Publisher: Comixology Originals
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist & Cover: Jock
Lettering: Steve Wands
There will be spoilers for Snow Angels Season One in this review. If you have not read it I recommend you do. You can check out my review of Season One here.
When we left Milli and Mae they had suffered tragedy. Their father was dead and they had left the trench, the only world they had ever known. The only world they thought existed. Now they are out in the wilderness alone. Milli must protect her younger sister but there are many more dangers lurking than just the fabled Snowman.
The world of Snow Angels is vastly expanded in this first half of Season Two. Whereas the first season built up the trench and the mythology that these characters believe in, now we see where their belief takes them and puts them to the test. It’s really interesting because faith and belief seem to be themes that are woven into the fabric of this world and to see that expanded out is very interesting. Especially when you see the hostile nature that can bring.
We also get a deeper sense of the world this is. The Snowman who so brutally attacked them previously appears to be ‘just’ a man inside, albeit a man with some sort of mysterious powered suit. His motives too are very interesting in these issues. He was wounded in the fight with Milli and Mae’s father and here he seems to be tracking them but to what end and what he wants we are still unaware of. He also provides the real cliff-hanger at the end of issue #3. I won’t say what that is but it will make you wish issue #4 was already here.
There might be a clue to what the Snowman wants as Milli and Mae stumble across what appears essentially to be a mech suit. Their strange control of it baffles the other characters we meet. For Season Two introduces The Keepers. These are not the people of the trench. They have a different language and set of beliefs. Their beliefs are no more benign than those of the people of the trench but there’s a nice bit of moral ambiguity throughout issue #2 about this.
Once more the art really exposes the reader to the harsh world the characters are in. It’s not easy to make blizzards and snow interesting but Jock does that here. These two little figures making their way across a snowy landscape are just so compelling. That snow art is juxtaposed nicely with the technological elements. The mysterious Snowman’s base shows some warmer tones, like reds, purples and oranges, which give a real otherworldly sci-fi feel to the Snowman and his real nature. This is also apparent in the mech the girls find that also has that strange reddish and purple feel. It does feel that when the girls are in the mech suit that they have stepped into what is a deferent world. The art really underlines that strange split between the snowy outside world and the hidden technological one.
There’s some nice work too with the darker areas of the world. The deep dark crevasses that pose such a threat are contrasted to the lighter snow but both portrayed as just as potentially deadly. The action in those settings also feels like it bursts onto the page, especially when the infamous Snowman is involved. When there are fights or people are injured you can really feel it because it all contrasts with the snow and the dark.
One of my favourite bits of art though is really simple and that’s just the focus on the bare foot of a character who has lost a shoe. So engaging is the art that you feel it’s cold and you can imagine the feeling cold snow on a bare foot will generate. It’s just so effective. Also effective are the panels without words just art. The best comics can tell the story this way and Snow Angels really does this.
Snow Angels is effective in both art and story. These two sisters bonded together in a harsh world just trying to survive. You can feel the weight of responsibility Milli has. She alone must take care of Mae. She has to be a parent to her younger sister. She made a promise to her father to take care of Mae and in her own words she doesn’t break promises. Her resolve for one so young is so touching. You can really feel for her struggle.
Snow Angels Season Two #1 – #3 propels the story of these two girls forward. There are still a whole lot of questions about what’s really going on, about who the Colden ones are. The Keepers see them as a threat, those from the trench saw them as gods. We still don’t know which belief is founded most closely in truth. Then there’s the question of the Snowman, and the fact Milli and Mae can control a mech suit. I am very onboard for the continuing journey these Snow Angels will make in the rest of Season Two. If you haven’t read the story so far go back and just enjoy a book that is brilliantly put together.
Very highly recommended. I can’t wait for the next issue.