When “Coffin Hill” debuted, one of the things we learned very quickly about Eve Coffin was that as a police officer, she helped crack the case with a serial killer called the Ice Fisher. Two chapters into “Dark Endeavors,” and the bulk of the storyline finally reveals what happened in December 2012 and how the Ice Fisher was stopped. So far, it’s a much more intriguing storyline than the book’s debut.
I understand why this storyline came second — it needed to, so that Kittredge could set up what readers learn about Eve and her family in general when it comes to witchcraft — but at the same time, it is a genuine shame that it wasn’t how Caitlin Kittredge began the series. This story is wonderfully creepy, a mixture of police procedural, dark forces and increasing suspicion. In many ways, it’s engrossing in a way that the first storyline just never quite managed; I care much more about Eve and her hunt for the Ice Fisher even as the body count increases and the question of who’s responsible lingers overhead.
The present-day material isn’t quite as sharp, but it’s also good. I’m not sure what the heck is going on with the pair of young women in Coffin House, and in many ways it feels like it’s a setup for the storyline that’s still to come. It’s good in that it only lingers for two pages, though; just enough to pique interest before moving onto the bigger story. The rest in the present day works well enough, both anchoring the flashbacks and also picking up some of the debris from that initial storyline.
The one constant in “Coffin Hill” has been the amazing art from Inaki Miranda. I love the way Miranda draws everything in this comic, from the clean and expressive faces (with the stringy, sharp lines for hair), to the return of the sudden appearance of the crows, who crowd and clutter the panels in a way that makes you just start twitching in response. Even the little moments, like the snowing indoors scene, is handled with grace and elegance; Miranda takes Kittredge’s ideas and makes them come to life in a way that is eerie and beautiful at the same time.
If you dropped “Coffin Hill” during the first storyline, I’d say that it’s actually worth your while to come back. Kittredge feels much more energized with her title now, and Miranda’s art is great as ever. Hopefully this uptick in quality can translate to some stronger sales; this is now a title I can whole-heartedly get behind and support.