Cold War #1 Review: Waking Up in the Apocalypse

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A group of people cryogenically frozen wake up hundreds of years in the future to a war they don't understand. Among them is Tom Rook, a man who already spent his entire life fighting wars. This is actually a joyous awakening for him; he has long missed the battlefield. The weapons and enemies may be different, but war is still war.

One of the cleverest things about Cold War #1 is actually the surprise ending, but I'm not going to spoil that. Just know that it's a good twist.

Cold War #1 cover by Hayden Sherman
Cold War #1 cover by Hayden Sherman

Cold War is a comic about a group of strangers being immediately thrown into a conflict of which they have no understanding or vested interest beyond surviving.

Tom Rook insists that the context doesn't matter; they would still be fighting for their lives regardless.

Rook is something of a beefed-up stereotype. He is a selfish mercenary only interested in getting his bloodthirsty rocks off. However, he is still the best chance the others have at survival, even as he intentionally sends many of them to their deaths. I'd say this is something of the point, but far too much text is devoted to details which could have been summed up in a fraction of the words and the art.

The art is a point of contention too. Hayden Sherman's style has an appealing John Romita Jr.-esque grittiness to it. However, it lacks the clarity that Romita Jr. can maintain. A lot of the scenes do leave you quite lost, and it isn't helped that there are two dozen characters, each one wearing identical armor and helmets and wielding identical weapons. Plus, most of them are scared out of their wits, so they mostly behave in similar manners.

You could argue the lack of clarity in the art is the point. You could say the art is supposed to convey the chaos of the battlefield, but, at the end of the day, I'm still supposed to know what's going on in the story.

The color art is quite good though. It is a gritty nastiness to it that really fits the world of the comic.

Problems with the characters and the art aside, Cold War #1 is still an intriguing book with a lot of cool ideas at its core. There is a cyperpunk corporate dystopia feel to it which works quite well with its premise. As such, I do recommend checking this one out. It's interesting, and you'll likely have a good time reading it.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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