It’s A Cold One in “Frostbite” #4 (REVIEW)

Dec 28, 2016

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Frostbite #4
Vertigo Comics

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Jason Shawn Alexander

Mexico City, after the dawn of the New Ice Age: A bounty hunter named Fuego looks over a corpse in a morgue trying to piece together who is helping Dr. Victoria. He infers that someone with knowledge of the cold is helping her. The cutaway to Keaton and Victoria trudging through the blizzard as they shiver, wondering if they are going to make it somewhere safe before they freeze to death. Out of nowhere through the blinding whiteout they come to a circular building in the snowdrift. The two of them take refuge inside and find multiple dead bodies that succumbed to the Frostbite infection in what looks like a dark macabre scene of violence. They are on the run because there is a bounty on Victoria’s head. There is some back and forth dialogue between the two of them over the course of a few pages until the Fuegoe finds them with his thugs and polar bear and captures them, but not before a short skirmish ensues.

Joshua Williamson’s writing on Frostbite felt pretty decent. I think he held back a little and pulled some punches. For a title that is rated suggested for mature readers I was expecting a little more than just a few expletives. I went back to issue #1 to research the material. I thought that the envelope could have been pushed a little more. The writing that was good, was very good, but I cannot say much without giving away a major spoiler. I think the characters of Keaton and Victoria have a lot of potential to go far in this series. The former seems very strong, but unpredictable and the latter seems like the damsel in distress, think Felicity or Iris in Arrow and Flash, respectively. The onomatopoeia usage in some of the panels does not describe well enough the sound effects and it often pulled me out of the story. For readers not familiar with the Frostbite infection, it turns the person blue and starts to freeze them, but keeping them cold keeps them alive, and its heat that eventually kills them.

Jason Shawn Alexander’s artwork is inconsistent throughout the book as it goes from superb on some panels such as the bottom of page three to mediocre on page eight and top of page 12. I think the latter, he probably did not take the time because the picture was of the two girls from farther away in the scene so it was harder to add detail and the former picture was of a closer shot of Keaton’s face that was highly detailed. The most striking piece of art is the evident flashback scene. The surrounding colors makes it known to the reader that this is something different from our mainline tale. Jason Shawn Alexander also used this technique in issue #1 with similar attention to detail. I think his shading, lines and use of shadows are all well done, notwithstanding the aforementioned inconsistencies.

Frostbite is a good series that should be given a chance for anyone who likes the Eclipse series by Zack Kaplan or anyone who likes action/adventure.