Image Comics/Top Cow Production Inc.
Writer: Dan Wickline
Artist: Philip Sevy
Freeze is a new science fiction book by image comics, in which everyone on earth has mysteriously frozen. It follows Ray, the one man who can still move freely, capable of gifting others with this ability. Freeze has an interesting premise but it could do a better job capitalizing on it. As it stands, it’s not developed enough to be taken completely seriously and isn’t fun enough to be taken ironically. It also starts with a major faux pas by featuring an opening well into the plot before awkwardly winding back to the beginning. It’s distracting and sets the reader off on a bad start.
While clearly more of a premise-driven comic, Freeze’s characters aren’t impressive. Ray himself is defined as a good guy but not much else is conveyed, outside of his miraculous powers. The various coworkers he frees are even more one-note. Freeze’s sci-fi and action elements aren’t enough to make up for this either. The main issue is that it adopts constrained layouts that limit the already average art. Each page of the opening portion of the book features five rectangular panels stacked atop each other. While this consistency is admirable, it’s not used in an inventive way, so it feels like a gimmick.
The flashbacks are in a nine-panel grid, outside of the splash pages and suffer from the same issue. It’s an uncommon format for a reason, as it is better suited to more character-driven work. Unfortunately, Philip Sevy’s art does not make good use of the little space the grid gives. His art has a decent grasp of facial expressions but lacks in momentum. It also fails to capture the feeling of a world frozen in time. His colors don’t mesh with the art, as best shown by the teal haze used to represent those trapped. That specific effect feels too obvious and takes the reader out of the story.
Freeze #1 has a simple but engaging premise but it doesn’t do much with it. Obviously, a series can’t exhaust its central concept in a single issue. There’s nothing specifically wrong with the concept, so it comes down to the execution. It’s up to future issues to develop the premise and its characters. Whatever the case, Freeze #1 doesn’t leave the readers much to go off of.
Freeze #1 has a strong premise that it fails to follow up on.