Jason Shawn Alexander (Empty Zone) and Joshua Williamson (The Flash, Uncharted) team up for what just might be one of the best new DC Comics' Vertigo imprint titles in an age. Alexander, who writes and draws the smart and visually stunning series Empty Zone for Image Comics (most recently), is one of the hottest artists yet to break into the full mainstream, and Frostbite just might be his best opportunity to do so yet. Based upon the strength of the first issue, Frostbite is most likely going to be more than Alexander's breakthrough. It might be just what Vertigo needs to claw its way back to the top of the monthly heap of smart, creator owned, and indie street level cred-hip publishers once again.
Frostbite #1 introduces its readers to the world of the near future that is nearly grinding to a halt under the weight of a new ice age. Dangerously low temperatures worldwide are not the most dangerous threat to the human race though. A mysterious new disease, dubbed Frostbite, is killing as much of the population as the cold is. Frostbite freezes a person from the inside out, turning them into a frozen block of ice, literally. Enter Keaton and her crew of transporters, a group of tough survivors who agree to safely transport an old man and his daughter across the Mexican border and all the way to a highly dangerous location. Unbeknownst to them, the couple are being pursued by some equally tough and much more dangerous group of survivors. It seems the key to the world's current predicament is somehow wrapped up with the two's past, and potential future.
Williamson and Alexander's plot is as tight as it is fast paced, and excellently sets up the premise of the series, as well as the conflicts and characters, masterfully. It is Alexander's artwork that really drives the book though. More conservative than his work on Empty Zone, but just as detailed and frightening in a dystopian/cyberpunk way, Alexander's art is amazing to behold and just gets better each time I see it. I've been reading Empty Zone for a while now, and when I saw that he was doing the artwork for a new Vertigo series I knew I wouldn't be disappointed with the look of it, and I'm not.
It's great to see Vertigo attracting some of the hot new talent that is working on with the smaller (if you consider Image Comics small) publishers. I'm overjoyed to see that Jason Shawn Alexander's work is gaining the recognition, and wider audience, it deserves. Frostbite is definitely worth the read, and while your at it, pick up Empty Zone as well.