“The Dancer”
Written by: Vita Ayala
Linework & Lettering by: Michael Walsh
Coloured by: Toni Marie Griffin & Michael Walsh
Edited by: Chris Hampton
Variant Cover by: Nicole Rifkin
Afterword Illustration by: Salomée Luce- Antoinet
Published by: Image Comics

This issue takes place in 1970’s New York, specifically the Bronx. We follow a detective who is unable to pay off his debts to a loan shark and is tasked with burning down a building to square what he owes. Along the way he comes into possession of everyone’s favourite haunted coin and it looks like his fortunes have taken a turn for the better…

It’s very much felt like the last few issues of The Silver Coin are intended to do more than just tell a horror story, and this issue is no exception. There’s a focus on real world events within the narrative and there’s a single page of backmatter in the issue that provides some history of the events we see. It’s something I didn’t know about, so it was a nice touch to have that information available to inform the story. We also see frequent cases of homelessness throughout the issue which also speaks of another problem both in the past and now.

One minor gripe, and something that happens all too often in comics, is that the protagonist in this issue, the arsonist detective, manages to get through his whole narrative without being named. Considering some of the events in this issue, there’s definitely good opportunities to name him, in particular a couple of news reports about him, both of which successfully avoid saying his name. I’m under the impression this is intentional to represent that there were so many corrupt cops and dodgy landlords that the bad guys in this issue could be any number of people, which I can certainly see the significance of, though it does make for an odd read.

As always Michael Walsh’s artwork is a major draw for this issue, now that we’re approaching the end of what will be The Silver Coin’s second volume it’s impressive to see the variety Walsh has shown throughout the series. Regardless of the story being told, he’s able to tailor his art to suit any and all kinds of horror stories.

As an anthology series, each issue of The Silver Coin brings something a little different and it’s always interesting to see the approach the writer will take and the direction the story will go in. In the case of Vita Ayala I feel like we’re focusing on a part of New York’s history that they feel is perhaps overlooked, while also taking on a monkey paw type of horror story that we saw back in the first issue of the series, but in a very different way.

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