09th Aug2017

‘Freeway Fighter #4′ Review

by Dean Fuller

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

Freeway_Fighter_4_Cover-A

Although Freeway Fighter hasn’t always hit the stride I hoped it would up to now, it’s been solidly entertaining and an amazingly fun nostalgia trip. Actually Andi Ewington and Simon Coleby could have easily coasted along on the fumes of nostalgia with this book, but they didn’t, they tried to take the concept and inject some new blood into it, put some fresh meat on the old bones. Worked too. Slight pacing issues aside this has been a decent read, and this issue brings us to the end of this all too brief visit to 2024. Although to be fair, I’m happy to visit the place for 20 odd pages a month but wouldn’t want to move in anytime soon.

So obligatory speedy recap time. Bella and new friend Ryan are heading to the supposedly safe tow of New Hope. They are having to escape the attention of the near feral Doom Dogs gang, led by completely feral nutter Animal. Last issue threw in the surprise ending of Rosa finding another Interceptor, a car just like her own, smashed up on the side of the road. As they are very rare, Rosa had to investigate. Purely for spare parts she tries to claim to Ryan, but it’s clearly a lot more personal than that.

Turns out she knows, or knew, the owner Dillon Wheaton. That distraction nearly proves fatal, as a poisonous snake gets in a savage bite on Rosa. Bad for two reasons. Firstly, getting to New Hope may be Rosa’s only hope of survival. Secondly, to get there Ryan has to drive her car. Let’s just say Ryan’s temperament isn’t suited to pressure, or driving fast cars. Or starting up fast cars, it seems. Actually I take some of that back, as Ryan has clearly developed a backbone since we last met him, as their way to New Hope is suddenly blocked by the Doom Dogs. Not only does Ryan not freeze, he takes the fight to them pretty effectively. That is, until Animal pulls out a missile launcher. Not good. Ryan, though, is happy to hear three of the best words in the English language when combined together…’hit the nitro’ gasps Bella. Hit the nitro Ryan does, and for an agonizing moment we think they are going to make it, but Animal proves to be a dab hand with a missile launcher, and takes out Bella’s car just outside the gates of New Hope. Luckily for Bella and Ryan, the Doom Dogs are not prepared to take on an entire settlement and slink away, for now.

Bella, Ryan, and the car are rescued and brought inside where all are treated for their wounds (yes, car included). Sinclair, the leader, introduces himself. And this is where endings become beginnings. The end of this story proves to be the beginning of the actual Freeway Fighter game book, where your character is tasked with driving through the wastelands to find petrol for the New Hope settlement. Bella, or Ryan, it’s up to you, either can drive the Dodge Interceptor. I see what you did there Andi Ewington. Very nicely done.

A nice wrap to this brief visit to that post apocalyptic wasteland. At times I did find Andi Ewington’s scripting a little sparse, letting the art do a lot of the talking, but he certainly fleshed out a lot of detail and ultimately made sense of it all. What there was, I liked a lot. The art by Simon Coleby and colours by Len O’Grady stole the show for me, both this issue and on most of the others. The two page spread in this issue was fantastically done, and the grungy violent wasteland was illustrated to perfection. Action was in nearly every panel, motion too, something was always happening or about to.

They say you can’t go home again, but Andi Ewington and Simon Coleby have shown that you can. For four brief issues I was 15 again, lying on my bed making life or death decisions, via Page 16 or 94. Can’t buy that feeling.

**** 4/5

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