Colder: The Bad Seed #1 Review – Can I Get A Hand?

ColderTheBadSeedColder, the Eisner-nominated mini-series about a man with a corpse’s body temperature, returns as an ongoing monthly, for Dark Horse.

What’s the 411?

Colder: The Bad Seed #1 follows the continuing exploits of Declan Thomas – a human popsicle, that never ages or gets sick, and has been institutionalized since the 1940s, with a unique power over the madness of others.

Declan Thomas may have defeated Nimble Jack, the bendable man, in the first series, but we are introduced to a new villain, Swivel, who I guess you could say, is all thumbs. Thomas has been working as a “harvester” for Swivel, collecting human fingers; seeds for a garden of madness.

Harvesting fingers? A garden of madness? Eww, gross! Sounds like a horror. Is it scary?

Any comic that begins with someone hacking off their own fingers with a curved blade could easily be called horror. Is it scary? It’s almost hard to say, as Colder exists in its own black hole universe of terror. You will be frightened, disturbed, unsettled, confused, shocked, and maybe a little offended, during the short course of its 24 pages.

Who worked on it? How’s the art?

Paul Tobin, who won an Eisner for The Bandette, and has worked on Marvel Adventures, is writing, while Juan Ferreyra, of Falling Skies and Constantine, handles the art, as well as dishing a chilling cover.

The artwork is one of the most compelling aspects of Colder: The Bad Seed, chock full of disgusting, disturbing, disorienting creatures and surreal, nightmarish visions. Numerous times during my reading, i leaned over to show my girlfriend, who is also a graphic artist and mutant appreciator, scenes from the comic, late at night. Her response: “You keep showing me things. Things I don’t want to see.”

Also, major bonus points for including a comic within a comic, as a clever flashback mechanism.

Did you still like it? Were you lost?

I’ll be honest, Colder: The Bad Seed #1 left me a bit confused, as I wasn’t familiar with the characters or what was going on. In a way, I liked it even more, as it lent itself to the disturbing, disorienting quality of the book, which comes off like a combination of V For Vendetta, Jacob’s Ladder, and the Delirium segment of Endless Nights.

Upon re-reading, I realized there was a flashback synopsis, that pretty much summed up the major points of the original series. You can pick up Colder: The Bad Seed cold, and still follow along.

Favorite Quote?

Swivel: “It’s so lovely. My gardens are in bloom.”

Final Thoughts?

Dark Horse continue to be a major boon in the world of horror comics, proving for once and for all, that these are not funny books, nor meant just for kids.

Strong, bone-chilling, blood-curdling stuff, that should definitely be considered For Mature Audiences Only, but will leave horror fans panting.

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