Four issues done and we hit the end of volume one of Coffin Bound, a series that continues to delight and frustrate me in near equal measure. I’m convinced there’s a great book in here but it’s submerged under a stifling cloud of dialogue that’s pulling in a completely different direction to everything that makes this a potentially brilliant book.
Right then, I’ve already reviewed issues one, two, and three of Coffin Bound, a grindhouse horror tale of nightmares and road-trips, following one woman’s trip to erase herself from the world as she’s chased down by an unstoppable killer. And now it’s issue #4, the final part of volume one, so I’ll not be spoiling anything for you here and will go at it fast and short.
What we get in this final issue of the first volume is a split narrative, both telling us of the past of Izzy, of how she failed Cass, of how he lost his eyes, of how she left him and his young sister, Taqa, to flee what she’d done.
It’s told both by Izzy to her vulture-headed companion as a final confession type thing, and also to Taqa, as she settles into her new life in the club, where she’s revealing her soul as much as she strips her flesh away.
As all the various threads attempt to tie up, everything comes together, all the players joining up, secrets told, questions asked, and an ending of sorts.
‘What is a little filth against the black of a soul?‘ – that’s the sort of line that fills Coffin Bound and made this double-sized finale twice the frustration.
So yes, if you’ve read my reviews of those first three issues it’s going to be no surprise that I’ve got all the same problems with the comic that I’ve had all along. The only real difference being that the double-sized issue just means that Dan Watters has more room to go even deeper into the introspective dialogue and that makes the final part a real slog to be honest.
Yeah, the ‘Stop the f-ing poetry at last‘ line works so well for me, although not in the way Watters meant it to.
The best part of it all is still the glorious artwork and colours from Dani and Brad Simpson, who’ve been doing simply wonderful things throughout the four issues, never failing to look right into the face of the horrors Watters puts in his scripts and delivering them, bloody and raw, to the page.
Yes, Coffin Bound is a visceral (and even literal) shot to the head of a comic, never failing to throw visual shocks to the reader, with artwork and story that definitely doesn’t shy away from the horrors in this tale. But it’s also one that I’m continually frustrated by, the dialogue feeling too heavy, trying to do too much when, in truth, there’s a perfectly great comic being told in the story and the art that’s being weighed down by the sheer overwhelming mass of the dialogue.
However, I’m pretty much alone in that view, but hey, you call it as you find it.
Coffin Bound #4, written by Dan Watters, art by Dani, colors by Brad Simpson, letters by Aditya Bidikar, graphic design by Emma Price. Published by Image Comics.