19th Jul2017

‘Freeway Fighter #3’ Review

by Dean Fuller

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


The book really hit its stride last issue, after the first issue and its world building left me a little underwhelmed. The first issue was a case of style over substance, last issue was a case of style AND substance. Bella gained a travelling companion, Ryan, who seems to be nice enough, but in this day and age who knows? Like Bella, he’s no fan of the Doom Dogs, the car driving semi-feral thugs that rule this area. Ryan is trying to get to a place called New Hope, and Bella agrees to take him at least part of the way. The interplay between the two, and the extra snippets we learnt of both their lives, really injected a nice personal touch into proceedings. I’m sure you don’t need reminding this is 2024, and 85% of the world’s population have been wiped out by a virus, right?

Last issue wasn’t all puppy dogs of course, ending on a surprise ambush (is there any other kind?) which is where we pick up this issue. It’s a little touch and go, but Ryan’s shooting and Bella’s driving get them out of trouble for now. Why for now? Well, for one thing this has brought them to the attention of the leader of the Doom Dogs, Animal, and he’s taken a shine to Bella’s car. More seriously, the car’s fuel line has been damaged, and so providing a trail that can be tracked and a car that won’t get far. It never rains…Rosa spots the fuel problem, and takes Ryan to an old friend to get both Ryan and the car patched up. Time to meet Spark Plug Pete.

Pete does the right thing, helps them out, and sends them on their way. The second group of visitors he meets are not quite so friendly. Bella just about manages to stay ahead of some Doom Dogs on her tail, and her and Ryan decide to lay low for a while, before picking up their journey following some train tracks. They know they are in trouble with the Dogs on their tail, and it’s probably a matter of time before they get caught. Bella is happy to put her trust in her driving skills and ability, which this issue has showcased a lot just to remind us that as well as being a kick-ass survivor, she is also a kick-ass driver. The issue ends with not so much a cliffhanger this time, as a curiosity. Seems they’ve found the wreck of an Interceptor, a very distinctive car that just so happens to be the one driven by Rosa.

Overall a solid issue, probably falling in between the previous two. Better than the first, not quite as good as the second. A very strong emphasis this issue on fight and chase, chase and fight, which while entertaining left no room for any more of the fun Ryan/ Bella interplay. The Doom Dogs were nicely sketched out though, wouldn’t want to meet them on a bad day, especially Animal. Glad I’m not Spark Plug Pete. Andi Ewington has added some chewy meat to the bone, story wise, to the original Fighting Fantasy concept, and sketched out a nicely convincing post-apocalyptic world.

That world is more than enhanced as well by the art of Simon Coleby and the colours of Len O’Grady. Doesn’t matter how good a writer is, without great visuals the story is only half as effective, and luckily here the script is actually improved by the art. Violence is very visceral, motion is everywhere, at times we see panels and angles that make the action claustrophobic, at times wide and expansive to show scale. I like the fact as well that even though the Doom Dogs are a little generic as a biker gang, Simon Coleby makes them as individual as he can, with tattoos, outfits, gloves etc. The moody colouring is just a cherry on top.

Another shout out as well for the ongoing homage text pieces to the Fighting Fantasy books, informative and nostalgic stuff from all involved. We are all geeks together.

Forget Mad Max. Let’s hear it for Badass Bella.

***½  3.5/5


Comments are closed.