Saturday, 20 September 2014

The Judas Coin Review (Walt Simonson)


This is NOT a Batman book. I know he’s featured prominently on the cover, along with Two-Face, but the two characters are in the book for a handful of pages before disappearing. I understand why DC did this, because Batman sells, but it is misleading. 

I thought this was going to be - as strange a concept as it sounds - a weird origin story for Two-Face’s coin, the one he flips to decide the fate of his victims. But it turns out The Judas Coin isn’t even that lame! Instead, this is the story of one of the thirty pieces of silver that Judas gets for selling out Jesus, and that coin’s journey through the years, spreading bad luck to everyone it encounters. 

From the crucifixion, the coin falls into the hands of a Roman soldier/gladiator, a Viking Prince, a pirate, a card shark from the old west, Two-Face, and finally a bounty hunter from the future. Not that the stories are connected or anything - they’re totally arbitrary and events in one story don’t affect the next. I get it, the coin brings bad luck to whoever has it - why repeat this in every story without variation, Walt Simonson? 

Like other classic artists who turn their hands to writing as well as drawing, Simonson doesn’t prove to be much of a writer (though he’s not nearly as bad as Neal Adams. Batman: Odyssey was unforgivable!). 

Simonson can’t make us care about any of the passing characters and the tenuous story isn’t in the least bit interesting - guys, the main character is an inanimate coin! Each of the stories contains a betrayal but when you barely know the characters, it’s hard to give a damn, especially when each one is so formulaic. 

It’s a short book though so even if I was practically on the brink of dropping off to sleep most of the time, the low page count kept those lids open til the fast-approaching, completely boring finale. That and Simonson’s art are the only good things I can say about this book!

The Judas Coin is a totally forgettable, badly written and utterly boring original graphic novel that’s totally not worth bothering with.

The Judas Coin

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