Ratcheting Up The Death Toll: Reviewing `The Silver Coin’ #10

by Tom Smithyman


With a death toll that approaches slasher movie numbers, The Silver Coin is not for the faint of heart. But strong writing and artwork by Michael Walsh make this a horror story worthy of your time.


The Silver Coin has never been a comic book series for the faint of heart. The horror anthology series created by an all-star team of writers and artists, including Jeff Lemire, Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson, and Chip Zdarsky, has consistently intrigued readers since it premiered last year. Each story tells a different horrific tale set in different times with different characters – all somehow featuring the titular possessed currency.

Written, drawn and lettered by co-creator Michael Walsh, issue 10 signals the conclusion of the series’ second volume and the second part of the Covenant story. In it, we find a group of ne’er do well high school students who encounter the coin. Moved by empathy and concern for all the lives destroyed by the coin, one of the kids tries to perform an exorcism. It doesn’t go well. As in Friday the 13th bad, with a laundry list of dead teenagers to show for it.

Walsh sets the tone with his artwork – from the moping teens to the otherworldly spirits haunting the coin. Working with Toni Marie Griffin, the colors are subdued, even when depicting the middle of the day. In an candlelit house, the book becomes practically black and white, with the occasional red of teenagers’ blood brightening the panels.

One drawback to the series is that, with all the jumping backwards and forwards in times as Walsh and team tell disparate stories, there’s no sense as to how the coin is passed from cursed owner to owner. It would help to fill in some gaps and clue the reader in as to whether these doomed souls deserve their fate or if they are just unlucky. It would also keep the reader a bit more engaged for the next issue. As it is now, if it weren’t for the strong storytelling and guest writers, it is too easy to drop the series. Luckily, The Silver Coin is just too good for that.

The Silver Coin #10 is now on sale in print and digitally from Image Comics.

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