COFFIN HILL couldn't have picked a better month to debut. October is just the right time to kick off a witchcraft-laced suspense story that opens with the protagonist immediately getting shot. From there, things just get creepier -- flashbacks to Eve Coffin's past show us that we're not just dealing with your average cop story, horror story, anything story. COFFIN HILL is a melange of suspense, revenge, supernatural horror, and good, old-fashioned family drama.
If you open the issue to the exact center (where the staples show), you'll be treated to a gorgeous splash page involving Eve jumping into a mausoleum amidst a flock of upset ravens. It's a stand-out page in a well-illustrated issue (though the blood-soaked scene a few pages later may give it a run for its money!), and it's appropriately dark, dynamic, and interesting -- definitely a tone-setter for the series.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of this new series is the shroud of mystery around its protagonist. She's instantly exciting because of her spooky legacy and blue-blood roots, but there's more to Eve Coffin than family history. She's alternately portrayed as a lucky rookie cop with a solid first catch, a "devil-worshipping pillhead," and someone who crossed conduct lines during an investigation -- any of these would beg for more exposition, but together, they make for a character that one can't not be curious about.
One scene in particular (the ritual in the woods in 2003) comes to an abrupt ending, and its outcome is only clear if you look closely at the shattered flashback panels in Eve's hospital scene or read the Vertigo solicit for the issue. (In case you didn't catch it on first pass, the friend whose scream closes out the scene ends up in a mental institution, while the other girl is missing, and Eve has amnesia.) I'm sure more details will be revealed in time, but it seems like a lot of assumptions were packed into those panels.
COFFIN HILL reads like a horror-themed young-adult novel, in the best way possible. It's decadent and reckless at the same time, it has a supernatural edge, and Eve Coffin is a thrilling vehicle for escapism if you ever got really into R.L. Stine or Christopher Pike (or whatever you kids are reading these days). There's some suspension of disbelief required, whether it's the supernatural elements, the high-society backdrop, or the fact that someone let Eve Coffin onto the police force with a past like that, but it's all in good fun, and it makes for a thoroughly engaging first issue.