Red Dog, Sunflower, and Six, as well as his creator owned series Overrun). It's illustrated by Simon Coleby (The Authority, Judge Dredd), colored by Len O'Grady, and published by Titan Comics.
There's no way to avoid a Mad Max reference due to the similarities, but that is not a bad thing. You can easily tell where the inspiration came from, but Freeway Fighter paves it's own path with a post-apocalyptic dystopia, complete with harsh living conditions and awesome car battles.
The story begins with De La Rosa as a race car driver trying to match her father's legacy, and shows her to be ruthless in reaching her objective. It starts fast and keeps the pace as it rockets towards the end. There's an extremely brief opener setting up her character that brilliantly segues into the "present" (2024) with her demolishing another tricked out and weaponized vehicle, and being chased by others.
There isn't a lot of story here yet. We get only the most basic facts- De La Rosa's a badass that gets the job done, and the job here is survival. We don't know what the virus that killed off most of humanity was, we don't know where De La Rosa is going or what her goals are, and it really doesn't matter. The sparse story is a commendable thing in Freeway Fighter's case. We only get what we need in the first issue, leaving us wanting more.
Simon Coleby's art is highly dynamic very befitting of the material. Panels move and flow, creating well thought out, clean transitions that both tie the story elements together, and guide the eye along. Honestly, it's something that perfectly encapsulates high-tension chase sequences of action movies- but in comic book form.
Making this effect work even better is the fact that the illustrations are really fleshed out with the Len O’Grady's colors. They are vivid and vibrant for the past, and in the present are primarily the typical muted palettes of post-apocalyptic tales, but with some splashes of the former world, shining brightly through. It sets a tremendous tone for the story.
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Overall, the issue is just a bit short in length, but feels much shorter because it is so well done. It reads so smoothly it's like water slipping through your hands- an effect only the best comic books can claim. Freeway Fighter is in no way a mere Mad Max knockoff, but rather, it's a glorious homage to the grim and gritty, gasoline-fueled destruction in mankind's fight for survival in a wasted future. It's a quick, action-packed, car-smashing thrill ride that has a ton of potential and I can't wait to see where the story goes from here.
Freeway Fighter 1 hit stands today. [ For the issue on Comixology ]
*Review copy provided, thank you!