"Cold Spots #5" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Mark Torres
Lettered by Simon Bowland
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 19th, 2018
Raising the dead is serious business. This is why you shouldn't mess around with a Oujia board. Poor little Grace has the ability to summon spirits from the underworld and she's being manipulated by a clandestine group of people up to no good. Her father, Dan, is trying to save her, but he's going to have to fight through a horde of angry ghosts to do it.
You can't deny the disturbing aspect of Cold Spots. It is, no pun intended, a chilling comic. Artist Mark Torres has drawn some of the scariest ghosts to ever grace the page. They're far from the lame idea of a man in a sheet shuffling around. These are undead beasts, not quite human but something far more sinister.
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Torres adds a mist-like layer to the images which adds to the creepy quality of Cold Spots. It creates a suffocating feeling, like the cold is closing in on you as you read the book. This is a constant presence and it adds to the atmosphere.
This is only part of the terror. This alone would have been enough. What amplifies the terror is the emotional connection to Dan, his ex-wife Alyssa, and their daughter Grace. Writer Cullen Bunn spent time establishes these people, so we're invested in their lives. Dan only just saw Grace for the first time earlier that day and now he could lose her forever. That puts so much on the line and sets Cold Spots apart from your average slasher movie where the characters are little more than cannon fodder.
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The tension reaches a breaking point at the level where you don't want to look but have to soldier on. These monsters can stare right into your very soul. Letterer Simon Bowland adds an unsettling touch with black word balloons with white text, setting these creatures apart from the normal humans running around.
Cold Spots reaches a conclusion with this issue, but it's clear it's just getting started. This opening arc is like an origin story for a world of terror that I can't wait to see explored further. It's a gripping tale that shows how far one man will go to save his daughter, even if that means facing down evil spirits from the afterworld ready to suck the life right out of him.