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Santos’ ‘Polar: Came from the Cold’ is a visually stunning espionage thriller

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Black Kaiser is a relic of a bygone era, a legend past his prime but he is still the best. He is a loose note on a ledger and the organization known as Damocles wants him off that ledger and into the permanent retirement known as death. Black Kaiser has a different plan for his future.

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When the old spy realizes the only way he will enjoy his retirement is to kill everyone out to get him, Black Kaiser becomes the irresistible force heading towards the deadly Vian the immovable object and something is about to give. The conflict takes place in the pages of the graphic novel “Polar: Came from the Cold” by Victor Santos. The book is a collection of Santo’s web series “Polar” published in print by Dark Horse Comics in a beautiful hardcover package showcasing 160 pages of stunning artwork for $17.99.

The story is a hard boiled espionage epic that has the brutal Black Kaiser facing off against the world’s top assassins with one thought on their mind, Kaiser’s death. It is a bloody and violent tale brimming with action.

“Polar: Came from the Cold” is a study in amazing artistic storytelling. The original series was a wordless comic that that paid tribute to the works of Jim Steranko and Frank Miller, two artists noted for their ability to make a comic book page come to life with amazing high levels of storytelling in a sequential art format. Santos work on “Polar” stands next to his artistic inspirations.

The artwork is done in a black and white setting that is infused with a burnt orange that gives the graphic novel a sexy and striking look. It is a visually impressive story that makes you want to soak in the fine detail by examining each line and taking in all the emotion that the splashes of color convey.

“Polar: Came from the Cold” is the first time Santos has released this story with a script and while there are now words associated with the pictures it does not slow down this fast paced thriller.

Any fan of espionage themed violent revenge thrillers will enjoy “Polar: Came from the Cold” for its no nonsense take on a man with blood on his hands taking out anything that would challenge his ability to retire in peace.

Thank you to Dark Horse Comics for providing a copy of this book for this review.

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