ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Cold Spots,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cold Spots #1

Cullen Bunn is, without a doubt, one of the top writers of all things dark and scarring. With a poetic talent for twisting supernatural elements into psychological terror, Bunn is very quickly becoming one of my favorite horror writers in comics, joining the ranks of Joe Hill, Scott Snyder and Tim Seeley. His latest masterpiece, Cold Spots #1, only solidifies his position in my eyes. Along with Mark Torres, the illustrative genius behind Cold Spots, Cullen Bunn presents a tale that shakes you to your core and is about something deeper, more instinctive, than the hair standing up on the back of your neck.

Dan isn’t a good guy. In fact, he’s probably a pretty bad guy. With an uncanny talent for finding lost things, he makes his living in unscrupulous ways and living on the edge of a world that is shrouded in darkness. But now, after eight years, he’s standing in the front room of a mansion, awaiting an audience with a man who has banished him and forbade his return. He needs someone found, quickly, and Dan’s the exact right person for the job. But what will he do when he’s handed an envelope fat with money and a picture of a little girl that looks strangely familiar…

And why is there an eerie, unseasonal cold wherever he goes?

With poignant skill, Bunn weaves a beautiful, intense and heartfelt story wrapped in a blanket of fear. Dan’s anger, despondency, and general wayward soul can be felt off the panels, and it slams into you like a punch to the gut. I felt indescribably drawn to the man with a past, and Bunn does a wonderful job at penning tangible relationships between the characters, few as they are. The encounters are believable and emotional. Bunn and Mark Torres (art) work together to not only illustrate the Cold Spots #1 script in a way that allows a seamless marriage of art and words but also allows the dialogue-free panels to continue the story effortlessly, aiding in the telling by visuals alone.

Torres, Judge Dredd, and Jinnrise is the perfect artistic partner for Cold Spots #1. His noir-esque style suits the genre well. With several creative usages of points of views within the panels, the liberal usage of shadowing and the deceptive simplicity of his work lends to the calm before the storm that the first issue brings us. I’m in love with the way he illustrates the supernatural aspects of the story, allowing form to be taken but the identity to remain a mystery, hinting that there’s something to these creatures that we aren’t savvy to. And maybe the ones who see them are ignoring it out of the desperation in their hearts. It’s a small detail that speaks volumes, and one that speaks to Torres’s skill as an artist.

Cold Spots #1 is a tale bound to capture your attention and your commitment. Beyond the thrilling fear is a foundation of family and finding oneself, and Bunn and Torres so a marvelous job at melding the themes together that engage them in a pull-and-tug dance of what rises to the forefront of the Cold Spots story, and isn’t that what makes it real? The struggle of identity, belonging, coupled with fear and uncertainty? Dan’s story has a bit more of a tangible threat to it, but at its core, Cold Spots seems to be aiming itself in a direction that is going to become increasingly human even as more supernatural elements are introduced.

And I wouldn’t recommend turning out the lights until you’re done.

Cold Spots #1 releases from Image Comics on August 22, 2018.

Cold Spots #1
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TL;DR

Cold Spots #1 is a tale bound to capture your attention and your commitment. Beyond the thrilling fear is a foundation of family and finding oneself, and Bunn and Torres so a marvelous job at melding the themes together that engage them in a pull-and-tug dance of what rises to the forefront of the Cold Spots story, and isn’t that what makes it real? The struggle of identity, belonging, coupled with fear and uncertainty? Dan’s story has a bit more of a tangible threat to it, but at its core, Cold Spots seems to be aiming itself in a direction that is going to become increasingly human even as more supernatural elements are introduced.