Publisher: Black Mask
Written by Ryan K Lindsay
Illustrated by Sami Kivelä
Coloured by Lauren Affe
Lettered by Jim Campbell
In Everfrost we are thrown into a world that has trappings of both sci-fi and fantasy, of both past and present. And cold. Lots and lots of cold. That’s really what I am taking away from this book. There’s a feeling of cold that really permeates the art. It is very atmospheric.
If you asked me what the story of Everfrost was I would say there’s a lot going on here. The main focus is on Van who has a tragic past (some of which is revealed) and who hangs about with Eight a monkey like creature with a long and impressive tale. She is a scientist looking for something which is not necessarily about scientific answers, as emotion and reactions to the past seem to infuse most of her actions.
There’s also world building going on elsewhere, and there’s a very fantasy feel to that world building. The idea of The Precinct as the heart of Ward territory feels fantasy like, probably enhanced by the fact there are flying dragons. Dragon is as much a shorthand for fantasy as as robot is sci-fi shorthand, which we get more of later.
There’s an eclectic mix of creatures and peoples, which do feel like a mix of fantasy creature and sci-fi aliens. There’s a definite richness to the world that you can see in even the background art. There’s lots of little details, in particular when we see Van and Eight reach the Downs, an area part way to the Precinct which reads as something of a wild west town populated by a lot of different people with fantasy inspired clothing. The mishmash works well though.
This does feel like a first issue in that there’s a lot going on and a lot of exposition, some of which doesn’t yet make sense. Despite the amount of exposition I don’t feel I fully understand what is going on yet. Though at times I was happy enough to just let the visuals wash over me.
I read what this comic was about but matching up the blurb with what’s on the page was a bit of a struggle for me at times. A lot has to be introduced in a first issue and unfortunately that means some things don’t get as fleshed out as perhaps they will be later. I get the sense of only really skimming the surface of the world and the characters. I don’t find Van an especially likeable protagonist but I like that she’s not likeable. It makes her interesting.
For me though Eight was the character who interested me the most. Of course I will always go with a sarcastic non-human sidekick over a main human character. Eight is great in that tradition and feels both fantasy and science fiction at the same time, encapsulating the overall tone of the book.
The visuals are impressive and it was nice to be able to dive into a cold world on a hot day. There’s some really interesting ideas which I hope are built upon further as time goes on. Everfrost feels like a book with a lot of potential. I just hope that can be realised later on.