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"The Silver Coin #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics


Written by Chip Zdarsky
Illustrated by Michael Walsh
2021, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on April 7th, 2021


Ryan is holding onto rock 'n' roll as disco rises in the late '70s. He's trying to live his dream playing with a few friends, but since no one wants to hear rock music right now, they're regulated to the early slot at the local bar. That changes when Ryan finds his mother's lucky coin in a box of her old things. When he plays guitar using the coin as a pick, it's like he's a man possessed. Everyone is captivated by his music...even if it's the last thing they hear before they die.

The Silver Coin starts out with an intriguing story, putting a unique spin on a horror trope we've seen before. The phrase “be careful what you wish for” comes to mind as Ryan noticeably changes after finding the coin. He becomes harder and meaner, lashing out at his friends, like they don't understand his vision or what this means.

Click images to enlarge

You can almost see where Ryan is coming from. He's longed for this his whole life and now that it's within his grasp, he'll do anything to get it, even if that means actually playing some disco. Writer Chip Zdarsky frames this very well, giving us a complete picture of Ryan, his background, and his personality in a few short pages. He's both the hero and the villain of this story as the coin takes that love for rock music and twists it into something horrifying.

Artist Michael Walsh knocks The Silver Coin #1 out of the park. So much is said in the artwork without having to spell it out in the story. When Ryan picks up the coin, he cuts his finger, seemingly powering this artifact with blood magic. The tone of the story changes completely here, as the entire page is coated in a violent red. It's screaming danger, but it's like we're the only ones that see it. Ryan is totally oblivious to this.

Click images to enlarge

Ryan's life when he's not playing music is drab and dreary. It's like everything is faded. He only really comes alive when he's making music, which is ironic given where this story goes. The lyrics surround and engulf Ryan and the band when they're playing. Usually when there's a song playing in a comic there are just a few notes next to the word balloons to show singing. Here they swirl around the characters, becoming a major part of the artwork.

The Silver Coin is planned as an anthology series, with Walsh working with a number of writers to follow this mysterious item. This debut issue is top notch, delivering solid character work, incredible artwork, and an intriguing story. I have to wonder where this deadly coin will take us next.


Story: fourstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
Buy from Amazon UK.
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Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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