Issue: Cold Space #3
Release Date: July 8, 2010
Writers: Samuel L. Jackson and Eric Calderon
Art: Jeremy Rock
Colors: Juan Manuel Tumburús
Letters: Troy Peteri
Cover A: Dave Johnson
Cover B: Jeffrey Spokes
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Samuel L. Jackson really is a jack-of-all-trades, it seems. Actor, producer, civil rights activist, and now comic book writer, he sure is a busy man, and, even as he grows older, Samuel’s life shows no sign of becoming any duller. And why should it, really? Mr. Jackson certainly is an interesting man, and, if his second foray into comics is any indication, his unique style and flair is still alive.
Although I’ve never read (or watched, for that matter) Afro Samurai, I’ve definitely heard a lot about it, and the series appears to have both a legacy and fan base attached to it. With Afro Samurai: Resurrection‘s debut on TV screens just last year, Jackson’s love of comics seemed to grow stronger, inspiring him to co-write (and, evidently, star) in a story of his own.
Yes, the resemblance is uncanny, and, obviously, deliberate, but such a stylistic choice added to the comic’s genuine degree of fun and its atmosphere. Cold Space never does take itself too seriously, and the story always manages to strike a comfortable balance between tension, humor and Mulberry’s frequent displays of bad-assery. He’s a temple of manliness and willing to flaunt both his strength and flirting skills at whim. Sure, it all comes off a tad bit cliché, but, as I said, the comic is not only aware of its tone but also consistent with it.
Issue 3 draws the four-part series one step closer to its conclusion, and things are developing at a breakneck pace. Fortunately, the writers are able to handle each of the several side plots quite well, and, eventually, converge them in a predictable yet satisfying manner. While nothing is necessarily resolved, per se, the required pieces are moved into place, laying groundwork for what looks to be an exciting finale. Without giving too much away, issue three packs an equal dose of each element the short series has established itself upon, including action, espionage, backstabbing and, of course, snarky remarks.
However, while the comic earns marks for its pacing and ability to keep things fresh, there are some bits that don’t quite work. Although Mulberry is likeable enough, his comments teeter on the side of corny, immature, and even unnecessary at times, especially in this issue (“milk face,” “punchy”). As well, I’m still not sure of Zed’s purpose to the story, and, to be frank, his plot is laughable at best. And, finally, the “cliffhanger” ending is almost too vague and abrupt to be appreciated, and pales in comparison to last issue’s ultimate moments.
While the artwork lining the pages is pretty standard fare as far as comics go, there are still some great looking spreads to be found, including the cover illustrations. In fact, for me, this issue features some of the best graphics of the series, made possible by some impressive expository and action drawings. Facial and battle detail remain constant throughout, and your eyes are never left wandering in a sea of text.
At this point, Cold Space looks ready for an explosive conclusion, with all the elements rapidly coming together. Both tensions and tempers are running high, and, as all roads point to Mulberry, his actions, ultimately, will dictate the direction for Cold Space‘s final issue.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars