Written by Magdalene Visaggio
Art by Andrea Mutti
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Cold Bodies begin as an intriguing examination of the 90’s. It takes a look at the post slasher pre-Scream horror era.
It looks at it through the eyes of a character suffering through post traumatic stress disorder, while just trying to survive Clinton-era misogyny. It seems like a lot to handle through a clever conceit, but it ends up being too clever for its own good.
Denise Stokes is the sole survivor of the Winter Man Massacre.
In a brutally cold January night back in 1981, Denise’s friends were slaughtered. The story of this horrible night has been immortalized for mass consumption, in the popular horror film franchise, Snow Day.
The 15th anniversary of the massacre is fast approaching. Denise is now trying to build a life far away from that dark Wisconsin night. Now living in New York City, she has a less than supportive boyfriend, and a writer hounding her down to get yet another story of the massacre.
With the Blizzard of 1996 bearing down, Denise is being hounded by visions of the Winter Man.
Is Denise losing her grip on reality, or has the Winter Man returned to finish what he started?
Cold Bodies opens with a chilling, intense flashback to 1981, then does a great job of placing right square in 1996. The Blizzard of 1996 featured here happened, and all of the Northeastern US was shut down for nearly a week. The details of the storm and the background really places us there.
Magdalene Visaggio’s script builds suspense from the character’s previous nightmare experience. In collaboration with Andrea Mutti, the story build and you feel the sense of panic in the character. There are moments in which spacing and coloring and used to create a sense of discomfort and confusion. Andrea Mutti’s work manages to recreate the sense of horror and suspense of slasher films.
However, it feels like Magdalene Visaggio is trying to say something about how we view horror and violence.
Netflix just premiered yet another retelling of Jeffrey Dahmer, and it’s just another symptom for our hunger for retelling of true crime. What does this say about us? It feels like Cold Bodies wants to examine our hunger for violent tales and how we make victims of violence pay for our need to hear and re-hear these stories.
However, Cold Bodies swerves into just another slasher tale, just before swerving into a confusing tale. Is Denise really Denise, or the actress who played Denise just way too into character?
Is the WInter Man just another serial killer, or imbued with the supernatural? Cold Bodies fails in the last third and lands on an ending that is just unclear and not has clever as it thinks.