"Freeze #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics / Top Cow Productions
Written by Dan Wickline
Illustrated by Phillip Sevy
Lettered by Troy Peteri
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 5th, 2018
Do you remember the late '80s TV show Out of This World? Don't worry, no one else does either. The premise was a young woman was half human, half alien and she could freeze time by putting her two index fingers together. Now picture that on a global scale, leading to a worldwide collapse. Ray is the only guy that can unfreeze people and he can only do it one at a time so his life just got very complicated.
Freeze begins with a glimpse into the future, showing just how far gone the world is before bouncing back to the present and showing the event as it happens. We don't know why or how this occurred, but we see how Ray, and then handful of people he unfreezes, deal with it. Think about what would happen if everyone in the entire world was suddenly frozen in place. Planes would fall out of the sky. Tons of cars would crash on the highways. Countless people would die.
This presents a very chilling thought, no pun intended. It's frightening for Ray who has just found himself alone in a world of mannequins. He walks out of an office only to find everyone standing completely still. At first he thinks they're playing a practical joke on him but when it goes on and on, it gets even creepier. The clock on the wall continues to move forward, but no one else moves.
|Click images to enlarge|
Now think of the perspective of someone who has just become unfrozen: They've literally lost time. One moment they're going about their day and the next the sun is down or it's raining. Oh man, I just thought of everyone that's stuck outside in this. They could fail prey to the changes in weather.
Artist Phillip Sevy brings this haunting landscape to life very well. Since comics are a static medium, it can be tough to differentiate someone that's alive from someone that's frozen. Sevy does this with the colors. Ray looks more alive and energetic than the others. Everyone else looks cold and stiff, as if the blood has stopped pumping in their veins. They're corpses with rigor mortis already set in.
Most of the pages are presented in a nine panel grid. Sevy plays with this a bit, splitting up larger images to fit within the grid format, but also showing the passage of time in these areas. This allows him to add some extra time to certain shots, holding on them for a little longer to give them some more weight, such as the unmoving visage of a frozen person.
|Click images to enlarge|
As a handful of people become unfrozen, chaos starts to spread. Since no one really knows what's going on, tensions rise and heated arguments begin. Letterer Troy Peteri controls the pacing of these debates with the word balloon placement. There's not a lot of room in a nine panel grid to fit these in, but Peteri makes the dialogue flow well, keeping you focused on the frightening situation.
Freeze hits the ground running with a debut issue that's full of questions, each more horrifying than the last. Writer Dan Wickline presents an unsettling premise and I'm looking forward to see it unfolding in subsequent issues. This strange event leads to the world collapsing, but how do we get from here to there?