REVIEW: 'The Silver Coin' #1 by Chip Zdarsky and Michael Walsh

Eisner-winning artist MICHAEL WALSH (Star Wars, Black Hammer/Justice League) teams with an all-star lineup of collaborators-CHIP ZDARSKY (STILLWATER), KELLY THOMPSON (Sabrina the Teenage Witch), ED BRISSON (Old Man Logan), and JEFF LEMIRE (GIDEON FALLS)-on a new horror anthology miniseries for mature readers. 

Each issue will tell a tale of terror in a shared supernatural world. The story starts in 1978 with a failing rock band whose fortune suddenly changes when they find the mysterious Silver Coin. Little do they know that fame comes with a cost, and a curse is always hungry. 


Writer: Chip Zdarsky

Artist: Michael Walsh

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: April 7, 2021

Cover Price: $3.99


★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

'The Ticket' is the first of five chapters in this horror anthology featuring the art of Michael Walsh and an alternating host of premier comic book writers beginning with Chip Zdarsky. The other upcoming writers include Kelly Thompson, Ed Brisson, and Jeff Lemire. 

It's 1978 and rock band Running Red is struggling amid the disco craze and is relegated to early showtimes in near-empty clubs. It's not until the guitarist Ryan comes across a seemingly normal coin and out of necessity uses it as a pick. Instantly, Ryan becomes a rock god the likes of Hendrix or Clapton turning the band's fortunes around. This "lucky" coin is no ordinary coin and somehow is feeding Ryan's desires to be great and fulfill his dreams of making it big. It becomes an obsession that threatens to break up the band. 

Horror anthologies are great fun. Whether it's Creepshow, Tales from the Darkside, The Twilight Zone, or Black Mirror, the short story format with a dark twist never goes out of style. We know there's going to be an evil turn, a reckoning of some kind that will be unsettling. It's not if but when it's coming. Predictability alone isn't a flaw it's all in the execution in weaving the story into a smart and surprising ending. Here, Zdarsky nails the landing. 

Zdarsky has a gift for dialogue. The exchanges between all the characters demonstrate an ear for realistic language with a tinge of rhythm and a cadence that flows smoothly. It reads very well and shows that Zdarsky may have some personal experience being in a band. He may not but you wouldn't know it from reading this. Things escalate as expected and the climax actually surprises and establishes the link to the next chapter. 

Throughout, Michael Walsh puts his mark on the series, taking ownership of every scene. Doing the yeoman's work in penciling, coloring, and lettering everything. Walsh creates a universe that's washed in monochromatic colors from scene to scene giving a distinct look to each situation. Where Walsh really excels is in the band's performances. This is where all his skills come into play from the exuberance of the musicians' body language to the lyrics being written big and floating across the panels, to the crowd reactions which are painstakingly created. Walsh puts in the work and makes it look easy. 

'The Silver Coin' #1 rocks out of the gate in this horror anthology made by some of the comic industry's most illustrious all-star creators. Chip Zdarsky and Michael Walsh set the bar high in the first chapter with a story of ambition, greed, passion, arrogance, and obsession. Prepare to get some thrills and chills from the best talent in comics as Image has created its own 'Creepshow.'



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