Coffin Hill’ is a fantastic comic book with phenomenal artwork and incredible imagination. Its subject matter is timely and the characters are incredibly sexy, they slide through your consciousness like an intoxicating drug. Kittredge and Miranda are a fierce duo with as much elegance as brashness. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, the second arc of ‘Coffin Hill,’ also known as ‘Coffin Hill: Dark Endeavors’ is suffering from one daunting element: too many goddamn plots and timelines. Yes, each timeline entertains and intrigues, but when they’re thrown together in a 22 page comic, it’s dizzying, and not necessarily in a good way.
WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Kittredge
ART BY: Inaki Miranda
PUBLISHER: Vertigo Comics
RELEASE: October 8, 2014
Reviewed By Bree Odgen
For everyone’s benefit, I’ve decided to take a look at each timeline separately. Trying to review ‘Coffin Hill’ issue 12 as a whole is a task I’m just not up for.
While current day Eve sits in a prison cell, we’re treated to a series of flashbacks slowly unraveling the events that landed her here. This timeline is by far my least favorite. But let me back up. It’s incredibly well written. I know this because it slides down the gullet with ease. It’s fast paced and fun to watch unfold. The problem here lies in its absolute obviousness. The notorious “Ice Fisher” has been fairly obvious from pretty much the first issue of ‘Dark Endeavors,’ but cutting Kittredge a little slack, it’s at least been incredibly obvious for the last three issues. So while there’s nothing wrong with this timeline, there’s nothing incredibly haunting or surprising about it. It feels like nothing is on the line because the line seems to have been laid out for us.
Luckily, now that the “Ice Fisher” is revealed, I think things will get a bit more daring and hopefully far more captivating. After all, this issue left Eve in a very bad spot and I’m eager to see how she escapes the mess she so blindly stumbled into.
Coffin Hill, Now, Nate and Eve
Well, Nate’s gone batshit. He has fallen off the wagon, is hooking up with skanky bartenders and hallucinating that a former version of himself (the responsible Police Chief Nate) is following him around doling out cheeky advice. When his brother Patrick returns to Coffin Hill, Nate realizes that something terrible, something involving black magic, is going down so he rushes off to visit Eve in prison. I like this timeline…for the most part. Nate is a great character. And the fact that he’s having visions of his former self keeps him ironically grounded and makes him still worth a damn. He’s slipping, but he’s trying. And it’s hard not to root for him. One thing Kittredge has really proven of herself is that she writes one hell of an antihero.
Shit does, indeed, go down at the prison while Nate is inside warning Eve, and we are introduced to a new type of character in the Coffin Hill mythos: the witch hunters. I, for one, am extremely excited to see more of them.
Coffin House, Today
No fucking clue. Honestly. Lacey is trapped in a seriously terrifying Coffin House basement filled with bizarre humanoid creatures that vomit out giant sacs of spider eggs. I have no idea where this plotline is going but I can tell you right now, it’s the one with the most mystery and it’s the one I’m most eager to follow.
All said and done, this is a fairly strong issue. I know…from what I just wrote it probably sounds like I’m backpedaling. But hear me out. There’s more to love about this comic than there is to be annoyed with. And that’s the bottom line. With only a few issues left to figure out about three and a half serious mysteries, I’m incredibly excited to see what Kittredge and Miranda have coming for us, flaws and all.
Bree Ogden is a literary agent at D4EO Literary Agency, a judge for the Ghastly Awards, and the managing editor of the macabre children’s magazine Underneath the Juniper Tree, which she co-founded in 2011 with artist Rebekah Joy Plett. When she’s not watching horror films, reading comics, hiding out at the Pacific Science Center, or killing off her bee colonies, she teaches graphic novel scripting at LitReactor.com. Twitter: @breeogden