Time to check back in on Coffin Hill. The last issue was not as good as the first one, but still had a lot of promise and intrigue about it. Let’s see where the new issue takes us this time, shall we? Is it good?
Coffin Hill #3 (Vertigo Comics)
With the discovery of several skeletons/bodies discovery in the forest, Eve Coffin continues her own investigation into discovering the truth. She visits with several people, including her old friend Mel, a girl who has been confined to an insane asylum since the sinister event that happened a decade ago. More clues appear, but the mystery only gets deeper.
Oh don’t be like that. She worked very hard on that chant.
Last time, I stated that the series took a weird and unclear turn. Honestly… not much has changed since then. The story keeps piling on the mysteries and keep the details hazy, like with how exactly Eve’s powers may or may not work. Then comes in the supernatural elements (again with the powers), the flashbacks, and the insanity with what is going on at the asylum (which honestly comes out of nowhere with no hint other than the fact that something bad is happening). So, clarity and handholding is not to be fully expected here if you want it.
The series reminds me a bit of Silent Hill in a way: You don’t understand what exactly is going on at first, most of the details are very hazy, the past plays a big part of it with how it is affecting the main character and the story now, the world seems normal to a degree but can easily change and become twisted (though in the case of this book, there’s actually people around), and there is something about the town or location that is causing all this madness. The stories may be different honestly, but the elements and some ideas are similar.
Now with that in mind and continuing with the fact that the audience is mostly kept in the dark, the comic is still pretty good. These mysteries, even though there are so many of them and we know very little, are still intriguing and really make you want to know more, especially with Mel’s comment about something called the “Harvest.” You want to figure out what is happening since from what is implied by Eve and Detective Nate, what is out there is extraordinarily dangerous and won’t stop. Plus, you get a bit of leeway with all of this haziness since this is a mystery story besides being a supernatural horror book.
Damn flies! Really need to get those bug zappers working again.
Also helping with making this a better experience is that the rest of the writing is still pretty strong. Eve Coffin is a well-written character, with a strong personality who may be abrasive and a jerk, but still wants to do the right thing. Her relationship with the other characters in the comic (Nate, her mom, and her friend) are also strong and help make her a well-rounded character, showing her positive and negative traits. The pacing is good for the most part, but like with the previous issue, it sort of rushes at the end (I really would have liked to know more about what was going on with that voodoo) and does not always give enough panel time for some scenes. For instance, I would have liked to have seen more of Eve with her mom. The dialogue is decent overall and again, helps with the characterization.
The artwork, like with the previous issues, is still phenomenal. Inaki Miranda is great at drawing characters and giving them a nice range of expressions and emotion. The locations and sceneries are great and have some stellar ambiance, in particular points going to the flashbacks again and also the asylum. The supernatural elements, while not as prevalent as in the previous issue, are still very good and unnatural with how they are drawn and colored. Outside of one odd hiccup (one panel she is wearing a jacket, the next she isn’t, and then she’s wearing it again in the following one), the artwork remains one of the strongest points of the comic.
Hmm… should we or should we not follow the ominous trail of skulls leading away from here?
- While baffling, the mysteries and plot threads are quite intriguing.
- The characters are very well done.
- The artwork is wonderful with its creepy tone.
- Prepared to be lost in what is happening.
- Writing may be a bit rushed in certain portions.
Is It Good?
Coffin Hill #3 is a book with many secrets and mysteries that can quite possibly leave the audience wondering what exactly is happening. However, its mysteries are interesting so far, its characters are well developed, and its artwork is just downright beautiful in its eeriness. For those seeking a more complex horror story, this may be right up your alley.