The terrible future continues to be cold and relentlessly brutal as humanity strives to stay alive in a new Ice Age. Joshua Williamson and Jason Shawn Alexander have delivered a gritty and exciting thriller, but can it continue its pulse-pounding quality? Is it good?
Frostbite #4 (Vertigo Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
Vic has a bounty on her head, and everyone out on the ice is looking to collect. After narrowly escaping the latest attempt on her life, she and Keaton hide away in a remote cabin where the previous inhabitants died of Frostbite. Little do they know, however, that Fuego’s thugs are just about to knock on their door.
Why does this book matter?
One of the great joys of storytelling is when a character has a secret only they and the audience knows about. This series has that, and it’s a doozy of a secret. It adds tension to a story that’s already rife with the stuff. Add in a very realistic looking art style and you have a comic that can literally make your pulse rise.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
It’s cold out there.
Writer Joshua Williamson is a real bastard. The guy makes you love Keaton and Vic’s budding relationship as they build some camaraderie in this issue. They become the best of friends after a portion of its pages and it’s a warming section of the story as they bond. Then he blows that all up. I’ll say no more to avoid spoilers, but there’s a yo-yoing of emotions in this issue. Williamson takes their relationship a long way in this issue and it should pay off later.
It’s not all bonding though, with the plot moving forward from the bad guy’s perspective. This of course brings some action and big time reveals that continue the cool science fiction elements the series subtly adds.
The art continues to be a showstopper as well. Well placed darkness in the opening pages enhances the dramatic tension and the characters look practically photorealistic. Luis NCT’s colors deftly integrate reds and oranges when it gets warmer, but also bright splashes for dramatic effect. Alexander’s ability to draw clothing is jaw-droppingly good with a realistic look. Really the entire work looks realistic which blends the lines of comic and film. There’s a graphic element that brings it more into the comic book realm–star-like bubbles behind characters to emphasis the emotion for instance–which enhances the emotional resonance of a scene.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Due to its focus on character work and the growing bond of Keaton and Vic, the thriller aspect of this series that’s been so good drops off, but hell, you can’t have it both ways in a 21 page format. I’m a sucker for character work so I loved this issue, but those of you hoping for a fast paced installment this series is so good at will need to wait an issue.
Cool use of darkness.
Is It Good?
Frostbite is entertaining if you’re a sucker for character work. The industry has space operas, and based on the quality of this we might need to add the genre of Ice opera.