Review: Coffin Hill #1

coffin hill 1 cover

 

Writer: Caitlin Kittridge

Artist: Inaki Miranda

 

Rookie police officer Eve Coffin experiences her first exposure of a serial killer’s victim and subsequently arrests said serial killer. However, despite her fellow officers’ assumptions about her fragility, it is soon revealed that Coffin has a lot more guts than they think and quite a strange background to boot. Expect magic. Expect murders of crows. Expect blood. A lot of blood.

 

Positives:

Kittridge introduces us to a scene that’s already burning with tension thanks to a dead body and then in three pages raises the stakes. This is a writer who knows how to hook a reader and send them on an emotional rollercoaster. Her dialogue also sounds natural, whether it is between jaded professionals or wild teenagers.

 

Miranda’s cyclical panels are used strategically and efficiently to show disorienting flashes of what Eve sees while unconscious. All panels, as a matter of fact, are treated as individuals as well as pieces of one story. The panel of the mug shot of the serial killer, for instance, looks like a mug shot of a serial killer, which naturally looks very different from a bar filled with off-duty cops.

 

Often, artists keep all the panels the same in order to set a theme or style, but Miranda’s careful differentiations have true storytelling power. I’m also a little ashamed to admit I recognized one of the shoe styles in a particular panel, one which happens to be very appropriate for the character the shoes belonged to, so Miranda certainly pays attention to little details.

 

Negatives:

Did the Coffins have to come out of Salem? Isn’t that place so overused when you have so many other haunted areas from 17th century America, like Jamestown?

I’m also not quite convinced that all the dramatic kicks worked out as well as Kittridge intended. I don’t feel horrified about what goes wrong when Eve is young and I’m not impressed or bothered by her youthful idiocy as much as I’m bored by it. This double-issue is setting up what is to come, which I hope is more exciting.

 

Verdict:

For now, we have not quite reached what originality there may be in Coffin Hill, but the story already has a pull. The premise is certainly not without merit and the artistic techniques are very impressive. The build-up in this first installment indicates that it will lead to a promising second issue. 4 stars out of 5.

Rating 4