Silver Coin kicks off its next batch of stories this week and Michael Walsh draws and writes this issue. If you pick this up and feel any whiplash nobody will blame you since the last issue was set in a cyberpunk sci-fi future, and this week’s issue is set in the past. It’s fitting Walsh writes and draws this issue since a new batch of writers are joining him and this issue ends with thanks to the previous four writers. It’s an anthology series involving a cursed coin and every issue is drawn by Walsh. So far, it has been a delight to see different spins on the cursed object premise and in this issue, we get an origin story for the coin.
This issue opens with the clomping of horses’ hooves on the ground, a woman giving birth, and a man who is all smiles ready to destroy lives. Set in what appears to be early America right down to pilgrim-style clothing, we learn a woman who helps a small town may be a witch. That doesn’t sit well with the smiling Christian man. Walsh flips the narrative with the witch being the good guy here and we get to see what happens if you cross a witch.
There’s strong imagery throughout, some involving a goat that may stick with you in your nightmares. The smiling man in particular is haunting, as Walsh gives him a devilish, unnerving smile. He’s joined by Gavin Fullerton on lines and Toni Marie Griffin on colors. All told, the creative team works well together and it’s never obvious who is drawing or coloring. The nature of living in the olden times is felt through the art, which features colder tones and a simpler life on display.
The colors are almost washed out at times, with subtle differences to pull trees out from the sky. The use of blue and purple creates an atmosphere of sorrow and anxiety. In fact, the introduction of the smiling man uses yellows bathed behind him to create a sense of unease.
The story here is a simpler one, with a slow but confident pace. You might find it too simplistic — it plays out in a way that is as one might expect. There are flourishes of horror though, in an expression, or a reveal, that amp up the story beyond expectations.
The Silver Coin #5 is a good example of moody horror that sneaks up and captures your interest. The story may involve a witch during a time when they were hanged and use themes familiar to us, but it still finds the unease and horror in the simpler lives of yore.
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