ADVANCE REVIEW: Colder: Toss the Bones #1

Paul Tobin (W), Juan Ferreyra (A), Jonathan Case (C)
On sale September 30

We live in a world of chaos and noise.  For the most part, we accept it.  Sometimes it gets a little bit too much and you want howl at the moon, create  your own bit of madness to combat the chaos you see and hear.  Sometimes, you just want to forget the noise, keep your head down and hope for the best.

Declan has faced his chaos.  He has shouted, screamed, fought, lost things and survived.  But chaos, in the shape of Nimble Jack, hasn’t finished with him yet.  Collecting the myriad evil spirits of this world, anchored somewhat in the Hungry World, Jack is on Declan’s trail, with one goal, to devour his spirit!

Writer Paul Tobin returns to the Colder world with more than just an evil daemon.  Tobin brings with him the inner demons of doubt, demons of awareness of past atrocities and the reluctance to speak of them as if by keeping quiet you can ignore what you were and what you did.  Declan has suffered for his past but at least he has survived and by doing so, opened himself to Jack.  Whilst I am sure that Jack will no doubt get Joker comparisons, of which there are visual and vocal similarities, these are only first glance impressions.  Reading the book, you discover that Jack is a truer evil, molesting those damaged by society to gain strength; the scene with the pigeons and the guy on the bench is brilliantly observed.  The scary thing about Jack is that his dialogue seems to ramble, but all the while he makes spot on observations about his prey, further establishing that, is in fact our inner struggle, our inner monsters that have more control over us than we either give them credit for or even want to admit to.

Fans of the Colder series will be pleased to see Juan Ferreyra back on art. Ferreyra is definitely an acquired taste, yet suits the horror genre better than his forays into mainstream books such as Batman Eternal (#47 for the completest out there).  The cartoony style  can hide the darker elements the illusion which helps create the contradiction of Jack looking and sounding reasonable, whilst he planning to unleash all manners of hell upon his victims.  Ferreyra is also using well observed daemon tropes, joints bending at different angles for example.  Colors are assisted by Eduardo Ferreyra who helps provide the back drops for the book.  Despite Declan’s good guy status, its interesting to see how he is surrounded by darkness in the majority of his panels.

I am not a true horror fan.  I tend to watch stuff and then its percolates over a period of time.  As such, jumpy shock films tend not to have an impact, whereas more thoughtful stuff really does make me think.  This book is kind of like the latter.  At first, its easy to dismiss the book as noise but it bears re-reading.  Take some time.  What you may find is a story that is more human than demon that will keep you thinking.


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