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Saw: Rebirth is a digital comic book published by IDW Publishing and written by R. Eric Lieb and Kris Oprisko with art by Renato Guedes. It served as a prequel to the American Saw franchise and was released on October 25, 2005.


John Kramer is an insecure and unambitious man who works at a toy factory and lives a rather dull life, as he is too lazy to make more of it. Eventually, this nature of his and his lack of ambitions and commitment cause his wife, Jill Tuck, to leave him. Years go by, and John continues his life just as before until he ultimately becomes sick.

As his physical condition worsens continuously, he eventually goes to a hospital and is diagnosed with cancer by his oncologist, Dr. Lawrence Gordon. Unfortunately, due to the highly virulent strain of cancer, there are no real chances of recovery. Depressed by his impending death and how he wasted his life, John walks around the hospital, meeting numerous other people. Among them is the disgruntled orderly Zep Hindle, who badmouths the doctors behind their backs for their dishonesty and lack of empathy instead of making more of his own life. Besides Zep, John also becomes interested in the other people at the hospital, such as a scam artist talking to the patients, and Amanda Young, a young heroin addict. She had been taken to the hospital after overdosing on drugs. Finally, and most shockingly for him, John also meets Paul, one of his colleagues at the toy factory, who had unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide by cutting his wrists, despite having a wife, children, and a good job.

As his depression worsens, John ultimately decides to end his own life and tries to kill himself by driving his car off a cliff, but survives the crash, albeit heavily injured. When climbing out of the wreck, John realizes that he only began to appreciate his life when his death was imminent, which he considers his rebirth. Because of this, John chooses to spend the remaining time of his life testing other people's will to live, hoping that this would convince them to value their lives. He decides to start with the people he had met at the hospital and neglects his own needs for the sake of his mission, showing a commitment as he had never done it until this point. Eventually, this leads to him becoming the serial killer known as Jigsaw.



  • Leigh Whannell, the writer and co-creator of Saw, stated on the audio commentary track for Saw II that the scene of John shaving off his hair, as seen in the comic, was initially planned to be in the film as well, symbolizing John's transformation into Jigsaw. However, the producers decided to erase it from the script.
  • While the events depicted in the comic fit the events shown in the first three films, they contradict the events of the later installments in many ways.
    • In the comic, Jill left John for his lack of commitment in life, whereas in the films, John left her after she suffered a miscarriage and lost their unborn son, Gideon, during a robbery.
    • Unlike his comic counterpart, the movie version of John Kramer was a successful and diligent civil engineer and a devoted husband.
    • In the films, Billy, the mechanical ventriloquist puppet used by John to communicate with his victims, was based on Bobby, a smaller and less sinister-looking doll that John had built as a birthday present for his unborn son. In Saw: Rebirth, however, Billy was made in the toy factory where John worked several years before his terminal cancer diagnosis.

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