Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jay Faerber
Artists: Scott Godlewski, Ron Riley
Release Date: #2 is out 8th October
Ah, space westerns – was there ever a greater genre than ye? The perfect meld of two different concepts of frontiersmanship, and if you can throw some kind of space horses in there, all the better.
There are no space horses in Copperhead. Sigh.
Still, on the ‘not actually disappointing’ front, there’s actually quite a lot to like about it. At the very forefront of this – and it’s starting to become a theme of Image comics of late – is the rather badass female hero Clara Bronson, or ‘Sherif Bronsun’, as she’s greeted as by her new deputy, a hulking man-bear…thing called Budroxifinicus. If your brain is struggling to say that word, he’s handily summed up as ‘Boo’, don’t worry.
What follows are the usual frontier tropes – you’ve got your sheriff’s department, your locals, the obligatory evil corp guy with his lackeys, and the rednecks. So many rednecks. But the locale – a far flung, dusty and above all, alien-infested planet named Jasper – gives each of these a pleasing twist towards freshness.
Godlewski’s art is pretty great, combining with Riley’s colouring to rather neatly evoke what one can only imagine is a fairly dusty planet full of terrors. Of particular note is a great wee sequence in the middle of the latest issue that sees some fantastic, gunfire-lit action that’s satisfying as hell. They also does a pretty sterling job of not allowing the more dialogue-infused moments feel flat.
As far as an opening song goes, these’re pretty strong issues, but the real joy isn’t the current gross green alien murder mystery, but the very palatable feel on the meta-level that this is a world-building arc – laying down a canvas and character set that’s both familiar and fresh all at once, and promising more fascinating stories going forward. Faerber states specifically that his idea for the whole series was ‘Deadwood in space’, and the team have pretty much nailed this, so if that’s a notion that has your nerd sense a-twitching, jump on this.
As for everyone else, there is a hell of a lot to like here, but it’s down to your tolerance of high concept sci-fi as to whether or not you’ll like this. But it’s well written and draw enough that I reckon pretty much anyone will get a kick out of it, and as said, that canvas – man, it’s a doozy. Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.
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The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24