Delve into Madness With Paul Tobin’s Colder

Colder

17995248 (1)Author: Paul Tobin
Release Date: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Source: NetGalley DRC
Genre(s): Horror, Paranormal, maybe Urban Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Spoilers:  —
GoodReads | Amazon

All right, so, the first thing that got me interested in Colder was obviously the cover. I’ll admit it. I’m sometimes pretty vain and while I won’t judge the value of a book or comic on it’s cover alone they do sometimes provide me the only real reason for checking something out. The cover of this one is particularly grotesque but in a way that makes you really wonder what exactly is going on. The description from the publisher on the back, too, sort of gives you just enough to want to dive in and damn the consequences.

Declan Thomas’s body temperature is dropping. He never gets sick, never feels pain. An ex-inmate of an insane asylum that was destroyed in a fire, he has the strange ability to step inside a person’s madness – and sometimes cure it. He hopes to one day cure his own, but time is running out, as a demonic predator pursues him through a nightmare version of Boston…

See? Sounds kinda cool.

Colder is – as you can probably figure out from the cover – a dark book. This isn’t one of those stories that billed as horror but still has plenty of moments of levity. It earns it’s horror genre classification and the happier moments are usually more out of relief than anything else.

I will say that Colder – while it had an interesting story – it was a bit hard to follow. The main character, Declan, is something of an ageless man who has been sustained over the decades by his declining body temperature. A grown man in the 1940s he’s been in and out of institutions ever since as people have poked and prodded him, trying to solve the mystery. But in the modern day he’s just an invalid living under the care of a nurse who took pity on the comatose man abandoned by her clinic when it closed. Except, he’s not in a coma. He never has been. He’s been in hiding.

The main villain in this book is a creature called Nimble Jack who has a bitng to  of a Joker feel to him. He’s a demonic sort of creature that feeds on people’s crazy and neuroses – taking their souls and then leaving them to commit suicide. But while that would be bad enough there’s more to this nightmarish scenario. Apparently Declan can not only get into the minds of the crazy and use them as portals through a hellish version of Boston where demons reign but he also finds he has to battle this Nimble Jack between both worlds in order to protect that poor nurse who has unknowingly risked everything by caring for him and helping him hide over the years.

A lot of the things going on in the book could have probably used a lot more explaination but if you’re looking for a crazy, engaging plot that moves quickly then you’re definitely going to enjoy this one. Colder certainly knows how to keep the punches coming and the story keeps you interested – even if you aren’t sure exactly what is happening or just how things work. It was a good introduction to the story though I hope we’ll learn more in the future. Though, Declan is our hero we know very little about him. I do find a lot of potential in his relationship with Reece and I’m looking forward to seeing how that progresses.

I will say this, though. If you’re not into graphic violence and blood and everything… you might want to give this one a pass. It definitely has some pretty terrible moments. Not to spoil anything but there is a scene where a woman jumps to her death and hits a dog walker….

Final Thoughts: 
Horror comic fans are going to probably enjoy this one. Paul Tobin introduces us to a very interesting world and I suspect that our hero, Declan, will be come much more interesting and mysterious as we go along. Nimble Jack is a great, creepy, and sadistic villain in the truest fashion and the story does not disappoint. It’s definitely worth a read if you’re into the genre. If you’re not into graphic scenes, though, you may want to skip it. And keep an eye out for the next installment in the series! Colder II: Bad Seed apparently starts up some time in 2014 so keep an eye out for that one. The advertisement at the end of Colder for it was creepy as hell! It should be good.

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