jeff Spry
Snowpiercer Hero

Charging down the tracks in anticipation of the TBS sci-fi series based on the 2013 dystopian cult movie by director Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer, a new prequel graphic novel set in the same universe is hitting the rails to fill in the details of the wintry fictional world.

The upcoming Snowpiercer TV show, a reboot of the South Korean film which was itself adapted from the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, is expected to arrive in the spring of 2020.

It's set nearly seven years after the planet has become engulfed in a suffocating blanket of ice and snow following an ecological disaster, and concentrates on a hearty band of survivors (both poor and wealthy) existing aboard a ginormous, perpetually moving train that constantly circles the globe.

Titan Comics is priming audiences for the small-screen debut with an original backstory graphic novel landing Sept. 24 titled Snowpiercer The Prequel: Part 1: Extinction, occurring directly before the tragic extinction calamity leading to the events depicted in the acclaimed French comic trilogy.

Written by Matz (Triggerman, The Assignment) and adorned with arresting art by the original Snowpiercer illustrator Jean-Marc Rochette, this captivating (and chilly) tale will answer many vital questions posed but unaddressed in the feature film and graphic novels.

Snowpiercer Cover

SYFY WIRE dissected this intriguing offering from London-based Titan Comics to unveil clues of the planetary disaster, so SPOILERY DETAILS are about to arrive in the station for those who wish to remain in the dark as to the book's secrets!

Bundle up, take your seats, and enjoy this revealing ride as we disclose three takeaways inside Snowpiercer the Prequel: Part 1: Extinction.


Back in 2013, an extended animated short attempted to explain the reason for the Earth's new Ice Age as a failed experiment to end global warming, which led to a planetary blizzard that ravaged oceans and continents. Rockets streaking into the sky have an unintended interaction with the upper layers of our atmosphere, which in turn causes the devastating frigid conditions.

In this prequel story, climate engineering gone haywire is abandoned in favor of a nuclear winter caused by extremist groups who beileve the Earth is already past its prime and headed toward annihilation. They've hacked into the central systems of the world's network of atomic power plants to engineer a chain reaction of doom as part of their dual-phase plan. Here, humanity's hubris in trying to assist their dying planet has been given a makeover with unstable activists and a weird spiritual guide deciding Earth's fate intentionally.

Snowpiercer Slice 1


The circumnavigating train at the heart of the story is propelled by a perpetual-motion engine, and here in this new backstory we meet Mr. Zheng, a militant "Prepper" and multibillionaire inventor from Beijing dubbed the modern-day Leonardo da Vinci, who is bracing for an epic calamity to come, resulting from mankind's infestation and parasitic abuse of our planet. He's created a perpetual propulsion engine adapted for a train able to navigate any railway in the world. His humanitarian organization, Zheng Industries, is now accepting applications for candidates to join this crazy train while its construction begins at expansive facilities in China.  But only those who possess a useful skill to serve the continuation of humanity will likely be chosen for the passenger list.

Zheng's supertrain consists of 1001 carriages, with cars containing DNA samples and genetic profiles on the world's plants and animals, archives of Mankind's music, literature, historical records, and inventions, farming sections, and even a luxurious swimming pool.

Missing media item.


An extreme ecoterrorist group known as Wrath features prominently in this prequel tale, as their campaign of revenge against polluters, poachers, and crooked politicians grows more violent. They join forces with another, smarter, doomsday group known as the Apocalypsters, an insane crew that is hell-bent on accelerating mankind's inevitable demise at any cost. This second group, led by a messianic man named Marcio, have built remote facilities in the Amazon rainforest, where they insist they'll be able to survive any sort of planetary catastrophe after they've pushed our home to the edge of extinction.

Once these two terrorist forces attempt to join together, Wrath's leader Jerry is assassinated for the greater good, and a bloody sacrifice is performed, killing a female spy named Valentina who is secretly working for Mr. Zheng. Now the first phase is launched as nuclear meltdown begins, causing widespread panic, with Snowpiercer departing and odd weather balloons rising as Part 1 ends.

Snowpiercer Slice 3

Please enjoy our gallery of interior art for Snowpiercer the Prequel: Part 1: Extinction in the gallery below, then tell us if you'll punch your ticket to the apocalyptic party when Titan Comics' graphic novel prelude appears Sept. 24.