13 Coins by Michael B Jackson, Martin Brennan and Simon Bisley

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13 Coins by Michael B Jackson, Martin Brennan and Simon Bisley

Category: Graphic Novels
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: Close to being very good, and certainly better than the hodge-podge of previous similar titles it may have been, this horror comic is for the regular reader of such only.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 160 Date: August 2015
Publisher: Titan Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781782760610

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For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. There, I've done it – quoted the Bible in a review. It's certainly pertinent in the world of this graphic novel, where the fallen angels have one get-out clause they have been seeking since those very lapsarian events. They turned a little section of chain holding their leader eternally captive into the titular coins, which can influence the human holders into sheer evil, but might just cause an open war on Heaven, whether they or the best of the holy on earth use them all. The best of the holy then, offspring of the good angels, are culled as a routine, but not one – John Pozner, who of course has no idea of his place in the celestial circle of life…

This book has a lot on its shoulders – so many precedents I can't actually pin one down by name. It certainly has the spirit of a lot of other violent, adult action works featuring ultimate battles between good and evil being played out on our soil (or America's, as is typical). It doesn't quite make itself a forcefully sold must-buy, but it certainly has enough about it to make it worth considering. To begin with, the work is quite bitty – we're piecing things together once we're past the kinetic prologue, which does help position us alongside Pozner as he works out who is the goodie and who the baddy for us.

Also making the opening pages a little awkward is the artwork – which for no reason gets only so far with a photo-real style, before going into the grungy, choppy line of something like Hellblazer. Not only that, many of the action pieces are among the worst I've ever seen for showing us who is battling who and how they're doing. It makes the characters look too similar, too cheap and too disposable.

Which might be the very aesthetic the authors want, even if the change is most arbitrary. They aren't shy here with killing off people, whether we've met them or not. This is certainly an adult comic. So what it has to do is give us the thrill of seeing something so monumental, focused on characters we care about, and I suppose it just about succeeds. Pozner, a basketball prodigy when young due to the inheritance he unwittingly carried, has the drive of revenge, and I suppose we side with him more through even the goodies being in two minds about both his worth and the risks of using him. But the monumental? Even if the baddies and their coins are bringing the PoTUS into their influence and evil, even if the show-down is going to come, and even if this gang of goodies is going to be irreparably changed by these events, I'm not sure. One thing hampering a Bookbag rating that fully satisfies even me, let alone the creators, is the fact that this story has a lot more to come, even if it would appear to be imminent on their app and other digital sources. Us print readers will have to wait some time for further action, and while it may well have some engaging qualities, it and I might both need a bit of a kick to make us rush to meet again.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

Fans of this kind of book may also get their kicks from the likes of The Evil Within by Ian Edginton and Alex Sanchez.

Buy 13 Coins by Michael B Jackson, Martin Brennan and Simon Bisley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy 13 Coins by Michael B Jackson, Martin Brennan and Simon Bisley at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy 13 Coins by Michael B Jackson, Martin Brennan and Simon Bisley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy 13 Coins by Michael B Jackson, Martin Brennan and Simon Bisley at Amazon.com.


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