Cold Spots follows the story of an absentee father who is hired by his wealthy stepfather to find their wife/daughter, Alyssa, respectively, but, more importantly, the daughter that she has taken with her, Grace. Cullen Bunn enjoys crossing his genres, and this horror story is no exception, falling somewhere between gothic and noir. The father, Dan, sets off on a supernatural detective story that finds people instantaneously frozen to ice when touched by the supernatural predators.
Mark Torres captures that gothic noir superbly, giving us dark, abstract forests and gothic two-story houses on secluded islands, mixed with smirking henchmen. Torres mostly hides people’s faces in shadows, except for Grace. Her face is always seen, never reacting. The story is full of family mysteries: a wealthy man whose interests are obscured and a hero who is in over his head. As readers, we’re given just enough information to know something more than kidnapping is going on – the supernatural elements point to that – but we also know that when Dan (your hardboiled, hardheaded film noir PI) isn’t given enough information to go, he’s put in a position to do something stupid.
Bunn doesn’t fill every panel with dialogue; he allows Torres to create atmosphere and environment, and that allows the character interactions, the danger, and the mystery to feel more authentic. The world feels more lived in.
But enough exposition: This is the issue Dan meets his daughter and comes into contact with the horror of this world for the first time. How does he handle it? How would you? Who is good and who is evil? Are there any good guys here or just characters with their own twisted motivations? Cold Spots is genre fare, pure and simple. It’s embracing it fully and completely, and it’s all the more enjoyable for that reason.
Creative Team: Cullen Bunn (creator, story), Mark Torres (creator, art, design), Simon Bowland (letters)
Publisher: Image Comics
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