In The Silver Coin #2, Fiona heads off to summer camp with a head full of slasher movies. But little does she know that the flickering images on her television will soon burst forth into reality. Who gets a machete to the head? Find out in your next mighty Major Spoilers review!
THE SILVER COIN #2
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Michael Walsh
Colorist: Michael Walsh
Letterer: Michael Walsh
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: May 12th, 2021
Previously in The Silver Coin: Artist Michael Walsh has brought together a stunning roster of comic writing talent in this anthology series of shared world supernatural tales. Walsh draws, and the writers write spooky and terrifying tales in a world linked by the eponymous silver coin. What horrors await the reader!
THE JUDAS KISS
The imagery of a silver coin and its relationship to a horror anthology series in comic’s form puts me instantly in mind of the thirty pieces of silver one Judas Iscariot took to betray his master. The coins and their link to ultimate betrayal have been fodder for genre writing for many a year, and their use in this clever anthology series is another link in a chain stretching back into horror history.
The Silver Coin #2 is fully steeped in the slasher movie genre of the 1980s. Those of us old enough to know better revelled in the Freddy’s and Jason’s and Michael’s of that era, as they cut a literal swathe through small town America (and a substantial proportion of tender high schoolers). Often low budget, often gory to the point of hilarity, there’s no denying the indelible imprint they left on the horror genre as a whole, and a number of writers who took up the banner in their own careers.
The Silver Coin #2 contends with that staple of 80s horror movies – the summer camp. We’ve nothing like that experience here in Australia, so anything I know about it comes straight from American movies. If this issue is any guide, the experience can be a hellish one, as the cliques from high school smoothly transition to the great American wilderness. Fiona is a keen watcher of horror movies, and going to summer camp is something she is greatly looking forward to. Soon, however, she experiences the horror of exclusion and bullying, as the girls in her cabin soon decide she’s the weakest link, and make her life hell.
The clever thing about Kelly Thompson’s writing in The Silver Coin #2 is how she gradually transitions the story from Fiona’s innocent enjoyment of a slasher movie, to the real life bullying that blights her experience at summer camp. Being a father of two teenage girls, it quickly becomes apparent how mean teenagers (not mine, I hasten to add) can be to one another. The way Thompson demonstrates their coldness towards Fiona, the fake friendship, the cutting comments, and the outright contempt, all feel real and dispiriting. But what happens next is what makes The Silver Coin #2 so satisfying to read.
HOT MACHETE ACTION
The travails of being a teenager soon take on a more sinister edge as Fiona finally breaks and flees into the woods one night. This is where Michael Walsh takes up the baton and runs rampant. A spree killer slaughtered a bunch of kids at the camp back in the 50s, and clearly, the supernatural inspiration is back in town. The last half of the The Silver Coin #2 is a delightful exploration into how many different ways Walsh can depict children being slaughtered by a blood mad maniac.
Walsh is artist and colorist in this issue, and his technical skill in both comes to the fore in a magnificent sequence when Fiona encounters the spirit of the spree killer. Atmospheric use of blue and blacks and just a tinge of red bring to life a capering monster, intent on killing Fiona. What follows is a shadowy struggle, seen mostly from the outside of an abandoned cabin, leaving the reader unsure who the real winner is.
What follows is a series of kills that directly draw inspiration from the classic slasher movies of the 80s. Walsh gives full rein to his imagination here, as he turns the summer camp into an open air abattoir. Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but in The Silver Coin #2, it’s hot, salty and very, very bloody.
BOTTOM LINE: CLEVER
The Silver Coin #2 is a clever retread of the classic slasher movies of the 1980s. It’s an often horrifying, often darkly amusing take, full of a carefully planned out build up, and a satisfying ending that will leave you questioning your enjoyment of this genre.
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The Silver Coin #2
All Fiona wanted to do was have some fun at summer camp. Instead, she encountered a posse of girls intent on making her life a living hell. Unfortunately for them, and let's be frank, Fiona as well, The Silver Coin chooses to involve itself. And what follows is a bloody nightmare.