September 29, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: The Judas Coin

One of the silver coins Judas took for betraying Jesus keeps causing problems.

Oh hey, I got another five trades finished.  Looks like I’ll be doing another week of reviews here.

Up first, what was basically an extended single issue in the form of DC Comics’s The Judas Coin, written and drawn by the great Walt Simonson.

Here’s the premise to this short trade:  one of the thirty pieces of silver that Judas was paid to betray Jesus was dropped, and that cursed coin has appeared again and again throughout human history.  Holding onto the coin is never a good idea, and the smarter people involved know to ditch the thing at the first opportunity.  As such, the story follows a series of brief stories where different DC heroes cross paths with the coin, namely the Golden Gladiator in Ancient Rome, the Viking Prince, the pirate Captain Fear, Western hero Bat Lash, Batman and Two-Face in modern day Gotham City, and finally a new Manhunter in the far distant future.

So, Simonson’s writing is usually good if he’s given enough time to really develop his story.  But given this entire story is told over something like 96 or so pages and it covers six different stories, many of these stories didn’t really have that time.  That was a bit problematic for me, especially when dealing with characters like the Golden Gladiator who I am generally less familiar with.  Heck, it wasn’t even until Captain Fear’s story where I felt it was finally clear that the coin was unlucky.

That said, there is a poetic justice to Two-Face of all people figuring out how the coin is cursed and deciding to leave it alone.

All things being equal, some of these stories were better than others, but I think the weakest was the Manhunter story.  I am assuming he was a brand new character, and it might have been nice to actually be given a reason to care about him beyond some vague “ain’t this guy kinda cool!” thing.  But given how little I knew about the guy and how Simonson tried to do some sort of future-speak…yeah, that one really didn’t work for me.

Not a bad book, but not a particularly good one either.

7.5 out of 10 people killed over picking up an old coin for five seconds.