A betrayal. A curse. Violence and horror echoing across the time. And at the center of it all, The Silver Coin. Bringing together an all-star list of comics writers, this horror anthology from Image Comics begins an interconnected series of stories bound together by death and one powerful cursed object that needs to feed.
The comic opens with “The Ticket,” where we see a rock band trying to hold strong against a changing industry as disco becomes the new thing and their big break feels forever out of reach. The band’s fracturing coincides with their discovery of a strange silver coin, which seems to offer the power to enthrall audiences like never before. But power comes with a cost and the characters will soon learn that the silver coin always demands blood. From the ruins of one band’s dreams, the story moves elsewhere—a summer camp stalked by violence and death, a group of small-time criminals trying to get by, a futuristic dystopia of haves and have-nots, and finally the historical origins of the coin that unites them all.
The Silver Coin, Vol. 1 brings together Michael Walsh, Chip Zdarsky, Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson, and Jeff Lemire—each of whom brings their own unique style to the stories being told. And though this comic is an anthology, the tales feel united by more than the coin itself. In theme and plot, as each doomed sequence plays out, the chapters build on one another, filling in gaps, forming connections, and charting the bloody path of this curse across time. The writers are clearly united in their creative vision without being constrained, and the result is a gripping horror comic of desperate hopes and shattered dreams. “It hungers for pain,” we are told as the coin embarks on its journey. With an engaging cast of characters both sympathetic and unsettling, The Silver Coin quickly reveals just how true those four words are and how often ambition comes with a cost greater than we expect.
Further uniting the work of these writers, Michael Walsh provides the art for all five chapters of this first volume. With heavy ink shades and a shifting palate of colors, the illustrations capture the tone and feel of each new setting. Embracing the conventions and stylings of the various horror subgenres woven together here, Walsh confronts us with the blood-spattered rampaging of a slasher and the atmospheric dread of the supernatural. Striking a balance between style and realism, the art helps merge five stories into one and brings the writing to stark and sometimes shocking life with each new revelation.
The Silver Coin comes with a Mature rating, and as it embraces both the horror and the violence of its stories, this rating is well-deserved. With strong violence, language, and disturbing imagery, this comic is clearly aimed at adult readers (with appeal to older teens with a taste for horror). However, for anyone who enjoys horror comics, this volume offers enough genre diversity to hold wide appeal—as well as drawing fans of any of the writers included here. Any collection looking for horror comics aimed at an older audience will find The Silver Coin to be a worthy addition with a promising future beyond this first volume.
The Silver Coin, Vol. 1
By Chip Zdarsky, Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson, Jeff Lemire
Art by Michael Walsh
Publisher Age Rating: M
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+)