Review – Colder: Toss the Bones #5 (Dark Horse Comics)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Paul Tobin
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Release Date: 27th Jan 2016
So… here we are.
From a series that first grabbed my attention solely on the strength of its cover back in 2012, Colder – in its various incarnations – has pretty much been my comic book highlight of the last few years. So it’s with a heavy heart that I’m forced to admit that after years of ramming it down the throat of my comic-loving friends, plastering the walls of my house with its original artwork and screaming its praises from the rooftops time and time again, the end has finally arrived.
There’s a definite feeling of the entire Colder story coming full circle here, with writer Paul Tobin bringing us all the way back to the beginning in order to deliver the ending we deserve. Tobin also wisely opts to provide us with better look at the early moments of Declan and Reece’s relationship, much of which happened off-camera between the events of the first and second series. This added perspective gives some extra punch to the dramatic denouement, a conclusion which is both surprisingly touching, and – in true Colder fashion – more than a little bit twisted.
Once again, there’s also a sense of Tobin and Ferreyra feeding off one another in order to keep the reader as uncomfortable as possible. The book is filled with tiny moments that will burrow their way into your subconscious, from the quiet mumbling of a crazy man walking his dog to Nimble Jack’s chilling, “Snow White”-esque table setting. The big moments are impressive too, don’t get me wrong, but it’s these smaller exchanges and sequences which – while initially easy to overlook – will keep popping up in your head time and time again, usually when you’re trying to get to sleep.
As for the visual side of the issue? Blah blah Juan Ferreyra, blah blah awesome artwork. Honestly, if you’ve been following the Big Comic Page for any length of time, you’ll have read countless reviews where we gush over the twisted genius of Ferreyra’s artwork. This issue, as you’d probably expect, is no different, as Ferreyra manages to once again blend his slightly overly-exaggerated characters with all manner of truly disturbing visual creations (Hand dogs! Pigeons! A giant, shuffling eyeball… thing!) in a way that’s pretty much guaranteed to get under your skin. He also pumps up the colour during the climactic showdown between Declan and Nimble Jack, bathing the pages in a mesmerising rainbow glow as our hero desperately tries to put his “crazy” plan into action.
As a finale, this issue works on so many levels. It ties up the current arc beautifully, while also simultaneously providing a sense of resolution to the ongoing story as a whole. Sure, it’s not quite the happy ending some of us might have been hoping for, but then again, with a book like this, what else would you really expect? Tobin and Ferreyra continue to work as effortlessly together as any creative partnership I think I’ve ever seen, and I can only hope that this isn’t the last time we see them collaborate (hows about that “wacky romance”, guys?).
If you’re not already picking this book up, then there’s probably nothing else I can say now that I haven’t said already that will change your mind. Simply put, this is one of the finest, most original, most disturbing horror series’ of all time. Yeah, I said it. Colder deserves to be held in that level of regard. While the story may be over, I have a feeling it’ll be sticking with a lot of us for a long, long time, every time we see a person mumbling in the streets, every time we fold up a paper aeroplane, and every time we see a group of goddamn pigeons. As I’ve said before, this is horror as an absolute masterclass.
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The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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