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‘Cold Spots #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Cullen Bunn is one of the most prominent horror writers in comic books right now. From his recently finished, Eisner-nominated hit, Harrow County, to his genre-bending offerings like The Damned and The Sixth Gun, his works are character-driven, world-building yarns that explore some pretty big themes. Cold Spots starts off on a smaller scale, staying fairly intimate and personal, as a private detective of sorts, Mr. Kerr - in true film noir fashion - is called back by presumably an old employer, Mr. Warren, to come to his large, cold mansion. Mr. Warren would like Mr. Kerr to find his grownup daughter, Alyssa, and the granddaughter, Grace, that he was given custody over. Usually, we become a little better acquainted with the main character early on in Bunn’s worlds, but, instead, a lot is left unsaid. This approach fits soundly into the film noir, mystery approach. My guess is that all of those elements will come to light when they need to and when they will be most dramatically effective. We’ve all had bad bosses, but the weight Kerr feels as he re-enters this world is pretty noticeable. Mr. Kerr comes across some information, perhaps a little too easily, and he’s led down a path that introduces a strange, supernatural element.

Bunn captures the modern-day, hard-boiled detective feel in which everyone is beyond feeling emotions, drinks even though they’ve given it up, and has a game of one-upmanship like no one else. Mark Torres’ work is extremely stylized and plays into the horror elements of the book in a very straightforward manner. I think we only get a clear shot of one person’s face in the entire first issue. The colors and design create a very surreal atmosphere that work extremely well for some scenes, especially the supernatural stuff, which happens to look and feel pretty awesome. My guess, as the book picks up steam, is that the heavily atmospheric approach will pay off to an even greater degree.

Essentially, there are two mysteries unfolding at once. How they connect and what really happened between Kerr, Alyssa, and Warner eight years ago, considering Bunn’s library of work, will be pretty interesting.

And, of cours,e if you don’t want to know exactly, with 100% certainty, how some of this connects, don’t read the blurb on the Image website . . . it may get into some spoiler territory.

Creative Team: Cullen Bunn (creator, story), Mark Torres (creator, art, design), Simon Bowland (letters)
Publisher: Image Comics
Click here to purchase.

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