The Silver Coin Vol. 1
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The Silver Coin Vol. 1

Writer: Chip Zdarsky, Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson, Jeff Lemire, Michael Walsh Artist: Michael Walsh Publisher: Image Comics Trade Paperback: October 6, 2021, $16.99 Issues: 5, Issue Reviews: 160
8.6Critic Rating
8.5User Rating

The story starts with a failing rock band whose fortune changes overnight when they find the mysterious Silver Coin. Next, it helps handle some mean girls at sleepaway camp. Follow the curious token as it changes hands over centuries-from Puritan New England to the scavenged junklands of 2467-and discover how much pain a cursed coin can purchase.
Eisner-winning artist MICHAEL WALSH (Star Wars, Black Hammer/Justice League) teams with all-star collaborators-CHIP ZDARSKY (STILLWATER), KELLY THOMPSON (Sabrina the Teenage Witch), ED BRISSON (Old Man Logan), and JEFF LEMIRE (GIDEON FALLS)-on this new ONGOING horror anthology series for mature r more

  • 8.0
    Ryan Spade Dec 25, 2021

    The Silver Coin is a wonderfully dark book that tells one-shots stories well while also enhancing the experience when noticing how each story is connected.

    The plot for the series is a cursed silver coin that brings about terrible fates for any that are in possession of it routinely does so for every issue of this first volume. Each story is, for the most part, self contained, but gradually reveals a larger narrative as you read through each chapter, with connections being made to previous issues when you take notice of certain characters and locations. This serves to highlight that the titular medallion of misfortune has a long history and you gradually begin to understand how and why certain things related to the coin happen after reading the final issue.

    The first issue sees Ryan, the leader of his rock band Running Red, finding the coin among his mother's possessions and using it to help his group try to hit the big time, only for his focus on succeeding through any means to cost him in the end. The second issues sees a young girl, Fiona, being repeatedly harassed by her bunkmates at camp, culminating in her finding the cursed coin and her tormentors paying a steep price for their harassment of her. The middle chapter sees Lisa and her two friends acquiring the coin in a robbery gone wrong, only for an unseen force to begin communicating with her and commanding her to return the coin to her. After a chase with local police ends poorly for the protagonist and friends and a bit of bloodshed later, the coin is returned and Lisa gets her due "compensation". The penultimate issue sees a street gang being hunted by a police officer and one of the gang members, Bragie, finding the coin and turning the tables against her pursuer. The final chapter serves as an origin story for the coin, where Rebekah, a witch who can cast demonic magic, is betrayed by her friend Martha to a religious witch hunter, Cotton Dudley, after the sorceress helps her friend's ailing goat. After seeing the betrayal her supposed "friend" has committed, Rebekah casts a hex on the coin Dudley gave Martha, which he said could absolve Martha of her sins. The end result is both Martha and Dudley getting their comeuppance for their respective crimes: Martha for her betrayal and Dudley for being a religious zealot and abusing his status to punish innocents.

    Each individual story has three aspects that are related to the coin: a crow is never far behind the coin and acts as a sort of guardian/keeper over it, women can be taken control of and men cannot be controlled and bloodshed is inevitable whenever someone comes across the cursed item. These aspects initially don't seem to make much sense (with exception to the bloodshed bit since it makes sense that a curse would warrant it), but after reading through the book, you start to see how everything is connected through the hex cast upon the coin and the caster herself. The origin for all of this misfortune is a great blend of both horror and vengeance and realizing how everything ties together and how each story has some connection to other issues in this series feels great to gradually learn about through reading. Seeing the artifact travel from the possession of one person to next is also interesting to read through.

    Each individual story also holds up on its own. Characters exclusive to their respective issues don't have much characterization, but that can be easily overlooked when focusing on how their singular story fits into the larger narrative that the artifact weaves throughout time and what the coin will bring them in their near futures.

    The artwork also enhances the horror on display. Most of the colors consist of dark blues and purples being used for almost every part of the pages, with red being relegated to blood being shed and fires being spread. Black is also used heavily to convey the dark tone of the stories here, with it mainly being used to show the silhouettes of characters cloaked in the shadows, alongside hiding parts of their faces, which adds to the creepiness of the book. The book isn't afraid to show off the violence that the characters are subject to, with the mutilation being accompanied by appropriate amount of blood, with injuries on characters looking gory and painful to be on the receiving end of. The way characters are drawn works well and makes each issue memorable and stand out in their own way. The demented happiness that is displayed on Fiona's face, the wiring seen in the police officer's eyes after he suffers a fatal injury, the terror displayed by Ryan and how the goat changed after Rebekah curses Martha are all standout moments in the book. Overall, the artwork is appropriate for the series, is very well done and helps to make each issue distinguishable thanks to one standout panel or page that comes along whenever things go to hell thanks to the coin.

    The Silver Coin may initially come off as a series of one-shots that feature the titular item and the trouble that follows in its wake, but underneath that notion is a smartly written story that has a much bigger picture which the single issues are only a small part of and that can only be revealed by reading more of it. Seeing just what terrible fate the coin brings down on any poor souls that come upon it will be fun to witness. Come for the horror and stay for it, the inevitable violence and how each new issue ties into the previous entries.

  • 9.0
    Happywifelife Jul 26, 2022

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