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The Judas Coin Hardcover – September 18, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
What can I say? I snatched this up from Amazon as soon as I could... it was a fantastic read. Roughly 90 pages of Simonson storytelling. The book is a series of short stories that all feature a legendary (and cursed) coin. The coin bridges the gaps, and it is there until the stellar (pun intended) ending.
Simonson is at the peak of his powers. A few of his sketches and pencils were reproduced at the end of the book... simply amazing artwork. Simonson displays storytelling at its finest... smart writing, energetic layouts, and awesome art. The lettering by longtime collaborator John Workman is beautiful. And the coloring by Lovern Kindzierski is also wonderful to behold.
Whoever art directed the book did a phenomenal job. Everything about it...the introductory pages... the beautiful embossed coin on the hardcover... the paper stock, the stock of the dustpapers... a work of art.
What can I say? I LOVED THIS BOOK. And I would buy newer ones by Simonson sight unseen.
Bravo DC, for putting this out. Now let's get Simonson to do some more!!!
I am a little too young to know firsthand of the time that Simonson was at his heyday, but last year I was exposed to his mastery in the newly printed Thor Omnibus, which reprints his epic run on the character. After reading that I was hooked. It was his artwork that led me to start buying Bendis' Avengers series during the Avengers versus X-Men event. Unfortunately, Bendis writing brought down that arc. For some reason his modern blend of dialogue did not quite match Simonson's style. I find this a lot with Bendis. It must be that he tends to be overly wordy and does not always allow his artists the full freedom to really cut loose and tell the story with their art. Thankfully, the new work The Judas Coin is a return to form since it is written and drawn by Simonson.
The Judas Coin is a 96 page graphic novel that consists of six thematically linked short stories featuring characters from the DC Comics Universe. The stories follow the eponymous coin, one of the thirty pieces paid to betray Christ, as it travels chronologically through time leaving behind a trail of death, betrayal and misfortune.Read more ›
A few general comments about the book - it is beautiful; art, letters, colors, printing are all exceptional. The dialog is clear and appropriate for the time period allowing that we are still reading English.
However, the Judas Coin is an anthology book filled with short stories that are linked through a single object - one of the Judas' 30 pieces of silver as you might gather from the name. My experience with short stories is that they very difficult to write; the author doesn't have much space to create an engaging character and develop a plot. Walt does a good job of facing that difficulty without resorting to characters that are complete stereotypes as shorthand. However, he does rely on characters from DC's past who have their own backstories to help address that issue. That approach varies in effectiveness, if you know the characters, you get more from the story. Some of these characters have been seen rarely so he's taking a risk here.
The book consists of a Prologue explaining the basics of the Judas story followed by six stories set in various era's of DC history:
1) 73 AD - The Golden Gladiator (The Brave and the Bold #1) set in the early part of the Roman empire follows Marcus as he ventures with the disguised Titus Flavius Vespasianus across the Rhine on a mission to secure Rome's border. The story ends with coin in the forest.
2) 1000 AD - The Viking Prince (The Brave and the Bold #1) engages in a raid into Europe to secure a treasure that includes the ill fated coin. It's a straight-forward adventure set in an ancient forest featuring an evil associated with the coin.Read more ›
We see the ancient Roman Empire through the character of the Golden Gladiator, before moving on to the days of Joe Kubert's Viking Prince. Then it's a pirate adventure with Captain Fear (who was also, I believe, the first DC character Simonson drew) and a western tale with charming gambler Bat Lash. We get a nice Batman story (told elegantly in black and white) before moving on to a manga-inspired future, where we learn the end of the story along with Manhunter 2070.
With each story, Simonson adopts his art and storytelling approach. To see a veteran craftsman continue to experiment, rather than resting on a comfortable, familiar style is heartening and refreshing. For example, his layouts on the Viking Prince segment were a bit wilder and varied than, say, the Bat Lash pages, echoing the storytelling creativity of Viking Prince creator Joe Kubert without aping his style. And while Simonson is no stranger to drawing Batman, here he changes up the page layouts, going for a horizontal orientation in black and white, continuing to innovate, even on a familiar character.
While I felt some segments were more successful than others, taken as a whole, this book continues to show a comics master working at the top of his game. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was okay. Not the greatest, but still...it was Walt Simonson so you can't really go wrong .Published 10 months ago by Spike
This collection of short stories spans two millennia, represents several genres, and stars a number of DC Comics characters who aren't often spotlighted. Read morePublished 11 months ago by spcj
This is a gorgeous love letter from the master Walt Simonson to the DC universe. The story follows a single coin from ancient Rome through the dark ages, the Middle Ages, the Wild... Read morePublished 13 months ago by K.C.
Simonson does a great job with different eras and different styles, all linked by a "cursed" coin that lets him play with sci-fi, Westerns, Batman, Vikings, pirates and... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Robert J. Karol
My son asked for this for Christmas. Being a comic book nut in his mid-30's, It was at the top of his list.Published on October 21, 2014 by Thomas J. Novak
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. Read morePublished on September 21, 2014 by Sam Quixote
Don't let the cover fool you; this is not a strict Batman story. This is something better. DC Comics is more than a limited set of superheroes dealing with aliens and criminals... Read morePublished on September 7, 2014 by Adam E. Frey
Love Walt Simonson ! his story and artwork is awesome, been a fan of his since his work years ago at Marvel on the Thor comic series . Read morePublished on May 26, 2014 by Ken C. Rogers
First, this is not a batman story. This is a story that spans centuries and centers on the coin. Second, the art is very typical of Simonson. Read morePublished on December 3, 2013 by Neil Wayne Miller