The Cold Spot TP collects Cold Spots #1-5 that holds the entire mini-series in its depths. This series was written by Cullen Bunn, drawn by Mark Torres, and lettering by Simon Bowland. It follows a father, Dan Kerr, as he attempts to reclaim the daughter Gloria and wife Alyssa he left ten years ago. As he creeps into the circle of a cult, he finds his daughter with a power she struggles to control. The ghosts and the cold desire to be near her presence. When the cult asks Gloria to bring back an ancient deity, the end of the world draws near and horror becomes more than imagination.
For A Slowburn, The Writing Barely Burns In The Cold Spots
Cold Spots TP read in its entirety is a disappoint if a person judges it as psychological horror. The psychological horror for the main character Dan remains ineffective. The reader can’t make a connection between his actions to his motivations. His acts don’t make sense when comparing to who he is as a person. For the main character, his motivation to be in his daughter’s life is sweet, but he doesn’t have a reason to commit such an act. He left the mother and the daughter for ten years without an explanation in the story. Why does he feel the need to risk so much now? The writer leaves the question unanswered.
While Alyssa’s actions are understandable, the reader doesn’t spend enough time to care about her journey. Beyond being a plot device, along with Grace, she doesn’t have much of a personality. This lack of being able to relate to any of the main characters leaves a reader unmoored. When the risks are high, the stakes become low. One relates to these characters as players in a story, rather than people. What I did enjoy about the writing was the potential of all these characters. If their backstories had been elaborated upon in the paperback, there could’ve been more depth.
The idea of Alyssa and Grace, during their beginning in the cult, and the history of the romance between Dan and Alyssa would be interesting. I also like the fact that Dan dealt with other ghostly beings and seemed to be good at his job for some reason. We never did figure out why he’s such a survivor.
The Art Brings In The Ghosts & Horror Beyond Our Human Comperhenstion
The art is unsettling, due to the smokey effect. I especially enjoyed it when the smoke obscures the ghosts’ heads because the reader can’t identify the facial expressions. This artistic choice leaves a reader with the feeling of the unknown. On the other hand, the facial expressions for humans can be exaggerated and terrifying. It’s the one time that seeing something is more terrible than not having everything revealed. The distortion to those faces makes the comic feel slightly off as if you’re not visiting the real world.
I also enjoyed the watercolor-esque backgrounds because they’re eye-catching and contrasts against the dark silhouettes well. It helps that the letter is unobtrusive and the paneling doesn’t obscure any of the art. The human’s character designs aren’t all that memorable unless their faces are reacting to a terrible situation. The eldritch horrors are visually interesting and are terrifying to look at for too long. While I do appreciate the eyes and tentacles in all it’s glory, an issue with showing these particular monstrosities is there’s no anticipation of the horror. You can get away with it for the human faces because there’s still the fact that you don’t know their intentions.
Should You Read the Cold Spots?
I think if you’re interested in Cold Spot’s possibilities then you should support the trade paperback in order to get more stories. The potential to delve deeper into the lore, the ghosts and the characters are ripe for the taking. I would like the chance to see it, but I wouldn’t pay for it myself. As it stands, it reads more like an okay prequel to what might come in the future. I wouldn’t consider the work as a mini-series that can stand alone.
Cold Spots TP by Cullen Bunn and Mark Torres
Cold Spots is saved by its art because its plot is so straight forward that it doesn't relate well-enough to its genre.