Review: ‘Coffin Hill’ #1

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Right from the first page, “Coffin Hill” #1 is an intriguing murder mystery filled with possible suspects, red herrings, and an engaging protagonist. A tragic event from the past comes back to haunt a rogue cop. Witches, spells, and crooked cops are all part of this gripping supernatural/police procedural.

WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Kittredge
ART BY: Inaki Miranda
PUBLISHER: Vertigo Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASE: October 9, 2013

For three long months, the Boston police have been on the manhunt for the serial killer known as The Ice Fischer. All of a sudden, a rookie cop comes in at the last second and arrests the murderer at an abandoned building. Did Eve Coffin, the arresting officer, actually cheat in the investigation and use her witchcraft powers to apprehend the Ice Fischer? Now that her face is everywhere on television and her name is printed in newspapers, all eyes are on this rookie cop who just about did the impossible. What will the reporters do when they start digging into her past? Whenever Eve casts a spell, someone close to her has to die.

Making her comics debut, Caitlin Kittredge, author of the “Black London” series, crafts a deeply flawed protagonist seeking redemption. Because of a crime she committed in the past, Eve Coffin thinks she can make things right by being a cop. As the narrative continues, readers will discover the tragic event that turned her life upside-down. Eve can never go back home because no one wants her there. Readers will be able to note the difference between who Eve was before and who she is now.

To present Eve’s character growth, Kittredge switches back and forth between her past and present. The nonlinear storytelling helps the readers see just how damaged Eve is both mentally and physically. We also get to witness the damaging effects of using witchcraft for personal gain. As readers, we’re left to wonder if Eve can somehow solve the mystery as she returns home wounded and alone.

Inaki Miranda’s phenomenal artwork captures the emotional turmoil in Eve’s facial expressions. As an adult, Eve always has this look of despair on her face. Miranda uses Eve’s petite body to represent just how small she sees herself in the world. When the narrative jumps back in time, Miranda illustrates a different version of Eve, a teenager who is carefree and rebellious against parental figures. Colorist Travis Lanham uses dark shading to highlight the tattoos on Eve’s slender body.

During the Coffin Family charity ball, Miranda superbly captures the wardrobe the guests are wearing. Notice how everyone at the ball is wearing white and black clothing. In a big panel, the guests almost looks like chess figurines, especially when they’re standing on the checkered floorboard. Miranda has the people lined up precisely so that your eyes focus on the exotic dancer in the center of the room.

An impressive first issue, “Coffin Hill #1″ is a dark and twisted police thriller that must be picked up. Eve Coffin is an interesting character whose tale is about to begin. I look forward to seeing how the mystery progresses in the upcoming issues.

4.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis