When Dan Kerr’s ex-wife’s Alyssa vanishes with their daughter, his father-in-law orders him to find and bring them home. Dan’s investigation leads him to Quarrel Island, a mysterious isolated island that unnerves the local population. Dan soon finds himself in a world where the dead rise and turn the world cold, and his daughter Grace is at the center of everything.
Artist Mark Torres’ artwork sets the tone for this horror tale. Torres effectively uses loose and fuzzy linework to convey the ghosts and coldness, and the main characters are drawn with sharp lines, frequently giving them a sinister appearance. The muted and dark color palette gives the work a gritty mood, contributing to the darker and creepy tone. While the art sets the mood, the story struggles.
The first volume of Cold Spots focuses on Dan’s rescue mission, and readers will quickly find themselves in the middle of an action-packed story. Dan quickly finds himself trying to play hero and rescue Alyssa and Grace from the horrors of Quarrel Island. The ghost-brought cold and the gradual reveal of the Quarrel family’s dark history and goals make for an eerie adventure. While there is plenty of action, the story lacks some punch because it does not take the time to develop Dan and his relationship with Alyssa and Grace. Although the story implies that Dan did not want anything to do with his family, he instantly becomes the hero and decides he wants his wife and daughter after all. The story would have been more authentic if more time had been spent developing these characters’ past relationships. As a result, the story is not as gripping as it could have been.
With its chilling art and plot, Cold Spots may attract established horror fans, but will be less interesting to readers who value strong character development. Despite its strong art, the storytelling and characterization prevent Cold Spots from being an essential purchase. That being said, the first volume ends on an intriguing cliffhanger, which suggests that the story may improve in later volumes. Image Comics gives Cold Spots an M or 18+ rating. Given that abuse and manipulation are part of this story, this book would be best shelved in adult.
Cold Spots, Vol. 1
By Cullen Bunn
Art by Mark Torres
Image Comics, 2019
Publisher Age Rating: M (18+)