Review by Josh Smith
Colder: Toss the Bones, the third, and final, volume in the Colder saga, manages to find the perfect balance between fun and creepy. Story protagonists Declan and Reese are trying to settle into some sense of normalcy after dealing with the finger-harvesting Swivel in 'Colder: Bad Seed', but the freshly resurrected Nimble Jack is toying with their sanity from the shadows.
If you haven’t read the previous volumes, Declan used to be in a catatonic state and was suffering from freezing body temperatures. Over the years he had been studied by several doctors and scientists, but nothing was ever discovered about his past or his condition. When it looked like he was going to be sent to a different facility, Reece volunteered to take him in and be his caretaker. Everything was fine until the murderous Nimble Jack discovered Declan’s existence; that’s when things really sprung into action and the mysteries surrounding Declan and Jack started unraveling.
Fast forward to this current issue, Declan and Reese are in a relationship, with Declan now missing most of his fingers and dealing with the revelation that he may have been a murderer at one point in his life. On top of that, Declan’s ability to cure people of their insanity and their fears is quickly making his body temperature drop to dangerous levels. Neither of them have any idea that Nimble Jack is back in the picture after Swivel’s dark sacrifice, and he's biding his time while shifting back and forth between Boston and the Hungry World, a nightmare plane of insanity, trying to sow as much terror and discord as he can.
Nimble Jack himself is one of the most compelling villains I’ve ever seen in any medium, and it is due in large part to Juan Ferreyra’s (Gotham by Midnight, Batman Eternal) incredible art. Jack comes across as terrifying and whimsical as he slides from panel to panel. Ferreyra renders each page with beautiful watercolor-like visuals, which really brings Paul Tobin’s (Bandette, Prometheus) story to life. There is one scene in particular where Nimble Jack turns a group of dogs rabid and psychotic before unleashing them to brutally attack city pedestrians, but what really elevates the scene is that the backdrop to all of this terror is a perfect, colorful, autumn day. Ferreyra and Tobin play with these stark contrasts a lot and it really works to give the book a a unique sense of dread.
My only critique is with the format of the series itself. By having each arc structured as an individual mini-series, you run the risk of confusing readers who aren’t in the know. That said, I really think horror fans should be reading this series, especially if you’ve read the previous volumes. Tobin’s deranged story and Ferreyra’s unique art style make this one of the most interesting and compelling horror tales around.