A harsh world

Publisher: Black Mask
Written by Ryan K Lindsay
Illustrated by Sami Kivelä
Coloured by Lauren Affe
Lettered by Jim Campbell

Everfrost #1 took us into a harsh and icy world. Now Everfrost #2 takes us back to that world and whilst there’s more world building going on there’s a lot of character building, in fact perhaps more so as we get some really good insights into Van and what is driving her. The theme of family is really expanded on.

I am going to get my main complaint out of the way quickly. There will be spoilers because, well, I can’t say it without spoilers. Eight, my favourite character thus far not only doesn’t get any lines in this issue but is killed off. I can’t say I am not disappointed because I am. I knew going in there would be some more death (and Eight is not the only character to pass on) but Eight I was really attached to.

So with that over let’s focus on the real content of this issue We already know Van has issues with beings being produced with the DNA of her dead son but here her struggle with that is really laid out. Here we see the tense relationship she has with another member of her family – her mother. Her dead mother.

The conceit of technology being used to allow Van to have a conversation with her dead mother is clever. The way her hand passes though the projection whilst speaking to her gives it all a sense of unreality. That unreality is not in the emotions of the scene which ring very true but in the very nature of well, talking to your dead mother. Van’s mother offers a different perspective and through their conversation we get a better sense of who Van is or at least was and what is driving her now.

I like having some character insight in this way it plays out much more interestingly. When you have characters commenting on how they see other characters it not only provides insight but also allows the reader to think about how they are viewing the character, especially in light of the revelations. To me that was the standout part of the issue.

Then of course there are other things going on and the other plot lines from the previous issue are still there and if anything they are coming closer to Van’s story. It feels like the plots are weaving themselves more closely together as Van continues her journey, or is it perhaps a quest? It’s pretty clear that although Van has her own battles she’s not divorced from the larger world.

The world itself is still very well drawn. There’s some great atmosphere through the snow and the action too is well realised from panel to panel. There’s a lot going on but the art remains focused and there are some lovely little touches, such as the glitching of Van’s mother. The death scenes are there and are sadly unambiguous in their depiction.

Overall Everfrost provides more world building and character insight, which is nicely balanced throughout.

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