Advanced Review – Freeway Fighter #1: Breathe in this High-Octane Fun!

Freeway Fighter – Cover C done by ORLANDO AROCENA
Death follows Rosa everywhere she goes…
IAN LIVINGSTONE’S FREEWAY FIGHTER #1 (OF 4)
Writer: Andi Ewington 
Artist: Simon Coleby
Colorist: Len O’Grady
FC • 32pp • $3.99 
On Sale May 17, 2017
  • NEW STORY BASED ON THE CULT-FOLLOWED SERIES OF GAME BOOKS WRITTEN BY ANDI EWINGTON (EXMORTIS, SUNFLOWER) AND ILLUSTRATED BY SIMON COLEBY (JUDGE DREDD, THE ROYALS)
  • SPEED INTO THE WORLD OF DANGER, DEATH AND FAST CARS!
  • PERFECT FOR FANS OF MAD MAX: FURY ROAD!

 

Do you know that feeling when the key slides in the ignition? You hold your breath as you go to start your vehicle and it rumbles to life. The ignited gasoline pumping through the engine while the oil keeps everything running smoothly. Such a simple operation happening thousands of times that makes you feel comfortable. YOUR car feels like an extension of your body. If it makes a strange noise, you also feel like something is physically hurting you. The entire sensation of becoming one with your vehicle is this stupendous feeling that Freeway Fighter encapsulates. Hearing the engine roar and rev while you press the accelerator pedal to the floor…you two meld to each other and you feel like you could take on the entire world together. Now stay in that moment because that’s the mindset you start with as this comic drops you alongside the action!

Initial thoughts:

If you’ve got your car you have a chance. That’s the strongest feeling I took away from this first issue. The Mad Max influenced landscape and ambience  helps you get with a sense you can almost smell the high-octane gasoline in the air. You enjoy the intoxicating fumes and stay high on this ecstasy this wave of adrenaline brings. Vehicles have twisted and mangled panels showing the scrapes they’ve been in and the fights they’ve survived…and you still have no idea when or where the next bullets will be whizzing past your shoulders. You also don’t have anyone to trust but yourself and your car. Based on the strategy book from the 80’s for a single-person rpg that took you along for a mission with your vehicle…that concept has been turned into this wonderful comic! From speaking with the writer, Andi Ewington, a handful of times online I’ve gotten a real sense that he cares about these vehicles and this world just as much as anyone could…and that’s where Rosa and the Interceptor I-400 get their breath of life.

Left: Pencils, Center: Colors, Right: Inks. Click to Enlarge and see the detail!

About the story:

Bella De La Rosa drives her blue Interceptor that she used to race competitively. Winning her rookie season follows this leap into the future after taking on the reaper himself! The leap tells of a world ravaged by a plague and where only 15% of the world’s population is figuring out how to survive to the next day. You have to hang on when she is rolling in this landscape with these battle vehicles all around her. The Intercepter has had some huge upgrades and picked up new armored panels as well as some weaponry. Great panel angles and art direction shows off all corners of this apocalyptic beast to the point that you almost feel like your part of the ride as well. Seeing long shots down the length of the car makes you feel alive. You take that thought of living and you see that grit staring down the barrel. The weapon that has become this vehicle of destruction and you know exactly what’s in her sights. You ride along and can’t wait to flip the page and watch as she takes down the next person down the scope!

Artwork/Details:

The art is gorgeous and I think this would look great without any color. Each inked page has great detail and not much dialogue as your eye slowly glides along with smooth transitions and notice little things hidden amongst the rubble. Simon Coleby did a fantastic job with the great layout and design of this story. You can see from the progression shots he has online that he has been doing this for quite awhile and brings such an elevated level of art. That art takes this fun story that should just be a quick read and fun jaunt with these characters and makes you feel that you’re there. It puts you in this world and wraps around you so you’re fully immersed. That immersion comes from the color work of Len O’Grady and we can’t leave out Jim Campbell and his lettering. All the sfx and dialogue works so well and placed in the perfect spots. None of the art is hidden behind bubbles and the colors give you that full injection that lets you know you’re along for the ride.

Who’s this story for?

I can’t recommend this title enough to gear-heads and fans of the Mad Max worlds. This apocalyptic future looks like a hell of a good time as long as we can keep a hold of our keys. Definitely looking forward to what’s in store for Rosa and her Intercepter. Don’t take my word for it though, check out this preview of the first four pages: