World War X – Volume 1 by Jerry Frissen & Peter Snejbjerg (graphic novel review).

April 14, 2015 | By | Reply More

You know you’ve had a bad day at work when you awaken an ancient evil. I mean, sure, you could be late for a meeting or forget the boss’s birthday, but right at the top there’s awakening an ancient evil. Now imagine you did it on the Moon. This is the situation that scientists find themselves in Jerry Frissen and Peter Snejbjerg’s ‘World War X – Volume 1’. A title straight from the ‘I-see-what-you-did-there drawer’.


Adesh is a scientist who’s been working on deciphering some large ancient boxes that have found around the Earth. The problem is that the hieroglyphics that cover the boxes are very probably a warning, rather than a set of instructions as first thought. Only the team working on the translation are too late. Ancient evil is awakening. At the same time, Mr. Helius, a seemingly very rich man, assembles a team to deal with whatever the ancient evil is. We learn throughout this first volume that Helius may be much, much older than he seems.

Added to Adesh’s problems is that the President of the USA now wants him arrested. It turns out the ancient boxes of evil may pave the way for a new power source for the Earth and Adesh’s warnings about using them could cause a negative public reaction. The President therefore orders the army to shut him down…

So Frissen and Snejbjerg’s story plays out in a typically B-movie fashion that might have come from the minds of Spielberg and Lucas or, better yet, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin. The action crosses continents and periods of history as we understand the nature of the fight between the ancient evil and humanity’s defenders. In an action-packed first volume, such as this, the characterisation is slight. Adesh is brilliant but estranged from his wife. So he’s heroic but flawed and the reconciliation of his relationship will ultimately be redemptive (I’m guessing). His wife is also a brilliant scientist but has already changed her surname back to what it was originally (see ‘Die Hard’). You get the idea.

The visuals and presentation of the book though are very nice. The first volume itself is a slim 56 pages, but well produced in glossy hardback. Snejbjerg’s art is cinematic when it needs to be and detailed when the story requires it. The flashes of action we get are handled in a way that makes it easy to take in all that is going on. This is supported by the dialogue which, despite being a translation from French originally, is used sparingly. Pleasingly, Frissen and Snejbjerg have opted for a ‘show don’t tell’ approach.

‘World War X Volume 1’ is a fun read, if over very quickly (I read it twice in about 20 minutes) so may not justify its £11.99 price tag. However, I enjoyed its popcorn movie presentation and snappy, widescreen artwork. One perhaps to look out for in a bumper volume.

John Rivers

April 2015

(pub: Titan Books. 56 page hardback graphic novel. Price: £11.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-7827-6112-9)

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Category: Books, Horror, Scifi

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