Coffin Hill #5 (DC/Vertigo)


Rating: 4.5/5 – Eve finds out why you shouldn’t go home again.
by guest reviewer Kevyn Knox

I first picked up number one of this new Vertigo series not knowing just what I was going to get.  Granted, it was from Vertigo, so chances were pretty good that I was going to dig it.  And dig it I did.  With each successive issue, this series has gotten better and better, and issue number five is no different. Written by novelist Caitlin Kittredge, taking on the medium of comicbooks for the first time, and drawn to hauntingly beautiful effect by Inaki Miranda (Fairest: The Hidden Kingdom), Coffin Hill #5 is something we should all be used to by now – an intriguing, brilliant, and always surprising work of dark and sinister storytelling from Vertigo Comics.  Can ya tell I like this series?

For those who don’t know yet (and you really should know by now) Coffin Hill is a book about witches.  More specifically it is a book about the Coffin family witches of Coffin Hill, Massachusetts.  To be even more specific, this is a book about Eve Coffin, the last (so far) in the Coffin family line.  The series flashes back and forth between Eve’s rebellious teen years, and a decade later with her days as an ex Boston cop come home to the supernatural problems of her home town.  Supernatural problems that Eve herself may very well have unleashed in her misbegotten youth.  Imagine typical teenage angst blended with the unwieldy power of witchcraft. Now that you’re caught up (seriously, you should be reading this comic) we can discuss this fifth issue, the penultimate issue of the book’s first story arc.

Thomas Wolfe famously said “You can’t go home again,” and Eve Coffin surely finds that out in Coffin Hill.  With each issue, Eve must face her demons (literally in some cases), and as the tension builds and builds through this arc, the mystery and aforementioned tension becomes more than palpable in issue #5.  We get physical confrontation between Eve and the witch possessing her one-time friend.  We get emotional confrontation between Eve and the one boy, now a man and the small town’s sheriff, she has loved for years.  We get psychological confrontation between Eve and the ghosts of her past.  And we get a fun reveal in the last few pages.  It all makes me anticipate issue #6 even more than I had before.

This latest issue of Coffin Hill is yet another powerful work of sequential art from the fine folks over at Vertigo Comics.  Kittridge’s skills as a storyteller (mostly known for her dark urban fantasy novels, she cites Raymond Chandler, H.P. Lovecraft, and Neil Gaiman as her biggest influences) and Miranda’s slick, gorgeous artwork, as well as more spectacular cover art from cover artist extraordinaire Dave ‘The Reverend’ Johnson, come together to do exactly what they have done in the previous four issues – make Coffin Hill #5 an extremely fun read from start to finish.  This is a series I can’t wait for each and every month.

Reviewed by: Kevyn Knox

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