The Freeze #1
Writer: Dan Wickline
Artist: Phillip Sevy
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Publisher: Top Cow
Review by Greg Brothers
“You’ve got the touch. You’ve got the power!” Anyone that has ever seen the 1980’s Transformers movies is now singing or humming along with the rest of the song. And while The Freeze #1 is about a man with the magic touch, it has nothing to do with that movie.
Instead we are introduced to Ray Adams. Ray is an everyday IT guy who lives with and takes care of his elderly grandma. There is nothing particularly interesting about his life. Then, one day at work, as he is trying to get a co-worker’s computer up and working, he receives some sort of shock. When he climbs back out from under the desk, he finds that everyone is frozen. What has caused the incident and why Ray is the only person who did not freeze is a mystery. What he does know is that him and only him right now has the ability to reanimate people.
Wickline makes the choice to start The Freeze #1 with an action sequence where a military team is trying to free what we assume to be a hostage before a hail gunfire comes crashing down on them. But instead of that being a launching point into what happens next, we go back to the beginning as Adams tells their target about himself rather than why they needed to rescue her. It is in that flashback that we find out how unique The Freeze #1 is. Instead of being an end-of-the-world story with zombies, or nuclear attacks, or any various doomsday scenario plays out, the world and everyone in it just freezes.
This is the other point that makes The Freeze #1 stand out. When Ray first crawls out from under the desk, he is the only person not frozen. Because of that, there is no active villain or menace that he needs to stave off. Instead he is forced to try and figure out the mystery of why everyone is frozen and how or if it makes sense to reverse it. It also brings up the moral quandary of whether you should even reanimate everyone once you have the power. Would it not make sense to leave criminals in stasis rather then to have to lock them back up? Should you take time to reanimate you friends and family first? If they are still alive, would you want to keep someone dying of cancer in stasis until a cure can be found?
The art is not something that particularly jumps out from the pages. That being said ,it is good in that the emotions of Ray and the other characters is obvious and recognizable. The traditional nine-panel pages make for an easy read. The coloring of the characters is subtle in that until Ray reanimates the first person you are not quite aware that they all have a blue hue to them. Once you notice, however, going back and looking at the initial rescue mission and the lack of reactions from others makes sense.
Verdict: Buy it.
The Freeze #1 is a unique take on a possible world-ending event. By the end of the first issue I was left with more questions than answers, but here it works. The moral dilemma that is brought up is an interesting one and one that I hope gets explored more in future issues. And while Ray is the focus here, the concept allows an openness that could lead to other people’s stories being told later. Grab a copy quick as you will not be disappointed.