Advance Review: Modernizing Celtic Myths In `Cold Iron’ #1
by Tom Smithyman
You don’t have to be interested in the superstitions from the Isle of Man to be wowed by the artwork and colors for this premiere issue. While the story is a bit slow in this installment, the visuals alone are worth the price of the book.
The Isle of Man is not your typical comic book setting. Then again, Cold Iron is not your typical comic book limited series.
The inhabitants of the island – a real-world setting dropped midway between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales – are a superstitious lot. It’s bad luck to say the word “rat” in conversation. Instead of trick-or-treating on Halloween, they celebrate they celebrate by singing songs, and yelling Hop-tu-Naa to scare away otherworldly visitors. And when those goblins and unearthly goats do appear, only cold iron will harm them – hence the name of the series.
While the story, written by Andy Diggle, is ostensibly about aspiring singer-songwriter Kay Farragher, the Isle of Man itself serves as a character of its own in this mythical tale told in modern times. Kay, something of a lost soul, encounters a literal lost soul in Mona. Mona, who seems to be from another time or dimension, is somehow transported to Kay’s world by a glashtyn, a sort of Celtic goblin.
Those creatures are beautifully Illustrated by artist Nick Brokenshire. While the real-world people and setting are standard fare, Brokenshire shines when he is able to depict the things from beyond, from a massive feral hound to legions of winged goblins. Colorist Triona Farrell’s dark tones add to the mood of these supernatural creeps – and play off wonderfully against the more colorful island and it inhabitants.
This premiere issue – the first of four – suffers from a bit too much exposition and character introductions. Hopefully Diggle is laying the groundwork for some more action and paying in future issues. Still, the creative team for this comiXology Originals exclusive has developed an interesting conflict in a unique setting. That alone is worth coming back for more.
Cold Iron #1 will be available for purchase on May 10, 2022.