One of the most tense science fiction thrillers on the stands is back this week and friends have become foe! Is it good?
Frostbite #5 (Vertigo Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
Keaton and Vic are coming to the end of the road…but it’s not the end they had planned. Their destination was Alcatraz, but when Keaton’s darkest secret is revealed by her worst enemy, the deadly crime boss El Fuego, she’ll find herself left out in the cold.
Why does this book matter?
Joshua Williamson has written a compelling story that’s even relatable, as a second Ice Age isn’t an impossibility. Frigid cold is a real threat and artist Jason Shawn Alexander has made every page of the series feel gritty and real. It’s an intense thriller that’s been a wild ride.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
He needs a mint!
The art continues to be a real treat with Alexander and Luis NCT on colors coming together to deliver intense cold and heat where needed. You can practically feel the cold through the spattering of snow and icy blues. The heat, from lamps blasting red and yellows, is crushing. Together they’ve made environments that are pushing our characters to the brink. It’s a reminder the weather we have now is a delicate balance we can’t lose by any means. Outside of this, the polar bear steals the show in this issue. A pet of one of the bad guys, Alexander draws a mean bear who has detailed fur and a mean-ass roar.
Storywise, Williamson sets up the next issue well with this issue serving to get all the table setting over with for a finale you’ll be desperately coming back for. This issue covers a lot of ground, from informing the reader of how the world got like this, to getting the female protagonists back on the same page, and getting them closer to their destination. A lot gets done and done right quick.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue however, falters in a believability sense. There are a lot of exposition heavy moments as well as events that push the plot forward in contrived ways. Characters make statements and proclaim things in unnatural ways that pulled me out of the story. As a whole, the issue feels like it’s being forced to pull a thousand ton story into a direction too quickly. It leaves the issue with the writer’s fingerprints all over it in obvious ways which makes the story feel less genuine.
Is It Good?
Continuing to look great, the fifth issue of Frostbite lacks the thrilling push and pull of the last few issues as well as the good pace and flow it has been known for. The story has shifted in interesting ways, but suffers as it’s forced with too much exposition.