“The university has agreed to fund a research project on a decade of winter. You must’ve noticed the temperature’s been rising for a few weeks. We want to find out if that’s true across the entire region” — Dr. Tomar, Nuclear Winter, Volume 3, n. pag.
|Creator(s)||Cab (author and illustrator), Deron Bennett (letterer), Edward Gauvin (translator)|
|Genre||Post-apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Fiction|
|Environmental Themes and Issues||Apocalypse, Extreme Weather, Nuclear Disaster, Climate Change, Mutated Organisms|
|Protagonist’s Identity||Flavie: White woman in her twenties|
|Protagonist’s Level of Environmental Agency||Level 4: Considerable Environmental Agency without Activism|
|Target Audience||Young Adult|
This comic is the third and final installment in the three-volume Nuclear Winter series. This volume takes place in Montreal, Quebec ten years after a nuclear disaster transformed the city into a land of endless winter and caused many of the human and nonhuman inhabitants to develop physical anomalies and strange powers. The series centers on protagonist Flavie, a young woman in her twenties, who works as a snowmobile courier for Blizzard Express. In this volume, Flavie and Marco’s friendship has developed into a romantic relationship, but Flavie resents Marco’s busy social life. After he cancels their date night to attend a friend’s event, she visits the University of Quebec in Montreal to pick up new parts for her rooftop weather station, which has been damaged by recent storms. She discovers that her old professor, Dr. Tomar, and his graduate students are investigating warming temperatures in Montreal and theorize that the nuclear winter may be ending. Aleksy, a student, invites Flavie to join them on an expedition across Montreal to retrieve data from damaged weather stations located outside the snow-removal areas.
Flavie accepts the invitation and serves as a guide for the students on two trips outside of the snow-removal zones. Though Flavie quickly bonds with the team, Marco dislikes her involvement in the project, causing more strain in their relationship. However, he joins their next expedition as a photographer when they decide to illegally venture out to the now-defunct nuclear power plant where the nuclear winter began to access a weather station located on the grounds. Flavie and Aleksy travel to the free territory of Hochelaga outside Montreal to gain permission from the leader to access the power plant, and the team successfully travels out to the location. However, Marco posts a picture of the power plant on his Instagram account, publicizing their illegal activities. Flavie and Marco fight over the picture, and, in a fit of rage, Flavie uses her super strength to smash the receiver Aleksy built to collect data from the weather stations. Determined to fix the situation, and knowing that radiation has already poisoned her body, Flavie ventures into the power plant itself to retrieve the data. She returns sickened with radiation poisoning, and the team rushes her back to Montreal for medical treatment.
In the comic’s final chapter, Flavie has somewhat recovered from the radiation poisoning, and she and Marco have broken up. With her sister Elsie, Flavie leaves Montreal for a vacation. Aleksy intercepts them at the airport as they depart and delivers a research report compiled from the data they collected. The report suggests that the conclusion of the nuclear winter may be near, though Flavie cautions that “it’s so hard to predict the weather accurately” (Cab n. pag.). She and Aleksy kiss, and Flavie boards the plane to leave, though she vows to return to Montreal after her vacation.
This volume ends the series on a hopeful note with the end of the extreme weather likely on the horizon. Additionally, this comic depicts Flavie and the students exercising agency by studying the nuclear winter and learning more about the environment, though the nuclear winter draws to a close without human intervention.