One of the interesting things about the world of The Freeze is that its unique apocalypse removes a certain number of the classic tropes of post-apocalyptic fiction. There’s no zombie threat that keeps the characters on the run, or virus that needs to be cured. That means that a big part of the story can be about rebuilding and dealing with some unique dangers presented here.
Dan Wickline, Phillip Sevy, and Troy Peteri jump ahead in this issue and show us a small community trying to rebuild. But it’s not without hitches.
After an opening showing the cast trying to avoid the danger from last issue, we flash back again to the days after the Freeze. The community is coming together under Ray’s leadership and working out the kinks. While they deal with one community member that has come unhinged, more dangers present themselves, including someone that may endanger them all…
Wickline’s story uses Ray’s narration to immerse us in the world. It’s an exposition-heavy approach, but rather than feeling like an info dump, it feels like a peek inside his journal. It’s informative, but also pulls us deep into his mind, helping us understand and sympathize with our protagonist.
He also takes the time to build the characters outside of Ray. We see budding relationships, thoughtful structure, and most importantly people beginning to crack. The conflict of the series is not the Freeze, it’s how the characters are reacting to it. It’s a smart move.
Sevy’s work here is still extremely high quality. He’s able to make the simple nature of the relatively low stakes conflicts seem grand and important. He’s also able to sell the tension of the shopping trip that reveals the serial killer through angles and layouts that evoke a horror movie. His color work is extremely muted, which actually adds a lot to the feel and tone of the book.
I often say a second issue is a more important indicator of the series we get in the long run. If the quality of this issue continues, I’m definitely in for the ride.
The Freeze #2 is available now from Image Comics/Top Cow Productions.