Here we are. The finale for Coffin Hill’s second arc has arrived! After all of the buildup and mystery we’ve seen, how does this comic wrap things up for now? Is it good?
Coffin Hill #13 (Vertigo Comics)
In the past, we see Eve Coffin in a very dangerous situation that she can’t seem to escape from. Trapped underneath the floorboards of Detective Doyle’s home, she has discovered the true identity of the Ice Fisher. In the present, Lacey is having some trouble herself deep below Coffin House as she is being manipulated by a strange spirit that has something up its sleeve…
Jeez, can you imagine what the smell would be like in there?
As the finale to the second arc, it does nicely wrap up pretty much the majority of all the plot threads from this arc: what happens with Nate’s brother, the two remaining witches of Coffin Hill, the secrets of the Ice Fisher case and how it all ties back to the very first issue, and a few more. It does leave some unanswered questions, but those will probably be seen in the next arc or so. Overall, the story here does a decent job at bringing this arc to a close and setting the stage for the next. However, the ending isn’t nearly as strong as the first arc’s and a few moments feel like they peter out or are odd, like the ending reveal. It seems the like the comic expects us to know who this person is, but we’ve never seen them or even got hints about them before now.
The writing is good, but not without its problems either. The characterization remains on point and accurate. The dialogue and narration are decent overall, though there are some lines that sound rather awkward or unnatural. The pacing and flow of the story feel a bit off here, like the comic is rushing things a bit to get to a conclusion. What I mean by that is that some plot points reach an end rather abruptly or some moments feel too convenient and not explained all that well. This sort of negates the ending’s effect on the audience a little bit. Some of the twists and surprises pulled in the issue, especially with how the writer is able to bring the past story’s ending back to the first issue, are rather clever and make sense. I liked these moments, especially the twist with Eve’s roommate. The writing and story here are good, but some of the problems do hamper the experience unfortunately.
The artwork is also is good, but sadly does have some minor problems with it as well. The usual praises for well-drawn characters, good layout, magic and supernatural depictions, and nice coloring apply as usual. One particular page towards the end stood out as well, with unique visuals and layout rying to capture the idea of the one’s life flashing before their eyes. What did hurt the book was that some of the layouts, as good as they are, do make the book feel a bit cramped in areas. It’s like the book is trying to put out as much information as it can into a small amount of space. Also, some of the facial expressions really negate the effect or mood the comic is trying to convey in areas.
Is It Good?
Coffin Hill #13 is a good conclusion to the second arc that sadly is hurt by a bunch of problems that prevent it from being as good as the first. It does a passable job of wrapping things up and getting the audience ready for the next arc, but the pacing feels rushed and as if book is trying to cram in as much information as it can into the end. It’s disappointing honestly, but I do remain invested in wanting to see where the comic goes next. Here’s hoping the next arc does things a little bit better.