The Silver Coin is back this week as Josh Williamson writes and Michael Walsh draws a horror story involving arcade-style fighting video games. It’s a story that uses the cursed coin in the series in a clever way that will haunt you, but also scratch that itch that desires a good deal of gore.
This issue opens on a platform-style shot of two scary looking dudes about to fight to the death. On the left is a crow-looking man wearing bone armor using a scythe and on the right is a beefy mask-wearing baddy using an axe. Over the next five panels, we see the beefy mask-wearing man taking out his opponent in short order. Cut to the video game calling out the victor and a guy much too old to be hanging out in an arcade talking smack to a young boy.
This is a series about people who can’t quite achieve their dreams or make themselves into the things they wish to be until a cursed coin gives them that dream. It comes at a price though, as we see in this issue when the young boy finds the cursed coin and uses it to gain entry into the fight game.
Williamson and Walsh make this boy very sympathetic — even the mall security guard gives him trouble, and given his age, it’s hard to blame him for falling prey to the cursed coin. That makes this more of a victim story, which makes the death of the bullies in his life all the more enjoyable. That said, there’s still a curse at the end of this tale that is disheartening and sad. That further enhances the horror elements of the book making it a bit more satisfying.
Capping off the issue is a backup by Chris Hampton and Gavin Fullerton about a crow in the woods. A bunch of cub scout-looking kids is on a hike and one sees a shiny thing in a crow’s nest. Through the crow’s eye, we get a nice recap of a few of the stories this series has tackled so far. Given this is the start of the second story arc, this backup serves as a nice reminder of what came before preparing readers for another series of clever one-shots using the cursed coin. Art by Fullerton is great too, with a story bathed in end-of-the-day light giving it a foreboding feel.
It’s too bad The Silver Coin #6 didn’t come out before Halloween, as it’s a highly entertaining one-shot horror story. It also does well to remind us of previous stories while introducing a clever take on video games in horror. Once again, this series shows how comics can do more with horror than many genres as Josh Williamson and Michael Walsh delight with gore, violence, and clever ideas.
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