Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jay Faerber
Artist(s): Scott Godlewski, Ron Riley
Release Date: 8th April, 2015
Ah potential – you fickle creature, taunting us with your could-bes and might-bes, buzzing about our heads like… eh… bees, making promises of sweet, sweet honey/gratification. How often will you come back around all angry, and sting us right in the face.
No, I don’t know where I’m going with that analogy. But what I do know is that whilst it’s not even close to what you could call ‘bad’, Faerber and Godlewski’s Copperhead is not, as yet, living up to it’s massive potential.
Whilst the series is dependably entertaining, and features great craftsmanship, the only real let down of the series thus far is that its stories are incredibly low key. The first arc, whilst introducing a fascinating sci-fi universe to explore, resolved its mystery rather too neatly and quickly, and despite dangling a mystery, imprisoned beard-owner at the end of issue #5, this issue doesn’t seem to want to expand on that.
There are many ways that I could sing its praises. Godlewski’s line-work is great, expertly capturing the expeditionary nature of the town of Copperhead, stylising reality in a manner which feels fresh, without ever becoming incomprehensible. Riley does a great job of accentuating this point with the colour-work, covering everything in a layer of grime that feels authentic and gives weight to the story-telling. Faerber’s dialogue – particularly the way that he writes Deputy Budroxifinicus (or Boo, if you’re not up for a challenge) – is wonderfully intricate, characters each retaining a distinct voice, and sometimes you can even hear the gravel in their dust-choked speech.
I just wish that there was more of the over-arching plot going on – at the moment, it feels little like they’re in a holding pattern.
But we’ll see going forward, and my criticisms I can easily dismiss myself with ‘that’s world-building for you’. So if you’ve been digging the series so far, this will continue to pressurise your spaceplane (that’s…what…she said?). If you weren’t sold, this doesn’t take any pains to reel you in – which is something of a shame, because there remains a heck of a lot of potential in this world, and there’s every possibility that it could properly fill out the bold claim of ‘Deadwood in space’ that we were promised at the start. Here’s to hoping.
The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24