21st Jun2017

‘Freeway Fighter #2’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Andi Ewington | Art by Simon Coleby | Published by Titan Comics


A little style over substance last issue, or perhaps a book finding its feet and a writer finding his tone. Although the fighting fantasy books themselves are derivative of other genres, or ‘inspired by’ to be kinder, the format of multiple choice game play makes it tricky to design a story that does anything but pay lip service to the original book. Andi Ewington made a decent stab at it, but the lack of script made the art stand out even more, and Simon Coleby did a fine job. It was a decent start, but I felt as though we should have had that bit more. Luckily enough, that’s the job of a second issue…

For those that came in late, the year is 2024, a virus has wiped out 85% of the world’s population, and the survivors are the ones best able to adapt, scavenge and fight to stay alive. One of those is former racing car driver Bella De La Rosa, whose driving skills have proved pretty handy. Unfortunately I doubt I’d survive long in my Ford Focus. Bella avoids conflict when possible, but as we saw in the first issue, she can mix it up with the roughest if she needs to. After seeing off a rival scavenger, Bella arrived in a seemingly deserted town to search for supplies and lick her wounds. Unfortunately, she’s not as alone as she thought.

Luckily enough for Bella, it’s a man called Ryan, also hiding from the Doom Dogs, the local Mad Max edge of madness type gang. He’s trying to get to New Hope, after his family were killed when Haven fell. He even recognises Bella’s car and her father’s racing days. Bella agrees to take him some of the way, showing that gruff exterior has a bit more depth to it than we have so far seen. Even to the point she shares her chocolate bar with him. Now that’s post-apocalyptic friendship right there. So, road trip it is. for a time, a pretty nice road trip too, as Ryan and Bella get to learn a bit about each other, enjoying an unspoken connection to another ‘normal’ human being. One word ruins everything. Ambush.

Now that’s more like it. This was a good read, and actually shows the first issue as the scene setter it was. This issue had some great character development, nice dialogue and interplay, and a look at how difficult it is to lead even a semblance of a normal life in this world. Death is pretty much around every corner, from those either already dead or those trying to kill you for even the smallest possession. Ewington sketches out this world much better, and the added depth works well.

The art is again fantastic, Simon Coleby really capturing not only the nasty, dirty qualities of this world, but also the sadness, the bleakness, for those trying to continue on. There are some nice large panels in here, and a very effective splash of a dead couple in their bed, which tells a story in a single panel. Very nice work. Honourable mention for the moody colouring by Len O’Grady too, which really enhances both the art and the mood of the book.

This issue funnily enough felt as though the creative team had read my comments on the last one, and worked on those areas that lacked a little last time round. A much meatier script, some nice character work, a plot direction, even a sidekick. This pressed all the right buttons. I also continue to enjoy the text pieces at front and back, they really add to the overall fun.

The issue ends, you have two choices. Forget you read this far, go and watch a soap opera OR pick up issue 3 when it comes out and live a long, fun and fulfilling life. The choice, as Fighting Fantasy taught us, is yours. (Don’t be that guy who cheats, no-one liked them).

**** 4/5

Freeway Fighter #2 is out now from Titan Comics.


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