Colder is a wickedly inspired horror series. Over three story arcs, it tells the story of Declan, a man in a waking coma whose body temperature continuously gets colder. Why does he get colder? Reece, his caretaker for a few years, sees him as a puzzle to be solved. Answers begin to come when Nimble Jack appears. Nimble Jack is what the Joker would be if Salvador Dali created him; he’s something directly from a dream…or nightmare. He’s a humanoid from a dark mirror universe that feeds off people’s madness. He is chaotic and unhinged, devilishly traipsing about the Boston cityscape, wreaking the most colorful of havoc on its denizens – manipulating people’s physical forms, changing the foundation of our perceived reality, and doing it all with a twinkle in his eyes. He may not be the hero of the story, but he is definitely the star. Whereas Jack creates and feeds off madness, Declan can cure it, but every time he does, he gets colder.
The omnibus collects all three story arcs as Declan and Reece piece together Declan’s past, which brings us to the second story arc which introduces another villain, Swivel, from the dark mirror world whose face and every part of him is made of fingers, who collects fingers, and who does something very unexpected with those fingers. The third story arc ties things up in an unexpected and yet most profoundly gratifying of ways. The final image is everything.
Every page drawn by Juan Ferreyra captures something beautifully and horrifically surreal. Along with writer Paul Tobin, it’s like being dragged into the worst incarnation of Alice’s Wonderland. Yes, we’re subjected to some creatively fiendish monsters, but I’ll also never look at pigeons in quite the same way.
The great thing about Tobin and Ferreyra’s combined voice is that it doesn’t wallow in its own grotesqueries. The book isn’t stupidly violent just to be violent or dark in a self-serious way. They approach their material with a dark, flippant sense of humor. It’s almost as if Nimble Jack was the narrator cackling with joyful glee at every wince-inducing moment put to page – all the better for us! I mean, Daniel Chabon is the editor; this man is behind so much gold in the comic book world right now, that should be enough to convince you to take this journey.