13 COINS #5
STORY BY: Martin Brennan, Michael B Jackson
ART BY: Simon Bisley
COLORS BY: Ryan Brown
COVER BY: Simon Bisley
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: Wednesday, February 18, 2015
THE POWER AND THE GLORY
I had the privilege and pleasure to not only review 13 Coins issue #5, but to binge read the series in a half hour sitting. Though I prefer good old paper comics, I couldn’t resist the digital option this time. With a free 13 Coins reader (available in the Appstore, Google Play, and Amazon), a reduced cover price for digital issues, limited-time free content, and exclusive-on-digital 3D covers which are obviously products of witchcraft, the choice seemed clear. For $9 I got five issues and two free Collectors Packs with exclusive artwork, character bios, and back story.
I bought 13 Coins sight unseen. Though the artwork is penciled by Eisner Award winner Simon Bisley (Lobo, Batman: Judgement on Gotham), and written by Martin Brennan and Michael B Jackson (Hitman: Absolution, The Mulbury Project) this series wasn’t even on my radar. But I will be coming back in March for #6 because I am hooked.
Despite some initial disappointments regarding dialogue and pacing, I really got caught up in the overall story line. By issue #5 any early misgivings were forgiven. The pacing made sense; the style of storytelling made sense. It felt less stilted and forced. And I realized that was because, much like the main character John Pozner, I had been thrown into a confusing new situation with centuries’ of information heaped upon me.
While it may sound like a left-handed compliment, something I realized while taking notes as I read issue #5 is that 13 Coins is several tropes rolled into an original story. And this makes for a familiar yet surprising experience! But from page one they make no secret of this fact. This story is literally as old as time itself with the roots of all that is good and evil in modern times stretching back to the original fallen angels breaking with God. As such, being brought up to speed was jarring, but necessary. Like Pozner I needed to know what I was up against.
And we are up against some remarkable foes. Our enemy isn’t a billionaire mad man, or a dictator of a foreign land, or even a crooked politician responsible for the oppression of his own constituents. No, our enemy is what gives those men their power in exchange for their fealty. In my opinion that is creepier than any mortal villain.
In issue #5 we find Pozner fully committed to his new-found role as a champion against the Fallen, those who lost the battle against the angels of God — so committed that he risks certain death just to fully manifest his potential angelic powers. Driven by the desire to avenge the untimely death of a loved one, Pozner faces his inner demons to confront the very real ones which await him. But they don’t want to kill him. Nah. That’s so basic. No, the Fallen need Pozner to bring back THEIR champion, Semyaza. Sound terrifying? Yeah, he is. And it is with him that the 13 Coins find their origin.
But I’ll let you discover what that means for yourself. 13 Coins #5 is available in print Wednesday, February 18th from Titan Comics for $3.99 or via their free reader app for $1.99.