Comics: Cold War #4 - Reviewed

New this week from AfterShock Comics is Cold War #3, a hyper-violent dystopian tale chock-full of over-the-top action and sci-fi madness that is both brutal and and beautiful in its own way. Co-Created by Christopher Sebela and Hayden Sherman, the Cold War series is an absolutely insane battle between humans and robots that is reminiscent of Altered Carbon, Demolition Man, and Starship Troopers.

The Cryonauts have been in a cryogenic sleep for hundreds of years and are now being woken up to a new world, one in which they imagined would be better than the one that they left. Instead, they’re in for a rather rude awakening, as they are thrust into a war against an unknown enemy. They are provided with the same materials; a special uniform that can heal small wounds and auto-cauterize severed limbs, a weapon that runs on nanoballistics, and a diagnostic helmet that contains indexes of their old lives. Issue 3 delved into the backstories of two of the other Cryonauts, John and LQ., with LQ discovering some important information about who they are waging a war against. 

Issue 4 reveals a great deal regarding what's really going on in this violent future and why the Cryonauts are fighting this crazy war. The backstories of two of the other Cryonauts, Sath and Tikk, are told and we learn that they know exactly what is going on. We learn how they were connected in the past, and how their past affected the future. The conclusion is shockingly brutal and should have readers clamoring to see what happens next.

As mentioned in a previous review, besides the never-ending orgy of violence, the true showcase of Cold War is the fabulous art and colors from Sherman. His style is totally unique from anything that you would likely see from the major comic studios, and is more reminiscent of something from the underground comics from the ‘70s or sci-fi tales from Heavy Metal. It's a welcomed change of pace. The art is gritty and the characters are less detailed, with more focus put on line work and the large solid colored shapes of their bodies. The faces often contain the only points of detail and line work and the art is somewhat reminiscent of the work of Frank Miller. The colors are outstanding and feature blacks, reds and oranges, juxtaposed with flashback panels that look like newspaper comics or three-color screen prints. There are also several pages that make excellent use of white backgrounds to make the panels and characters pop out. The final page and conclusion of this issue is beautifully violent and the colors explode from the panels.

With its violent action and stunning artwork, Cold War is a must read for fans of ultra-violence or sci-fi dystopian stories.