Wow, another powerful story. After Jacques Lob’s death in 1990, prolific writer and translator Benjamin Legrand continued on with the Snowpiercer concept with the original artist, Jean-Marc Robette.
We begin aboard Snowpiercer 2, the Icebreaker. It is said Snowpiercer 1 never knew of 2’s existence and the first has gained an almost mythological status amongst the inhabitants of the Icebreaker. It is their big threat, since they have lost all radio contact. It was said the braking tests were necessary in the event that 2 came in head to head contact with 1. Young Puig was only twelve when the first braking test occurred. Some of the explorers were lost but that doesn’t keep him from wanting to become one. As an adult, he’s a bit of a hothead and ever a skeptic. This gets him in trouble with his commanders and the powers that be from time to time. While out on an expedition, he see’s some things he shouldn’t have and when he questions those powers, he is held on trial for the death of one of his compatriots. His sentence is a suicide mission. What he sees while he is out on this mission changes everything. Rather than just giving in, he threatens to tell the public. When he miraculously returns from the suicide mission, the councilors, military and clergy agree that to keep the peace he must be refashioned into a hero for the masses. This will assure his silence and complicity. Hooray for propaganda.
The social and cultural differences of the denizens are not as pronounced, though there is a definite caste system. There is a new fringe religion that believes they are on a spaceship not on an earth-bound train. There are similar strata to the first book in that there are cars that grow and process food, care for children, provide entertainment. There are still the rich and privileged but the rear cars aren’t quite the horrible ghettos of the first train. But in the end, people are still people, there will always be those in power and those kept powerless. Even as the choices left for survival dwindle to nil.