Review – Colder: Toss the Bones #3 (Dark Horse Comics)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Paul Tobin
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Publication Date: November 25th, 2015

After two issues of skin-crawling taunting and stalking, Reece and Declan finally came face with Nimble Jack at the conclusion of the previous chapter.  This issue sees our heroes trying desperately to escape his clutches while still trying to reconcile the fact that he’s even alive in the first place.  However, as with all good horror creations, it doesn’t really matter how far or how fast you run, you can never get quite far enough away.

With the bulk of this issue being dedicated to Jack tormenting Reece and Declan, trying to gradually drive them insane, writer Paul Tobin has an absolute field day with the weirdness and the ‘out there’ dialogue.  Seriously folks, pigeons and thermometers have never been so disconcerting.  If there’s one thing Tobin is great at, it’s being genuinely unnerving (no offence intended), and the relentless, seemingly unstoppable Jack is a perfect vessel for his boundless creativity – a monster who does his damage not through physical violence, but through mental torment, making him one of the most chillingly original horror creations in decades.

Artist Juan Ferreyra starts off somewhat slowly in this issue with some relatively sedate pages that see our heroes being pursued by an ominous flock of pigeons, before gradually building to a gut-churning crescendo at the end of the book as the shocking gore and disturbing visuals start coming thick and fast.  He also contributes an absolutely inspired double-page spread that sees the reader dizzily rotating the book in their hands as they struggle to keep up with just what the hell is going on in the nightmare world.

My only real criticism would be the fact that, to this point, Declan almost feels like an afterthought in his own story. This is very much the Nimble Jack show, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I’d like to at least see something else from Declan besides running and looking shocked.  Reece fares a little better, even getting her own violent outburst in yet another classic Ferreyra moment, but even she struggles to step out from the gargantuan shadow being cast by the unrelenting villain.

This minor niggle aside, Ferreyra and Tobin are as perfectly-suited a partnership as you could possibly hope for, feeding off one another’s twisted ideas to create something truly special; a horror comic that not only shocks and entertains but also creeps under your skin, lurking there in your subconscious as it waits for the lights to go out.  It should probably go without saying by now, but I’ll say it one more time – you need to buy this comic, as well as the previous two volumes. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Rating: 4.5/5.

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The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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