Tucked in between the folds of our sheltered reality is the Hungry World. We can’t see it, but it’s there. In fact, it’s close enough to touch. Only the truly insane people can see it, and what they see scares them. That’s why they’re insane. It’s from what they see over there. It’s from what they hear over there. Those events bleed into their reality on our side, and it does terrible things to their minds. But the Hungry World is accessible only in the blink of an eye if – IF – you have the proper guide, one who knows how to access the ethereal, one who knows his way around it, and one who knows how to not only get you there but also to bring you back safely …
… because the Hungry World doesn’t want to let you go once you’ve seen it.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of character and plot. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last two paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
The first issue of COLDER was really all about establishing the characters (Declan, Reece, and Nimble Jack) and this split universe (ours and the Hungry World). The second issue ratchets up the tension as Declan explains who he is, where he is, and what he knows of how he came to be in his present circumstances. Naturally, Reece – a nurse by trade – doesn’t quite believe him, and that’s when Declan gives her the nickel tour to this other deranged reality. Once in the Hungry World, Reece learns far more about insanity than schoolbooks could’ve ever taught her, and, if she isn’t careful, she’s bound to draw the attention of folks who would seek to do her great harm.
After all, Reece has only the best colors emanating from her.
This second installment is a tour de force as COLDER goes on its merry and magical way. Paul Tobin manages to wring some life from the all-too-overused TWILIGHT ZONE formula he spun so well in the first chapter; he does this by showing us that there are some very high stakes indeed for folks who find themselves in the Hungry World. It’s a threat not to be taken lightly. Also, Ferreyra’s artwork is put to the test by showing us – up close and personal – what the world of the maddened looks like. Colors are dark. Lines are scrawled. Dangers are very real.
Together, they’ve delivered the full foundation behind a wonderfully fractured fairy tale, but the piece of the puzzle that still eludes audiences is just what Nimble Jack is up to. We know what he’s capable of, and I’m hoping that character gets more exploration soon. He’ll have to, as it appears that these stakes are only going to get greater.
COLDER (Part 2 of 5) is published by Dark Horse Comics. The script is by Paul Tobin; the art is by Juan Ferreyra; and the letters are by Nate Piekos of BlamBot. This single issue bears the cover price of $3.99.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. By their very nature, fairy tales start out as the stuff of legend, and it’s only under the watchful guidance of talented professionals are they advanced to something greater than how they began. Like a good story should, this second chapter retains only the strongest talking points from the first issue and builds on them in ways the audience probably didn’t see coming, nor will they now know where this is all heading. It’s very dark – but in a very relatable way – but COLDER is developing into something very nice.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Dark Horse Comics provided me with a digital copy of COLDER (Part 2 of 5) for the expressed purposes of completing this review.