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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

13 Coins

Writers: Martin Brennan and Michael B. Jackson
Artist: Simon Bisley
Colourist: Ryan Brown
Letterer: David Withers
Publisher: Titan
RRP: £3.99
Age: 17+
32 pages
Publication Date: 22 October 2014

John Pozner always knew he was special; that his athletic abilities and fighting skills were far from human. But with a broken childhood, drug addictions, and a criminal record on his plate, he’s already fought more than his share of battles for one lifetime. Or so he hoped... Woken to his true angelic nature, John quickly finds himself at the centre of an apocalyptic war - one that could spell the end of existence as we know it - with no choice but to train in order to confront the holy destiny he never asked for. But with scheming politicians, demonic factions and forces older than time itself vying against him, it looks like this ‘true-blooded’ bruiser has his work cut out for him...!

Hitman: Absolution screenwriters Martin Brennan and Michael B. Jackson collaborate with star artist Simon Bisley (ABC Warriors, Slaine, Lobo) on this new miniseries from Titan, with a plot drawn from that favourite pulp fantasy staple, Biblical apocrypha. Opening with a prologue detailing a war among rebel angels ultimately leading to their defeat, the 13 Coins of the title are revealed to be the reforged remains of the chain that once bound the angels' leader, destined to be wielded by a messiah figure in a future battle.

Naturally, down-and-out ex-athlete John Pozner, afflicted as he is with bizarre visions, is the number one suspect for the identity of this messiah, an opinion shared by a shadowy organization tracking him and their less-than-human adversaries. A bloody battle involving car chases, supernatural powers and shootouts is the focus of this first issue as the seeming good guys on Pozner's trail face off with their opponents.

With the rebel-angels scenario more or less familiar from such titles as Preacher and the films Constantine and The Prophecy, the focus on action leaves little room to see whether 13 Coins is going to take its premise in a new direction. Pozner and the other characters are elementary enough figures, and Bisley's recognizable flair for gore and excess is well served by the script, but on first glance the title doesn't stand out from the pack of violent supernatural horror series found on comic shop shelves.

Recommended for admirers of Bisley's style more than anything.


Richard Hunt

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