Under Your Skin

Colder #1

Well, there we go, ain’t that something to wake up to in the morning? If there’s a prize for the Most Beautifully Well-Done Yet Least Pleasant To Look At comic cover, I think this one has a shot for first place.

So we start out at mental hospital in 1941. A disastrous fire has engulfed the building, and while the doctors and nurses try to either restrain the patients or let them loose — and while the patients themselves either run amok or die — something strange happens, and a hole in reality is opened up. A man — or something — calling himself Nimble Jack steps through, picks out a random patient named Declan, and tells him “You will grow… colder.”

From there, we jump forward to present day Boston, where Nimble jack makes his way into another mental hospital, persuades an inmate to hang himself, and then eats his soul.

Elsewhere, Reece, a nurse, gets mugged, and while giving her statement to the police, draws the attention of Nimble Jack — apparently, no one is able to see him, so he tags along to her home, where we learn that she is now the guardian of Declan, still alive, still looking the same, but catatonic, gray-skinned and with a body temperature of only 47 degrees. It’s only after Nimble Jack has a demented one-way conversation with Declan that he unexpectedly comes out of his catatonia…

Verdict: Thumbs up. A lot of this issue is devoted to setting the stage for the story to come. We get an excellent villain in Nimble Jack, we get an interesting, charismatic heroine in Reece, we get a fully mysterious hero in Declan. The scenes in the 1941 asylum are probably a bit over-the-top — most mentally ill people aren’t particularly cartoonishly deranged like the people here — but it’s definitely creepy and bizarre storytelling. I’m looking forward to more of the story, though I think I also hope the future covers aren’t quite as squick-inducing…

Freelancers #1

So here’s Val and Cassie — best friends, orphans, martial artists, and freelance bounty hunters. They start out on the trail of Lobo Ramirez, a stylish crook with a stylish wildcat, before they lose him (but nab the wildcat) then get tossed off the case by their boss, in favor of a Katherine Rushmore, a high-profile freelancer and rival for the girls. But they get an inside tip on where they can track down Ramirez — but they’ll have to fight their way through his entire crew first. Why is a simple job getting so dang complicated?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Appealing characters, good action, excellent humor, and an actual fer-realz mystery. Cheesecake? Yeah, there’s a little of that. Most of the emphasis is on action, humor, and character, though, so this comic feels like a winner to me.

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