While still good, issue #4 of The Silver Coin feels weaker and slightly disjointed from the rest of the series so far. While it features an interesting setting, the lack of a connection between this and the previous three issues is a curious choice for what was originally intended to be the penultimate issue in a five-part miniseries.
The Silver Coin #4
Ed Brisson, Kelly Thompson, and Chip Zdarsky (creators), Toni Marie Griffin (colours), Jeff Lemire (writer and creator), Michael Walsh (lines, lettering, colours, and creator)
July 14, 2021
First and foremost, I have liked all the issues so far; The Silver Coin is easily one of my favourite horror series, and I was delighted at the announcement that it was becoming an ongoing series. However, for this issue specifically, the fact that it became an ongoing series has become a sticking point.
While reading this, I found myself questioning how this issue fits into the original intention of five issues; what does this story bring to the table? Does it add anything that was not already in previous entries? Beyond the fact that we now know that the titular coin survives until at least the year 2467, The Silver Coin #4 does not add anything of value. Perhaps if this issue and #3 had been released in the opposite order I would have received this one differently, but the fact is that #4 is a disjointed outlier in a series that otherwise has been smooth sailing.
Granted, my issue with this specific story not clicking in the same way as the others could be tied to the fact that the three previous issues all had ties to familiar genres and decades within horror. Deals with the devil, slashers, and home invasions are all well-trod ground for me, my bread and butter when it comes to horror media. Cyberpunk, on the other hand, is a place where I am somewhat out of my depths. That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the setting, quite the contrary, I found the setting to be interesting and, in the little time that we saw it for, well fleshed out.
The art, as per usual, is spectacular. Michael Walsh consistently kills it in each issue, and while I have yet to see a moment like the second issue’s shot-on-film quality to the art, I have had no complaints about it the entire time. The colours only add to that. I love the red panels interspersed amongst the grey, purple, and green tones of the rest of the book; they feel cinematic, like something you would see in a movie as it cuts between the inside and outside of something like a mecha.
It is only the writing that I find lacking; it feels like an abrupt shock out of the flow of the overarching story and, at the same time, feels somewhat aimless. As I said earlier, it is difficult to discern the purpose it would have served in the original five issues. While the series is no longer limited, it feels necessary to focus on that aspect of the series publication history to properly critique these first five issues. Determining authorial intent, after all, is often key to how we discern media. So just what did Jeff Lemire and Michael Walsh intend with this part of the story? What more does it add? As far as I can tell, not much.
Perhaps the way this fits into everything will become more clear with issue #5, or maybe the way this piece of the puzzle fits will stay a mystery. Either way, this is easily my least favourite issue of The Silver Coin so far.