Coin Silver

Michael Walsh is joined by top-tier talents for The Silver Coin, a horrifying anthology series that haunts the guilty and innocent in equal measure.

Few things are as petrifying as a curse. Throughout history, humanity has been horrified by the prospect of mystical objects condemning us to doom. In Image Comics’ The Silver Coin, the titular piece of metal haunts those who dare touch it. Created by Michael Walsh, Ed Brisson, Jeff Lemire, Kelly Thompson, and Chip Zdarsky, the anthology series has terrifying and twisted tales that torment the innocent and the guilty all the same. The Silver Coin Vol. 1 is an exciting look at evil with an astounding amount of variety, scaring readers at least once.

The Silver Coin Vol. 1 collects the first five issues of the series. Each of these comics focuses on the titular silver coin and is drawn by Eisner Award-winning artist Michael Walsh. The first of these stories is “The Ticket,” written by Daredevil scribe Chip Zdarsky. “The Ticket” follows a wannabe rock star who comes across the coin while going through his mother’s belongings, before deciding to use it as a guitar pick. It immediately establishes the stakes of the premise and builds slow, mounting tension before its fiery conclusion. Unlike other issues, which revel in the agony of the poor souls who encounter the coin, Zdarsky’s script explores the psychological impacts that come from wielding such a dark and powerful object.

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Another enthralling chapter within The Silver Coin Vol. 1 is “Girls of Summer” by Kelly Thompson. While Thompson has previously personified evil in Captain Marvel, here she unleashes one of the most unnerving and depressing issues of her career. A young girl named Fiona finds the coin in a secluded cabin while away at summer camp, causing the curse to target her and her fellow campers. This story channels classic slashers like Friday the 13th and has relentless acts of violence throughout the story. As Thompson prepares to unleash more horror comics through Substack, this issue is a great indicator of what fans can expect from her in the future.

Another striking aspect of The Silver Coin is the inherent versatility of the premise. By unifying all of the stories around the titular Silver Coin, all of these creators are able to provide a unique perspective on terror. While Lemire goes big and plays with sci-fi, Brisson embraces possession. Where some tales are relentless assaults on the senses, others are a slow burn with one moment of sudden violence. In a year filled with more horror comics than the market has seen in years, The Silver Coin inspires readers to indulge in how one idea can be taken in so many scary directions.

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However, what ultimately proves to be the key behind The Silver Coin is the art of Michael Walsh. Assisted by Toni Marie Griffin and Gavin Fullerton, Walsh is able to provide the book with a sense of stability, as it jumps between different writers and central characters. At times, the terrors unleashed by the coin are ethereal and otherworldly, representing the unknown horrors of our nightmares. In other moments, the true curse is mankind, driven by rage and a propensity for violence. Throughout the series, the muted colors and dark shadows create a sense of foreboding evil, never allowing readers to feel comfortable with these characters. Each issue gives Walsh an opportunity to flex different creative muscles and this book makes a case for him to be considered one of the best artists working today.

Ultimately, The Silver Coin Vol. 1 is a gripping and often gruesome anthology series. The work of Michael Walsh, Jeff Lemire, Chip Zdarsky, Ed Brisson, and Kelly Thompson is nothing short of phenomenal. One can’t help but be excited knowing that incoming Batman writer Joshua Williamson, Ram V, Matthew Rosenberg, and Vita Ayala will be joining the title in the months to come. The Silver Coin Vol. 1 is the perfect bedtime story for anybody who craves nightmares.

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