REVIEW: ‘The Silver Coin,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Silver Coin

The Silver Coin #1 is published by Image Comics, written by Chip Zdarsky, with art and letters by Michael Walsh. The year is 1978. Ryan, Ashely, and Joe make up the rock band Running Red. They’ve been playing at the same local night spot for years. But the times, they are a-changing. Rock is going out, and disco is in. They are struggling to get any time on stage at all. They need something new. Something to give their music that extra spice. Little did they know they would find it in the most unlikely of places. Or how quickly their miracle would become a nightmare.

Originality is always a good thing. Being able to surprise a reader makes a story more memorable. While this is always true, I feel it is even more important in the horror genre. If a story plays out in a mostly predictable way, even if it is delivered with an adequate amount of skill, it doesn’t land as hard as it should. This lack of innovation is the big struggle I have with The Silver Coin #1.

Writer Zdarsky’s biggest strength in The Silver Coin #1 is also his greatest weakness. While doing a fantastic job delivering the various personalities that make up Running Red, he fails to breathe anything memorable into them. Ryan is the driven lead, obsessed with becoming bigger. Meanwhile, Ashely is the classic, just happy to be doing it counterpoint to Ryan. Sure, if they hit it big, that would be great to her, but why drive themselves ragged with frustration? Why not just enjoy the music?

The personality clashes that form the bulk of The Silver Coin #1’s plot points, just like the characters that occupy them, are delivered with skill, even if the results are always predictable. As the situation progresses, horror aficionados will see the various beats coming.

Walsh’s art further brings the emotion of the story’s subjects out nicely. The artist’s great use of shading pushes some of the darker moments in the story wonderfully. The color used by Walsh also gives the story some extra life as each scene has its own color palette, making each stand out from the others.

Doubling up on letters, Walsh does a great job with a lot of the letter design here. Choosing to forgo dialogue bubbles for the lyrical moments, the songlines are instead incorporated into the art itself. This gives the music a feeling of presence in the moments. Like it is truly surrounding the subjects.

When all is said and done, The Silver Coin #1 doesn’t do anything wrong; it just doesn’t do the right things in a way that makes it stand out or feel memorable. If you are looking for a classic-style horror tale, this could be up your alley. Just don’t go into it looking for any surprises.

The Silver Coin #1 is available on April 7th, wherever comics are sold.

The Silver Coin #1
3.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, The Silver Coin #1 doesn’t do anything wrong; it just doesn’t do the right things in a way that makes it stand out or feel memorable. If you are looking for a classic-style horror tale, this could be up your alley. Just don’t go into it looking for any surprises.