Coffin (Dark Horse Comics) stands over a man whose throat he sliced open


(Part #1 - Original form)


Coffin was an early, notable enemy of Dark Horse Comics’ street-level vigilante X. Thus, he appeared during the early 1990s.

Though he’s now an obscure character, he was a pretty good stab at a monstrous, huge, scary killer type.


  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Other aliases: The Ziggurat, and a succession of other unrevealed aliases.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed, presumed single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 6’9” Weight: 294 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: None


Powers and Abilities

Coffin is huge, extremely strong and violent (almost inhumanly so). He’s also greatly skilled at combat. His clashes against X can be deceptive as to his skill level. X was determined to kill him and burning lots of Hero Points , which Coffin wasn’t expecting.

Coffin’s combat style manages to be bestial in a detached way. It’s like fighting a cruel, rabid animal who’s demonstrating his techniques with an air of complete boredom.

He once made an example by disarming a man thus – batting the knife out of the man’s grip, grabbing his empty hand, biting off four fingers, spitting them back into the man’s face then slitting his throat open.

Coffin doesn’t appear to have any notion of excessive force. He will resort to extraordinarily destructive approaches at the drop of a hat.

Coffin has memorised a vast range of literary quotes from classic treatises of philosophy, theology, morals and the like. He excels at coming up with quotes appropriate to the situation. That seems to be the only way he communicates.



Coffin has a long career as a mob enforcer and hitman. One of his earliest employers was Carmine Tango in Arcadia. Among other assignments he eliminated “Johnny”, Tango’s most promising lieutenant, after his apparent betrayal.

In time Coffin grew too big even for the violent cesspool that is Arcadia; He moved out.

Return to Arcadia

Years later “Johnny” resurfaced as the mysterious X, vying to take control of Arcadia. In the ensuing war against Carmine Tango, X soon had the upper hand, and the mobster had Coffin hired to counter-attack. The enforcer theatrically arrived by plane in a casket, and started to work.

When Tango unified the independent mobs to take on X, one second-tier crime boss objected. He was immediately slaughtered by Coffin, the gory spectacle bringing the others in line.

Coffin was then ordered to take on X’s turf, the waterfront. Which he did by basically razing and torching the entire neighbourhood.

X retaliated by leaking information that he was in cahoots with Mafia heiress Diana Goretti, a partner of Tango. As hoped, Coffin was sent to kill Goretti and make it messy. When he came in X attacked and apparently killed Coffin.


Coffin survived thanks to the local hospital’s ICU. However, he was gravely wounded and permanently paralysed.

Due to budget cuts, patients soon had to be lodged two a room. Coffin’s new neighbour was the comatose psionicist  Toby Klein. After a few months, men were sent by the new crimelord of Arcadia, Christy, to shut down Coffin’s life support. He was seen as a potential risk if he ever emerged from his coma and somehow recovered from his paralysis.

As Coffin was dying, Toby physically manifested as a Chaos Rider. He also gave Coffin’s spirit its own form as a psionic manifestation. The two set out to avenge themselves against Christy and X. This is covered under the Coffin (psionic form) character profile.


See illustration.


Mean killer and enforcer – and a casual killer, too. He’ll not hesitate to slit the throat of a fellow mob enforcer if he’s really stupid and boring. Coffin appears to be a complete psychopath, possibly schizophrenic, with a taste for the theatrical and grandguignolesque.

Coffin talks entirely in literary quotes. A good compendium of such quotes, organised by theme, is necessary to write his dialogue. Of course, in a role-playing session context, that’s a bit harder. Just have him say profound stuff that sounds like it was written during the XVIIIth century.

Coffin is extremely well-read. He sees himself as a scholar and philosopher rather than a hitman and legbreaker. He’s not even pretentious about it – it’s just obvious that it is his life’s passion, and his theatrical side just does the rest.

He apparently changes his nom de guerre somewhat often. It seems important for him that people acknowledge and respect that. One gets the feeling he’s inspired by his reading – whenever he has one of his frequent literary epiphanies.


“When all the world dissolves, and every creature shall be purified, every place shall be Hell that is not Heaven.” (in case you’re wondering, this is from Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus (no relation)).

DC Universe History

Coffin may have been a top operative in the League of Assassins, who left after failing in his life’s dream of becoming Ra’s al Ghul bodyguard – since he was not an Ubu man. He retains good ties with the League, though.

He died during a clash with the modern Crimson Avenger, but bartered with Neron to obtain a limited ability to come back as a psionic construct.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 06 Str: 06 Bod: 06 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 05 Occupation: Torpedo
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 008
Init: 019 HP: 035

Recall: 09

Bonuses and Limitations:
Recall is limited to literary quotes.

Charisma (Interrogation, intimidation): 08, Martial artist: 07, Vehicles (Land): 04, Weaponry (Firearms, knives): 08

Iron Nerves, Scholar (Classic literature and philosophy).

Carmine Tango (High), Underworld (Low).

Distinct Appearance.


  • When he has to carry a firearm, Coffin is partial to a Micro-Uzi machine pistol [BODY 03, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 06, R#03, Advantage : Autofire].
  • He’ll often be found using a Knife [BODY 06, Enhance (EV): 01 (Cap is 07), Descriptor: Piercing, Slashing].

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Dark Horse’s Comic Greatest World.

Helper(s): Roy Cowan.