cover image The Judas Coin

The Judas Coin

Walter Simonson. DC Comics, $22.99 (104p) ISBN 978-1-4012-1541-5

With 40 years in the comic book business, Simonson has a long, celebrated career building epic comic book mythology, including acclaimed runs on superhero comics’ licensed pop culture franchises and his own creations and co-creations. This absorbing original graphic novel contains a rich tapestry of heroes—pirates, Vikings, western outlaws, space adventurers, and even Batman. This sweeping saga of DC’s history begins after Judas betrays Jesus. One of Judas’s 30 pieces of silver passes through the hands of DC characters—from the ancient Golden Gladiator and the Viking Prince to Batman and Two-Face in the present, and Simonson’s own futuristic co-creation (with Archie Goodwin), Manhunter 2070. The cursed coin tempts heroes and villains with avarice, envy, and a thirst for murder. Simonson is in top form: each historical chapter spotlights a different character in a visually distinct style. His collaborators deftly complement his art and story: colorist Lovern Kindzierski gives each chapter a different, rich color palette, and longtime Simonson collaborator John Workman’s lettering and speech balloons vary appropriately for each story. Especially intriguing is the black-and-white (and red) Batman/Two-Face tale, which resembles a newspaper comic strip. This is grand high adventure that will delight both fans familiar with the characters and those new to DC’s universe. (Sept.)