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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: £2.90
Age: 17+
32 pages
Publication Date: 19 November 2014

From Eisner Award-winning artist Simon Bisley – legendary artist of Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgement on Gotham and Lobo – comes a new series that finds Heaven and Hell at war in an angelic battle over the fate of Mankind. Hidden amongst the heaving masses of humanity is John Pozner, the tormented ex-con who can end the fighting and whom both sides in the war seek. And, for John, what seemed just bad dreams of angelic death and slaughter are about to take on a horrific reality...!

With luckless messiah John Pozner targeted by both the allegedly angelically-descended good-guy organization, the Sons of Noah, and their plainly demonic opponents the Fallen, 13 Coins #2 switches focus to another of the latter's targets, flagrantly corrupt US Senator Graham. Blackmailed for his vices, the Max Headroom-lookalike Graham is swiftly further under the demonic thumb than he realizes.

While the chillingly cynical and reactionary speech Graham gives in the opening sequence wouldn't sound out of place in today's real-life US political arena, it's the only real bit of decent writing in this issue. The rest of his scenes, as well as the dialogue between John Pozner and his would-be recruiter Samuel, come across as clunky and wooden, seldom rising above cliché. Having Pozner's African-American friend meet death during the Fallen's attack also feels critically cheap, a poor sign for the plotting skills on display.

Despite Simon Bisley's winningly equal-opportunities approach to nudity, his famed art skills seem off here too, with several minor characters' faces looking unfinished and awkward. 13 Coins needs to raise its game if it's going to work as a vehicle for Bisley's talents.


Richard Hunt

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