Not content with being the premiere digital comics seller in the world, Comixology continue to grow their Originals line with more and more big name talent. This week, we check out their new comic Snow Angels as writer extraordinaire Jeff Lemire joins up with Legendary British artist Jock to deliver a chilling sci-fi/horror. However, can this issue skate into reader’s pull lists or will it be left out in the cold?
Publisher: Comixology Originals/4Twenty Limited
Writer: Jeff Lemire, Tyler Jennes (Assistant Editor), Will Dennis (Editor)
Artist: Jock (Art), Steve Wands (Letterer)
Price: $3.99/£3.19 on Comixology
Set in the cold Wastelands of an unknown world Snow Angels follows the story of Milliken who embarks on a hunting trip for her twelfth birthday with her father, Caleb, and younger sister, Mae Mae, out along the trench, the only habitable place in this frozen world. However, upon returning to their camp with a fresh kill and well as a mysterious gift from her father which emits strange lights, Milliken and her family find all of the neighbours dead. Unfortunately, things only gets worse when the killer reveals himself as the fabled Snowman, the one person feared to hunt any who leave the safety of the trench.
Jeff Lemire continues to show his exemplary writing chops with a truly captivating opening issue as he slowly sets up a major mystery in a harsh world that feels like a mashup of the Warriors, Mad Max and Snowpiercer. Lemire offers very little exposition, telling the story from the point of view of a somewhat shielded 12 year old child to ensure that we are only aware of the we need to know. However, rather than find this confusing, this helps build up the mystery aspect of Snow Angels as Lemire lays down just enough to help us know both the players and the field but still leaving enough questions that can play on your mind once read. The characters themselves come across as relatively bare and stereotypical, with the sisters seeking bratty and annoying respectively while the father is ‘protective’ as fathers tend to be. That said, this opening issue feels like it is setting up a very painful coming of age story, as implied by the unsettling sci-fi/horror cliffhanger.
As for the art, Jock once again provides incredibly solid visuals. Jock continues to provide art here that is consistent with many of his previous works in that they are gritty and rough looking. However, both the pencils and the colours have subtler and lighter vibe to them, this look really sells the idea of the frozen wasteland which Milliken and her family inhabit with the art implying a near constant blizzard enveloping the family and helping sell the coldness of the world to readers as that feeling seemingly jumps off of the page (although maybe that is just the time of year we are currently in).
Snow Angel’s #1 is a deeply intriguing first issue as Jeff Lemire offers an engrossing story which will leave you with more questions you’ll want answered. Coupled with Jock’s chillingly beautiful art, Comixology are onto a winner here and you should definitely brave its cold world as this mystery is doubtless going to heat up.