"Cold Spots #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Mark Torres
Lettered by Simon Bowland
2018, 32 pages, $3.99
Comic released on August 22nd, 2018
Dan Kerr has been tasked with finding a woman and her child. That shouldn't be a problem, as that's something he's very good at. This assignment sets him on a dark path that will chill him to the bone. What kind of spirits is he about to uncover? And how are they connected to his past and his family?
Cold Spots is written by Cullen Bunn. For horror fans, that should be enough. The guy knows how to write some solid spooky funny books and this one is no different. The opening pages show an unnamed older man sitting at home when he suddenly feels a chill. He asks his wife what's going on and she answers him eerily, pointing outside.
Now, this page turn right here is something else. I literally yelled, “what the fuck?!” when I flipped the page, as it was something I was not expecting and it is friggin' terrifying. This annoyed the people sitting next to me on the plane, but I went with it. Artist Mark Torres creates something unholy here. It's not quite a ghost or a demon. It's something in between. These abominable specters stare right into your soul. What a great way to open a comic.
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This is not the first time we see these beings. They look unnatural on the page, like they don't belong in this world. When they appear, everything around them gets colder. You can see the characters' breath and windows fog. Torres sends a shiver up your spine with his artwork that adds to the overall experience.
This also creates a sense of foreboding, as you can sense these things before you see them. It's this subtle build in terror that makes Cold Spots such an unsettling read. You know something horrifying is coming, but you don't know how or when, so you're scared to turn the page.
Dan's story and his connection to his target are not made clear in this issue. I learned from the solicitation information for Cold Spots #1 that he's being paid to find his wife and child by his father-in-law. It seems that he walked out on them years ago, presumably because of something his father-in-law said or did. He made some kind of deal with the guy that was good enough to leave his family. This background reframes the story and adds a lot of additional gravitas to it, so I was a little bummed that it wasn't outlined in the comic itself.
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In looking back on it, there are some definite hints. For example, when Dan first opens the envelope to see the pictures of his targets, he whispers his wife's name. Letterer Simon Bowland makes this single word carry weight. You can tell there's a connection there. We just don't know the details.
After reading Cold Spots, you'll be thinking twice the next time you feel a chill. There are still many questions about this world and what these translucent beings are, however there's more than enough here to pull you in and scare the crap out of you. This is grade A terror.