Everfrost one hundred percent sticks the landing as this issue brings the vast gorgeous emotional science-fiction epic to a satisfying and hopeful conclusion. Fans of high-level science fiction, world-building, deep character building, and moments need to pick this book up and make it part of their collection right away.
All creative endeavors have some type of constraint that is placed upon them. Movies have run times, a canvas has edges you can’t go beyond, novels have page counts, etc. These constraints can shift depending on what the creator (and sometimes others involved in the process) feels is needed for their creative vision.
Comic books have page counts that generally range somewhere in the 20 something page realm. The greatest of stories are often ones that can take that 20 to 25 or whatever page count and make it inherently feel like there is actually 40 or 50 or more pages of story.
That’s what Everfrost has accomplished with each and every issue, especially here for this final issue.
Ryan K Lindsay, Sami Kivelä, Lauren Affe, and Jim Campbell have created a truly unique and vast science-fiction epic that is full of gorgeous visuals, heartbreaking emotional moments, and so many stunning lofty ideas. Over just four issues this world was fleshed out to wondrous depths, and the characters were made to feel weighty and real in a way that the readers can’t help but connect with them even with it only being a four-issue story.
One of the high marks of this series is the fact that it throws out a lot of big ideas and terms and pieces in regard to this new world and the science fiction of it and doesn’t feel the need to make sure that it’s easy to understand or even fully explained. All along it’s the journey and the hear that truly matters and the beautiful science fiction trappings are tasty treats to enjoy along that journey. Even with the bits of this world or concept that maybe aren’t as clear or explained, it never leaves one feeling lost or like they aren’t smart enough to figure something out.
Everfrost is a story that reads great month to month/issue to issue but I imagine will read even greater when complete in one spot. There are story elements that felt disconnected from the story at the start that with the revelations in this issue make so much more sense. It’s like a light went off and makes it all clearer as just pieces of the same puzzle rather than the assumption that they might be different puzzles.
There is just great love for the overall concept and story and the medium showing up through every fiber of this tapestry. Just the first few pages show this off as Van’s caption boxes take on a very meta-atmosphere, describing the structure of comic book (and most media) fights. These captions, well placed and rendered by Campbell, do all the heavy lifting of telling you what Van and Rannveig say to one another or do so that the art can show us the battle and not have to have a lot of dialogue bubbles showing us this speech.
Kivelä and Affe’s art very much does speak for itself, bringing this world and these moments to vivid and sometimes brutal life. As noted before, the format of the panels and use of white space is masterful within this series. It just helps with the overall uniqueness of the story, allowing Kivelä so much room to be creative and bring these moments to life in various ways.
That aforementioned fight scene mostly takes place over one giant panel that is just full of the different moments of the fight while dropping in some panels within panels to highlight specific moments. That’s just one of a number of really creative and stunning pages that just push beyond any sort of standard panel aesthetics into new realms.
In the last review, I made a note about how Affe’s coloring is just so spot on through these issues but especially when capturing the true feeling of a low light/nighttime scene. That continues here as well as some well-done early morning/sunrise coloring effects that bring such a great glow and lighting for some of the later big fight/story moments. Affe’s work sets the atmospheric tone of this series, with so many gorgeous blues and reds and purples swirling around and matching whatever mood is needed for a page while blending in plenty of shadows that emphasize certain moments.
Not only does Campbell nail it with the caption boxes and the variety of dialogue bubbles on display (making changes to them for the various characters), but the SFX. Just look at that panel above which is just a ‘Chomp’ SFX with one of the Kryal dragons showing back up (also seeing the return of a character lost issues ago) which is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. There is a specific lower use of SFX through these pages, saving them for certain fights or moments to really hit home something brutal or big that is happening.
Everfrost #4 is now on sale in print and digitally from Black Mask Studios.