We learn the backstories of LQ and John as the cryonauts continue to trek their way across the treacherous war-torn city and dodge the mechanical terrors at every corner.
Cold War’s main idea finally makes itself clear in this issue. The story wants to bring together all these violent people and present their bloody backstories as they wander this world of endless battle.
The problem is that these characters are generally introduced and fleshed out before being promptly killed. John and LQ are interesting figures if only they stick around enough to be explored and fleshed out.
The exposition dumps that are the histories of these characters also decimate the pacing and tension. The war that surrounds Cold War is a bit of an afterthought in this issue. There’s no pressing need to survive; the vast majority of the comic is made up of text walls giving us a rushed rundown of John and LQ.
It is a shame that this presentation is so slow and tedious; John, LQ, and Vinh could be a great leading cast. They have interesting stories and unique personalities, but the comic is too quick to kill its main characters off shortly after properly introducing them to us in text dumps.
Hayden Sherman’s artwork continues to be something of a complex issue. It’s gritty, jagged, and unnerving enough to fit the setting of Cold War. However, figures, shapes, and environments are so difficult to parcel out that any style points are lost in the vague amalgam of characters, chunks of building, and playing with the framing and set-dressing. His color art looks good too, but the sprawling blackness of the environment also makes it hard to parcel out what one is seeing in the book.
Cold War #3 is a disappointing read, as it has plenty of potentially compelling leads that it won’t give room to grow or develop organically. The art looks good on the surface, but the environments are a cluttered mess which are difficult to interpret. Unfortunately, this one misses the mark on getting a recommendation. Give it a pass.
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