Coffin Hill #3 (Comics Review)

Caitlin Kittredge and Inaki Miranda’s Coffin Hill #1 set a wonderful tone for the new horror series from Vertigo when it came out in the month of horror. We got a good dose of supernatural mysteries and met some interesting characters, including the protagonist Eve Coffin. Last month, Coffin Hill #2 continued to build on that foundation and further both the story and the characters themselves so that by the end of it we had the beginnings of a really nice, multi-layered story involving characters who weren’t cardboard cut-outs but did have some depth to them.

The two creators go that extra mile with the third issue, released this past week, and it is definitely quite a fun issue. Some ten years ago something dreadful and horrific happened in the woods near the Coffin mansion, and that began a series of really gruesome events in the town that have now led to Eve returning after years of being away and history repeating itself. Sort of. The most fun part of the comic is still the interactions between the characters, and Caitlin does not disappoint in that regard. Nor does Inaki disappoint with the artwork, which is pretty damn good.

Coffin Hill 03Unlike the very first cover, or even the second one, I don’t find the cover for this issue to be all that engaging, frankly. It serms like an attempt to capitalise on the nature of the book rather than on the actual content. Which isn’t all that bad really, since pretty much every publisher does that. Its just somewhat disappointing, given the opportunities to do a cover that reflects the content. Not too much to ask, as far as I’m concerned. Thankfully, I’m not reading the book for the covers, but I’ll say that there is some charm in Eve Coffin here plunging her hand into the tainted earth of the forest near her home and her fingers branching out like something straight out of a horror movie. Gets points for that I suppose.

Anyway, the story. There isn’t a whole lot of story progression here, since we are treated to a whole load of plot-points, ranging from whatever happened a decade ago in the woods with Eve and her friends to what’s happening today as a consequence of those events. We see some more of Nate and Eve’s relationship, something that is carried over from when they were teenagers, and its nice to see them destress given all that they dealt with in the last issue, none of which does all that well for the last meal.

Its also great to see Nate’s cynical demeanor crack at the discovery of the pile of bones in the woods, and later on there is a great recall to it from a flashback to when Nate discovered the girls being attacked by the tainted critters of the night. Good setup right there. And Eve as ever comes off as a bit of a jerk, and even someone tough to get along with due to her abrasive personality, but I won’t deny that she is written extremely well, because she is.

The inclusion in the present story of Eve’s friend Mel made for a really nice change of pace when Eve visits the local mental institution to check up on her, leading to a subplot involving a heated discussion between Eve and Nate, and later on with Eve returning to the place. The latter of course deepens the mysteries going on in the town and adds another subplot to the whole thing. Too much content in a single issue? Perhaps. But I pretty much loved every minute of it, so I’m not complaining, not at all.

In general, while I liked the art on this issue, it did come across as more of a photoshop job than before. The colours were a bit too clean, a bit too shiny. It kind of messes up with the entire horror atmosphere of the story and takes me out of the experience, which was just irritating. Still, I won’t deny that the range of expressions for the characters and the diversity of their body language is pretty great. Inaki excels at that and it shows here, repeatedly.

So yeah, great story, great art, but not-so-great cover. All in all, Coffin Hill is still a pretty great comic.

Rating: 8.5/10

More Coffin Hill: #1, #2.

Posted on December 17, 2013, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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