Advance Review: Dialing Up The Gore In `The Silver Coin’ #13
by Tom Smithyman
This usually reliable series takes a misstep with this issue, which has turned up the gore factor to 11. The story doesn’t offer any redemption, so it’s largely an exercise in getting grossed out.
All comic book gore is not created equal.
There’s the more ‘run-of-the-mill gore’ of seeing someone’s head cut off, or their guts making a cameo appearance outside of their body. Then there’s the gore found in The Silver Coin #13, which features a massive human fetus stalking it’s would-be mother, a birth scene straight out of Sigourney Weaver’s nightmares and a dress and crown made of human parts. Think of it as a gross-out version of Alien meets Rosemary’s Baby.
At face value, gore isn’t a bad thing, and some readers may be attracted to it. (Ed Piskor’s Red Room has proven that much.) The problem, though, with Johnnie Christmas’ story is that the gore serves little more purpose than to gross out the audience. There isn’t a lesson to be learned as young Karena deals with the most difficult childbirth since David Cronenberg’s The Fly.
Instead, the latest story in this series, which typically tells tales of horror that happen to people who come across the eponymous currency, devolves into the most base example of yuck.
Series co-creator and artist Michael Walsh clearly has fun with his depictions. But at times, they can border on silly. When pregnant Karena calls her partner in a panic, the payphone starts oozing some hideous organic material that looks suspiciously like spaghetti. Initially, it’s laughable, as if slasher film were set in The Olive Garden. The pasta soon mutates into what looks like a miscarried fetus. (In fact, there’s a warning in the front of the issue cautioning readers about the graphic images.) Walsh is a very good artist, and he has poured his heart into their series. He deserves better than what he’s given in this issue.
The best part about anthology series like The Silver Coin is that, even with a misstep in one issue, the slate is largely wiped clean for the next installment. That slate is going to need a lot of Clorox wipes this time.
The Silver Coin #13 will be available for purchase on August 17, 2022.