Last month, Coffin Hill returned with a brand new arc, heading back into the past to see the case of the Ice Fisher that Eve Coffin had solved while also continuing forward in the present. The arc got off to a great start in my humble opinion and it left me wanting more. With the new issue out, can the series keep up this level of quality going forward? Is it good?
Coffin Hill #9 (Vertigo Comics)
With another victim kidnapped by the Ice Fisher, the Boston police are getting more desperate to stop them. Eve Coffin in particular wants to find him as well, deciding to use her witch powers that she has been trying to ignore to track him down to where he has been hiding. Meanwhile in the present, Nate Finn’s life has been circling the drain ever since the events of the last arc, and his life is only going to get worse very soon…
I don’t think these magic rituals will ever be adopted as useful crime fighting tools.
In the previous issue, the comic was bouncing all over the place between several different plotlines with different characters in the past and present. I personally found no problem with the approach, since the comic did a good job of balancing each storyline, however, for people who wanted a bit more focus, this issue does just that. Outside of one subplot (there were two pages of another, but that’s really it), the whole issue was dedicated to focusing on Eve investigating the Ice Fisher case with the Boston detectives. This focus is rather nice since it progresses the main and most interesting storyline going on. It was intriguing, there were a couple of good surprises there, the characters were enjoyable and well characterized, and the ending was particularly good with how it connects by to the first arc.
Caitlin Kittredge’s writing is solid as usual. Character-wise, everyone was handled fine and there were plenty of good moments from them (bonus points for characters acting smart and questioning things). I was a bit confused by Nate’s sudden turn into self-destruction, but by the end, it seems to make sense and leaves us wondering what exactly it means. The story is paced and structured well, so when the story does cut to a different scene, it doesn’t feel awkward or poorly transitioned. The dialogue is fine, with some good and on occasion funny bits that really help characterize the cast. The only downside is that the book, despite being a horror comic, isn’t particularly scary this time around (it has one chilling scene and one ‘oh shit’ panel, but that’s it). The last issue wasn’t scary either, so I’m hoping the book fixes that soon.
Moments like these are some of my favorite in the book. Just seeing the characters interact.
When it comes to the artwork, Inaki Miranda does a solid job. It’s good the usual decent looking characters, good atmosphere, nice coloring, decent imagery, and the fact that there is actually stuff in the background instead of boring color or colorless voids is a plus. However, probably the highlight here is the layout work that is done here. The scene where Eve is using her magic to track down the killer’s location or the scene where she chases him down really look nice and are rather eye-catching as your eyes dart around the pages, taking them all in (also helps with some excellent coloring down here).
Is It Good?
Coffin Hill #9 is another excellent issue of the series, keeping the momentum that was built up in the last issue and continuing it here. While not particularly scary, the writing and artwork are strong enough to easily make up for that area. All in all, this new story arc is shaping up to be much better than the first arc and I hope it continues that.