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Coffin Hill: “Dark Endeavors” (Vertigo, 2013; #8-14)

In what is a first for this little experiment, I’m going to dig into Coffin Hill Vol. 2 without spending a lot of time on its first trade. We talked about the series’s first act in our Horror Spooptacular! episode. Brian and I both read it and loved it.

The book—no spoilers—follows Eve Coffin, a rookie cop-cum-begrudging hero and, much to her own chagrin, the latest in a lineage of wealthy witches. It is the story of Eve facing her past and figuring out who she wants to be. I enjoy its blend of magical elements and police procedural; neither overtakes the other and becomes too much.

“Dark Endeavors” focuses mostly on the case that made rookie cop Eve famous. She becomes part of the team investigating a serial killer called the Ice Fisher when she recognizes a symbol on one of the victims. It’s an key chapter in her story, and Caitlyn Kittredge tells it well; while its outcome is fairly straightforward to piece together, the way in which those events unfold is engaging. The B-plot remains in the present and follows the fallout of volume one. Eve is secondary to most of the present-day plot. That her main action is consigned to the flashback does make this volume feel less urgent, but given the thematic focus on Eve facing her past, it is necessary.

Miranda, Kelly, and de la Cruz’s art is right in line with what what they did in the first arc.  That means a representational style with heavy lines and a color palette that ranges from the muted and mundane, with deeper tones and more vivid lighting effects when magic is afoot. There are fewer otherworldly, witchy pages in this act; but when it wants to get dark and abstract, it succeeds.

If you’ve read the first volume of Coffin Hill but have been waiting on the second, there’s no reason not to pick “Dark Endeavors” up. The second chapter is a less shocking, but it remains an engaging read that does an excellent job of balancing procedural and supernatural elements. If you haven’t read any of the series but enjoy horror comics, it definitely gets my recommendation.

Collected in

  • Coffin Hill, Vol. 2: Dark Endeavors (#8-14)


Writer: Caitlyn Kittredge | Artists: Inaki Miranda, Ryan Kelly | Colorist: Eva de la Cruz | Letterer: Travis Lanham | Covers: Dave Johnson


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