Colder is the new Dark Horse series by Paul Tobin and Juan Ferryra. The second issue was just released this week. I hesitated to write about it after the first issue because, even though the first issue was interesting and left on a neat cliffhanger, it still was not clear what the book was about. After reading the second issue, it is much clearer what is going on.
In the first issue we are introduced to the main cast including Declan, the former mental patient living in the home of Reece, a registered nurse. Declan has not spoken in years. Even stranger, his body temperature continues to drop. His internal temperature is now at levels which should be fatal. Reece has taken him in and keeps watch over him. She has grown attached to him over the years, but can’t seem to put her finger on why.
Rounding out the cast is the mysterious Jack. It appears Jack has something to do with Declan’s condition, but it is not exactly clear what. Either way it looks like Jack feels connected to Declan, and Declan has gone out of his way to stay hidden from Jack.
The first issue was pretty much by the numbers. There was the introduction of the cast members, some sort of incident which put everyone on a collision course, and then there was the cliffhanger ending. All fine and dandy with some gorgeous art by Ferryra to make it worth your hard-earned cash.
But it felt a little light. While there wasn’t really anything wrong with the book, there was just not quite enough there to bump it up to the “buy” level.
Then the second issue was released. My how things have changed!
While there is not much in the way of resolution, there are plenty of revelations. The reader gets some backstory on Declan as well as learning a bit more about Jack. Like the best revelations, these give just enough to keep the hunger at bay, but introduce a whole host of tasty new morsels to consider. From the idea of someone feeding on the misery of others, to “crazy” people seeing a different reality than the rest of us, there is plenty to nibble on.
Where the book burst from the normal is in the art. Jaun Ferryra creates a shockingly disturbing dystopian alternate reality which shakes not only Reese, but the reader to the core. Broken buildings and drainpipes spilling blood are nothing compared to the denizens who inhabit the darkest reaches of this plane. Each one is creepier than the next, and each is perfectly suited for who they haunt.
The cover of the first issue seemed to want to sell the series as a horror book. While there are some disturbing elements, horror is not the term I would necessarily choose for Colder. Psychological thriller might be a better term, with a bend of the paranormal. Think American Horror Story filtered through a Vertigo (the comics, not the Hitchcock film) filter. Colder would be very much at home with the late DC imprint. Luckily for us it has a home at Dark Horse.
Colder #1 is available now, Colder #2 comes out December 5th.