Two Comic Bastards have banded together to deliver you a dual review for Coffin Hill! Why? Because they both had something to say about it. Sit down, buckle up and make sure you’re shotgun is loaded because Adam and Erik are about to dive into Coffin Hill #2… but not before this synopsis: Ten years ago, the sleepy town of Coffin Hill, MA, was infiltrated by a curse that dated back to the Salem Witch trials. Ex-high society lowlife/black magic user Eve Coffin returns to her hometown as a wounded ex-cop with a huge grudge and a hell of a mission: to take back the terror she unleashed long ago. The dark horror that seeped through the Coffin Hill woods left one of her friends missing, one in the local mental ward, and one as the head of police. Now the horror continues to spread through Eve’s crumbling family mansion, taking more of the town’s teenagers who stumble in its path.
I talked about the first issue in my pull list article, and Erik had a great review on it (be sure to check that out!) so I won’t recap anything. I’ll just say again how much I enjoyed this book last month, and I was excited to pick up the second installment today. I’m happy to say it did not disappoint. We learned last issue that Nate is now a cop like Eve was. This issue, she unexpectedly runs into him after returning home to Coffin Hill. The fact that now Nate needs Eve to solve one of his cases of a missing teen couple lost in Coffin Hill spices up the story because he wants nothing to do with her. One of my criticisms on last issue was that the story was a bit vague and confusing. I feel like some creases were ironed out in this issue, it seems like this first story arc will now follow them trying to solve the case Nate’s working on. The few flashbacks Eve has to that night in 2003 help a little bit in clearing up some of the backstory. The scene where you have to flip the book horizontally and it shows Eve performing dark witchcraft which ends with her friend Dani getting dragged into the woods by snakes and crows is just brilliant.
The art is great in this issue. There was a real sense of creepiness, dread, and evil that seeps out of Coffin Hill. It ties in very well with the horror and supernatural elements that are presented in the book. There were some stunning panels both from an artistic and storytelling standpoint-the most prominent of these for me was when Eve walks into the mansion and half of what she sees is the present vacant version, and the other half is from the ball that her parents threw 2 nights before Halloween in 2003. Overall, I think the storytelling stepped it up and the art continues to wow me (minor side note: this book might be the best drawn eyes I’ve ever seen in comics, is that weird?). There’s still some vagueness, but this time it’s an aid to the mystery surrounding Coffin Hill, not a frustratingly confusing read or anything. I’m going to go read this again; not because I didn’t understand anything, just because I enjoyed it so much. This has potential to be my new favorite series, and I already can’t wait for next month’s issue.
If you were left wanting more from Caitlin Kittredge and Inaki Miranda last month, you’ll definitely get your fill in Coffin Hill #2. I was afraid with that last page of the first issue being what it was, that maybe I’d get my hopes up and then the second issue wouldn’t really deliver, or maybe stray off on something else altogether. That didn’t happen. It picked up right where #1 left off. There is a little more backstory in this issue (which can be boring) but it was really relevant to the current direction of Eve, the main character. Now that she’s come home, it looks like she’s got a bone to pick with this place. And maybe some of the residents as well. Maybe there’ll be some remembrance of past events? Some cool flashbacks? Works for me.
The dialogue and art are still great. I think that the dialogue between Eve and Nate is really good stuff. I liked how it threw you right back into the events of the first issue. A lot of time has gone by since that crazy night in the woods and these characters have a lot to talk about. Unfortunately, Nate isn’t really in the talking mood. That makes the feel of the story seem really tense; it grabs your attention fast and keeps you interested.
There are a couple of panels where Inaki Miranda’s talent really comes out. The mood of this issue seems a little darker (surprising, I know) and it really gave Miranda a chance to play with some pretty cool scenes. Advantage was definitely taken. And if you were wondering at all about Eve’s capabilities, you won’t be wondering as much anymore. There is definitely something powerful buried deep down. We get a little glimpse of what we can hopefully expect in the coming months.
I would have really liked for there to be a couple more pages, but the ending of this issue really got me going. If you were afraid that it wouldn’t be able to keep your attention, don’t worry, that is not an issue. If Coffin Hill continues in the direction that it is, and it keeps moving at this pace, I’m going to be here for a long time.
Score: 5/5 and 5/5
Writer: Caitlin Kittredge Artist: Inaki Miranda Publisher: DC/Vertigo Price: $2.99 Release Date: 11/13/13