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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: £2.65
Age: 17+
32 pages
Publication Date: 17 December 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. Whether he likes it or not, troubled soul John Pozner is humanity’s only salvation against the approaching Armageddon. But with the final battle at hand and his training only just beginning, the gravity of John’s apocalyptic destiny is only now beginning to dawn...

The parallels between 13 Coins' plot and The Matrix resurface in this third issue as the Sons of Noah's leader Samuel introduces John to his freedom-fighting cell, accompanied by disbelief on both sides and a fair chunk of exposition. On the villains' side of things, goofily amoral Senator Graham is introduced to his demonic sponsor and we finally get a look at one of the coins of the title – which, as Samuel tells John, are evil in themselves and responsible for 'wars, massacres and murders throughout history'.

With a large number of new characters introduced this issue, there's some enjoyable caricature on display – no-one could mistake the curiously-named Mr. Râmêêl for anything but an agent of evil. The good guys are less interestingly portrayed, with the appearance of several female characters in Samuel's team an opportunity for Simon Bisley to demonstrate his well-known propensity for cheesecake, as Samuel's daughter drapes herself over the oblivious John. The overheated sexuality and blend of big-league US politics and demonic intervention invite echoes of the classic Elektra: Assassin, but so far 13 Coins isn't in that series' league.

A subplot involving a former fellow athlete of John's coping with mental and physical trauma so far seems barely connected to the story, but oddly seems to have the most potential for sympathy and interest, despite the lurid visions the creators visit on him. It's about the only point of interest in this otherwise thin issue. 13 Coins is an efficient showcase for Bisley's skills, but so far no more than that.


Richard Hunt