GaTSPOD Reviews - Colder
During the selection process (I was looking around the Dark Horse website), I saw the cover of the first issue of the Colder miniseries and I was absolutely horrified. When I say I was horrified, I mean HORRIFIED. I stared at that cover for a good five minutes. I was thinking that I was about to read some gory tale of folks sticking hands in places they were not meant to go! It was quite disconcerting. But it was also intriguing. That’s why I chose to read it. And after reading some other peoples’ thoughts (mostly on Reddit), I was ready to dig in.
So let’s talk writing. I really liked the writing style. It was simple. The concepts weren’t hard to grasp at all. Everything was explained in the simplest terms possible, which was surprisingly simple for a story that has to do with a man whose body temperature is way below normal, kind of out of his mind, and can flip a person’s insane switch on and off, practically at will.
The plot was well-paced. There really is not much of a backstory to any of the main figures in the miniseries yet, and the ongoing Bad Seed series starts from where the miniseries left off, so there’s tons to learn about the characters. Hopefully, the ongoing series tells us a bit more about Declan and Reece. I love those two. They’re an interesting pair.
As far as character diversity goes, there were two males and a female (Nimble Jack, Declan and Reece, respectively) who took most of the scenes in both the initial miniseries and then in the ongoing series. Although there were a lot of insane people in the issues, as that is this series’ bread and butter. But there was young and old. I even saw a black person in one frame. There wasn’t much to see as far as diversity (unless you want to count the hideous monsters, in which case, there was tons of it!). But since this is a series that really doesn’t count on diversity to enrich the story, it didn’t bother me too much.
I found myself trying to predict the outcome, waiting for the other shoe to drop, but the plot was difficult to decrypt. I just had to read to find out what happened. And that’s really how I like my reading to go. Even though, subconsciously, my brain will try to figure out what might happen with the story, I don’t like knowing what’s going to happen before it happens. That makes for a really predictable read and bores me to no end.
Loved the art. If I had to choose my favorite part of the series, it would be the art, hands down. There was something very smooth about it. A major plus was how the color palette would reflect where the scenes were taking place throughout the series. When Declan was in the normal world, everything was bright. Colors were cheery despite the malevolent happenings. In the other world, everything was dark and drab-looking. And the hellish creatures depicted in the illustrations of the other world were mind-boggling. When I first saw them, I honestly thought, “How do you even come up with stuff like this?!” The artwork is out-of-this-world good. A lot of comics that I’ve read so far have a very sketchy look to them, but the panels in Colder and Colder: The Bad Seed just have a smoother look about them, in my opinion. I couldn’t pinpoint why I loved it so much at first. After mulling it over I realized it was because reading Colder was like watching an animated series on television, only the pictures didn’t move and I read the words in lieu of hearing them. I like all the art styles I’ve seen so far, and I’m sure I’ll come across other different styles that I will love just as much, but this series contains my favorite so far.
The series is entertaining as hell. If you’re looking for creepy bad guys, great visuals, and compelling storytelling that won’t have you scratching your head trying to figure out what the hell is going on, then Colder and Colder: The Bad Seed are for you! For me, the cover image from the miniseries issue #1 was scarier than it actually turned out, but it didn’t put me off at all.
I haven’t read any negative reviews on this series anywhere! I mean, it’s critically acclaimed, but I always take any professional critic’s word with a grain of salt. I really like knowing the thoughts of people who don’t review things for work purposes. That’s how you gauge whether or not something is awesome. Some stuffy reviewer who thinks comic books and graphic novels are still for kids is not who I want telling me what’s hot and what’s not. Sorry.
After finishing the miniseries, I was bummed because I didn’t want to give up Declan. He became a much more interesting character as the story progressed and finalized within its five issue parameters. I also found myself wondering if I should have read it in the dark. It wasn’t out and out terrifying to me. It takes a lot to scare me when I’m reading. But the illustrations did a good job in creeping me the hell out. And Nimble Jack was a deliciously crazed bad guy from another dimension who had a voracious appetite for the souls of our insane brethren.
I will be counting down the days until I can read the next issue.