Review – The Silver Coin #1
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Michael Walsh
Cover Artist(s): Michael Walsh (A), Tula Lotay (B) Maria Nguyen (C)
Published by Image Comics
Released: April 2021
The Silver Coin written by Chip Zdarsky and illustrated by Michael Walsh kickstarts a series of short horror stories all set within a contained universe. These tales of terror are brought to life in an all-star line-up of creative talent which not only boasts the Eisner Award winner who worked on Star Wars, Black Hammer and Justice League but will feature names such as Jeff Lemire (Gideon Falls, Sweet Tooth), Kelly Thompson (Sabrina the Teenage Witch) and Ed Brisson (Old Man Logan).
Aimed at a more mature readership, issue No. 1 of this anthology kicks off in 1978 and follows the failing fortunes of Ryan and his rock band. The band themselves are struggling in an era that is popularising disco while Ryan defiantly sticks to his guns on pushing out rock and roll. This all changes in an afternoon of searching through the belongings of Ryan’s mother where they discover the mysterious Silver Coin and their fortunes begin to change, for better or worse.
The story concepts of both this issue and anthology are exactly what captured my interest in this run. Zdarsky does very well to blend the supernatural horror elements in with the gritty realist backdrop of 1970’s America.
The story as mentioned before follows Ryan and his struggling band. As Disco is taking over the music and charts, Ryan and his band, are fed up with merely securing 7pm slots on a Friday night.
After some entertaining exchanges with the club owner and the rest of the band, the story kicks into gear as Ryan stumbles across an old silver coin amongst his departed Mother’s belongings. The role of the mysterious silver coin drives an incredible change in the band’s fortunes and for better or worse finally gives Ryan the prominent spotlight he craved.
Issue no. 1 does a great job of settling readers into the mature tone of the story and introducing them to the more supernatural horror consequences of the coin. The characterisation is both believable and engaging.
The story establishes a theme of warning that entails the moral of being careful what you wish for. Perhaps more relevant, be careful how you go about what you wish for. My only criticism of the story is I did feel the ending was a little predictable but nevertheless was extremely eerie and still satisfying!
Visually the story is brilliant! The indie style artwork akin to the Image line of comics feels very appropriate for the horror setting. The colour scheme works very well for the pages as the background tone changes cleverly for each setting.
I love the easy-to-follow panelling which averages at 5 to 7 panels per page. Walsh does extremely well to contrast this with pages dedicated to gigs which tend to be more dramatic to the eye which encapsulated the energy of live performance fantastically for me.
Without spoiling the plot, which I encourage anyone to go and read, you are treated to a very nice final page spread which finishes the last moment of the story so nicely! An eerie image which encapsulates the closing of story one and teasing more to come wonderfully.
Overall, ‘The Ticket’ is a great introduction to the Silver Coin anthology. The art makes for some superb panels and visual storytelling. I love the idea of the story and the characterisation work from Zdarsky is gritty, realistic and pretty funny. Readers will probably enjoy the mature humour and little sarcastic tropes. My only minor critique was I felt the plot ending could have been a shade more subtle. However, overall, this doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the issue and I will most definitely be reading issue two in May!
If you enjoyed our Review of the Silver Coin #1 then leave a comment or rating below.
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