Coffin Bound #3: Grindhouse Action Or Grinding It Out?

by Richard Bruton

The grindhouse action keeps coming in Coffin Bound, with Izzy on the run, an unstoppable killer after her and she’s determined that she’s going out on her own terms. And despite the problems with it – it could do so much more show don’t tell – I’m enthralled to see where next.

Yes, as I say, previous reviews of this one (Issue 1, Issue 2) have basically been promising things, with some killler art to go along with the killer characters, with Dani and Brad Simpson crafting something that really suits the whole grindhouse vibe, but I’ve also been harsh on the rather ponderous level of the overly wordy voiceovers and, to a lesser degree, some of the dialogue.

Case in point, the opening here…

Four glorious pages of Izzy confronting the Eartheater for the first time and just about getting away – it looks stunning, a real sense of both pace and storytelling to give us real chills. But… it’s just slowed down too much by the captions on the pages and frankly there’s barely a word needs saying over it all. It’s one of those cases where the idea of show don’t tell would have just helped so much.

Yes, I know what Watters is going for, establishing a mood through the voiceovers, the captions, contrasting them with the action going on through the art, but it’s not something that he really needs to do all the time. In fact, having the same doom-laden, overly portentious tone nearly all the way through just takes away the impact when it could have worked.

However, despite all that, it’s possiby the best issue so far, with things moving on well, especially when Watters finally cracks a smile in his voiceover for the Eartheater…

After that narrow escape for Izzy, although it’s but a temporary reprieve no doubt, there’s time for more reflection, more road-trips, more chat between Izzy and her vulture-skull companion.

She’s convinced it’s merely a matter of time, knows she’s in trouble, and is determined to see things through her own way, even if, as yet, we’re not so sure what the hell that actually means. Again, part of me likes building things up, likes the slow build, but a bit of me really thinks there should have been a bit more given up by this stage.

Izzy’s road-trip is just half the tale though, with the other big story strand taking us back to the strip club. That’s strip club in the most literal and visceral sense, full of those women who shed their skin, peeling layers off nightly.

And inside, learning a little of the trade is that young girl Izzy lost last issue, Taqa, the sister of Cass, Izzy’s now dead beau. Again, where this other particular strand is going, we’re not sure yet, although it looks like, as with most things, it won’t be good for Izzy, whatever it is.

Oh, I’m really so conflicted about this book. A big part of me is loving the ride, enjoying the threads playing out, trying to see where they’re going. The dark grindhouse sense of things, the gorgeous artwork from Dani, it’s all good, but then I keep coming up against the wordiness, and it grates against what I’m seeing and enjoying on the page.

But, despite myself almost, I want to see where it’s all going.

Coffin Bound Issue 3 – written by Dan Watters, art by Dani, colors by Brad Simpson, letters by Aditya Bidikar. Published by Image Comics

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