In the previous issues of Colder, a five-part mini-series from Dark Horse Comics, we've seen some disturbing and amazing art and followed some initially intriguing, eventually tedious storytelling. In this final chapter, do writer Paul Tobin and artist Juan Ferreyra bring things to a satisfying and explosive conclusion?
In Issue One we were introduced to mystery man Declan and his nurse caregiver, Reece. Declan has the ability to travel into the Hungry World, a parallel dimension seen only by the insane. From that dark place comes Nimble Jack, a murderously mischievous entity who pursues the pair across Boston, then back into the Hungry World. Jack feeds on human madness and intends for Declan to be his next meal. In the last issue Declan rescued the now-catatonic Reece from the Hungry World and returned to her apartment, only to find Nimble Jack waiting for them.
At the beginning of this final chapter Nimble Jack has captured Declan and taken him back to the Hungry World for what Jack believes will be a final tete-a-tete before he devours Declan’s soul. Jack rhapsodizes about the nature of madness, and the two take a walk through Declan’s memories of the insane asylum where the pair first encountered each other. It is here that Declan shows he is not as helpless as Jack believes. Declan strikes back, but Nimble Jack still toys with him, until their struggle brings them back to the real world for a final showdown.
Many questions were raised during these five issues. Who is Declan and what are the source of his abilities? Why is Nimble Jack so interested in him? While some answers were provided in this final chapter, much remains unexplained, hinting at the likelihood of a follow-up series. Personally, I prefer it this way, with some uncertainty left at the end of a story. Horror should be a place of darkness and hidden mysteries, a place we can never really understand. If everything can be explained where’s the scary? Though there is a decisive ending between the two main characters, the universe they live in still remains uncharted territory.
Ultimately, I found the conclusion to be satisfying. As mentioned in previous reviews, Ferreyra’s art has been the backbone of each issue. His visions of madness are disturbingly sumptuous. Writer Tobin seemed to fall into a repetitive trap during the middle issues, one of chase/exposition/chase/exposition, repeat. He could likely have trimmed the arc of the story down to four issues. Still, he was able to bring it around and wrap it up in an enjoyable way. When this series is collected into trade paperback I would recommend picking it up.