"Colder: The Bad Seed #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Paul Tobin
Illustrated by Juan Ferreyra
2014, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on October 22nd, 2014
After a stellar five issues with the original mini-series, Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra return to the world of Colder with The Bad Seed. When we last left Declan Thomas, he had defeated the insanity-eater Nimble Jack and saved Reece from the imp's evil clutches. Declan is still cold, possessing a below average body temperature. He gets colder when he uses his abilities that allow him to cure madness in others, so there's a delicate balance. The Bad Seed picks up after Declan and Reece have been living together for a bit and their relationship appears to be on solid ground after the rocky events of the first book.
Of course, this is a horror story, so nothing is perfect. A new evil shows up on the scene and he's even more terrifying than Nimble Jack. Meet Swivel. He seems like you're average old man, sporting a black suit and a wide brimmed hat, but when you get a closer look, you realize that there's something off about him. It could be his long claw-like fingers that are tipped with razor sharp fingernails. It could be the fact that he has fingers instead of teeth. I'm going to say that again to let that sink in. He has fingers for teeth. How friggin' creepy is that?
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Hats off to artist Juan Ferreyra on Swivel because he is easily one of the most terrifying creatures I've ever seen. I nearly jumped out of my seat when his "finger-teeth" were first revealed. It's just so unsettling. While Nimble Jack was playful yet evil, Swivel seems downright cruel. In his first appearance, he hacks off the fingers of a bunch of people that are just going about their business. It's cold and brutal and he is uncaring of who he attacks with his blade.
There is no comic on the stands that fills me with more unease than Colder. Although Declan and Reece's life appears happy, you know that things are going to be shaken up, especially with someone like Swivel on the scene. I have no idea what his plan is, but it's definitely something awful. While there is this feeling of dread throughout the issue, the scenes with Declan and Reece come across as very human and natural. You want these two to live happily ever after, healing the sick and ultimately making the world a better place. It's very easy to get immediately attached to these two which makes Swivel's arrival all the more foreboding.
Ferreyra doesn't stop with Swivel when it comes to monstrous creatures in The Bad Seed. As Declan has a unique connection to insanity, he can see the things that plague the mad. These are invisible to normal people, but he sees the hulking Cthulhu-like beast sitting behind one man or the tentacles spiraling out of the bed of another. He's able to free these people from the binds that hold their sanity hostage.
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What really stands out is Swivel's gardening. I know that sounds weird and I'm being purposefully cryptic because I'm not spoiling anything, but you will never look at plants or pigeons the same way after reading this comic. I get chills just thinking about how effortlessly he can destroy people for the sake of whatever game he's playing.
While Ferreyra can draw arguably the scariest monsters in comics, he balances this with gorgeous people. Reece is the kind of woman that you can't help but fall in love with. She's the girl next door and so much more. Even though he's a little paler than most, Declan is a total dreamboat. This is also illustrated in a scene with Reece and her co-workers where they fawn over her boyfriend.
Colder: The Bad Seed is a welcome return to insanity. It's a horror book unlike any others that are currently available on the shelves, filled with pure terror and real human characters. This is the kind of comic that you would read under your covers with a flashlight and then have nightmares about.