REVIEW: 'Everfrost' #1 by Ryan K. Lindsay, Sami Kivela, and Lauren Affe

 A fed up scientist, a talking monkey, an escalating war, and the return of a dead son make 'Everfrost' an exciting if not esoteric sci-fi drama.

EVERFROST #1

Writer: Ryan K Lindsay

Artist: Sami Kivela, Lauren Affe

Letterer: Jim Campbell

Publisher: Black Mask Studios

Release Date: June 2, 2021

Cover Price: $3.99

Van Louise retired to the ice coast so she could quietly find a way off planet from a world on the wrong side of societal collapse.

She biohacks a dead leviathan to orchestrate passage away into the universe, but her plans are about to get chewed up by a mounting war between the Warlords - violent gatekeepers for the global ruling party - and the Bloom - those who risk extinction living out on the water - as well as a family reunion with her son who she hasn't seen since he died in her arms when he was a child.  

Join Ryan K Lindsay, award-winning writer of ETERNAL and NEGATIVE SPACE, as he teams yet again with Sami Kivela, the artistic juggernaut behind ABBOTT and UNDONE BY BLOOD, alongside Lauren Affe, the colourist of THE WITCHER, STRANGER THINGS, and FIVE GHOSTS as they drop an absolute bomb of sci fi insanity and heartbreaking emotion in the grandest Black Mask tradition.

Score:

★★★★☆ (4/5)

'Everfrost' #1 comes fully formed and drops the reader right into a dystopian frozen wasteland with a scientist and her talking monkey associate working out of a giant's carcass trying to get off planet amid warring factions that make this world a dangerous existence. You have to buckle up and hang on because there's a lot going on, a lot of characters introduced and situations that are in progress as you turn the page.

 Some reviews noted the story can be a little confusing with so much occurring along with flashbacks  and new characters appearing suddenly. I get that so the reader may want to re-read it or follow carefully but the overall effect is one of an ambitious and exciting sci-fi fantasy that has a lot on its mind. So it's well worth the trip. 

Van and her primate pal, Eight, make an interesting team. She confides in him her plans, her thoughts, her worries and Eight replies in blunt, matter-of-fact, ways with a little sarcasm and curse words thrown in. It's like having a no-nonsense best friend willing to tell you things honestly and unfiltered. Val carries with her the trauma of losing her son in a tragic way. She escaped to a remote part of the world only to find the embedded carcass of a giant that fell from the sky and irreparably altered the planet. Within it, she hopes to find a way to leave and head for the stars. She's supposedly the last of her kind and with her son gone there isn't anything holding her back. 

The class conflict between the Bloom and the Warlords is impressively displayed with an exciting aerial battle that informs a lot. This is sci-fi comics and there's always a suspension of disbelief. There are fantasy elements you just accept as true even a talking monkey with attitude but characters fighting as they descend from the sky at high speed having a full on discussion is a bridge too far for me. This happens in a lot of comics and it just doesn't make any logical sense. 

Nonetheless, the sequence like others in the issue are beautifully designed and choreographed by Sami Kivela. The aerial battle is great and it's the most pulse-pounding moment. Ryan K. Lindsay's script is fast-paced as it establishes Val's story now and in the past as well as the necessary world-building of a post-apocalyptic planet turned to ice. Kivela conveys those ideas into creative settings and character designs that command the page. Lauren Affe's colors are bold and rich, some pages in monochromatic purples and blues. Affe's work brings everything to life, the flashbacks especially get their own color scheme that feels deliberate. 

'Everfrost' #1 is a smart, ambitious, sci-fi fantasy that hits the ground running. Lindsay plunges readers in the middle of a war as Val tries to escape the planet altogether. One talking monkey and the return of her dead son complicate things. All the elements are here for one immersive adventure told with confidence and style as the creative team knows where its going and want readers to come along. It's a trip worth taking.  

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