RED WINTER #1-3

W – Michael Gordon
A – Francisco Munoz
C – Roland Kalnins
L – Nikki Sherman

You ever ask yourself how things could possibly get worse? Well, you know that saying, be careful what you wish for? Red Winter kind of marries those concepts and brings about a very dark and gritty landscape that tends to pile the shit deeper for our main character. Lovely yeah? Well when you’re an ex-NYC detective that somehow winds up in the guts of Russia’s criminal underworld there’s not a whole bunch of sunshine you can expect to shine on you. Just how one ends up with that as their tag line is likely not an all ages tale. Funny story, that’s just the half of it.

The one thing that Eli Winter (our main man) does have going for him is his gut feeling. Unfortunately for him the one feeling that just might be more powerful than that of the gut is hope. In his situation hope is the worst possible thing that can manifest. Why? Well this is where the meat and taters of the book land on the plate. As is apt to happen in the crime world there’s a hit on a manufacturing source (one for the overlord that Winter works for). The ex-cop is then tasked to do what he used to do best. He’s to be the detective and investigate the hit on his boss’ warehouse. His gut yanks at him and it was dead on. As Winter digs he finds that one of the culprits is … NO SPOILERS … but let’s just say that’s where the hope comes in and promises to make it all go to shit. And all go to shit it does. That driving force of hope really has Winter in a pickle. For all of his good intentions and hope of making things right he’s managed to jump headfirst into that downward spiral. As it stands he’s on the precipice of his entire world collapsing into ruin.

The presentation is fitting of the emotional and moral state the residents of the book find themselves in. Devoid of pretty much everything except the harsh facts of how things are, Red Winter is given the appropriate visual treatment. My main nitpick is that it is perhaps overdone. The tropes are there and the story itself lends to the environment. Sometimes panels and characters look like an unnecessary doubling down of efforts to sell the bleakness. That said, there are plenty of areas in which it pays off and adds to the overall production (especially as issue three unfolds). As it should the book reads quickly. That’s not a slight on the substance, but rather a compliment to the intrigue provided. You keep flipping the pages wanting to see just how the hell it’s all going to tie that bow in the end.

Heading into the finale in Issue #4 (due Oct 30) just how will this mess clean up?

Issue #3 OUT TODAY NCBD SEP 25th!!

STORY – ****
ART – ***
COLORS – ****
LETTERS – ***
OVERALL – 3.5*

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