If there’s one thing I’m a sucker for, it’s space westerns. From Firefly to Star Wars to Guardians of the Galaxy, nothing beats a good old fashion anything goes in the old wild wild west. Well, in this case, west is actually planet called Jasper in the town Copperhead.
It seems like Copperhead would be Sheriff Bronson’s last choice to settle down. It’s a rotten egg smelling mining town at some desolate planet. She only brings her son Zeke and a ton of baggage she’s carrying from her last gig. Greeting her at the train station is sarcastic, less than thrilled, humanoid sized hamster who’s been running the place after the war and after the last Sheriff’s untimely demise. Deputy Budroxfinicus, or Deputy Boo as Zeke dubbed him their first meeting, was gunning for the job of Sheriff but was overlooked by the mayor to hire little ol human, Sherriff Bronson. Obviously Deputy Boo aint too happy about that and wasn’t afraid to show it.
Copperhead isn’t exactly the model mining town one would come to expect. It’s filled with criminals and gangsters of all sorts. Especially a slug like family who seems to get into all sorts of trouble. Deputy Boo has been dealing with these riff raffs for quite a while now and aint too surprised by the trouble they routinely cause. Of course Bronson’s first call is to this slug family. A murder case it turns out. Boo doesn’t seem too surprised. Like this thing happens all the time. But Bronson, being new to the job wasn’t to happy with Boo’s laissez faire reaction.
There’s a mystery in Copperhead. Not only are it’s inhabitants extremely accustomed to random acts of crime, it’s been through some war. The natives obviously lost this war. It also seems like it’s been a long while since, because the Natives and humans live in the same community in ‘peace’. The victors also used what they called artificial humans as a weapon against the natives. The artificial humans seem to take orders from the humans and are extremely powerful. They’re supposed to be illegal after the war but they tend to be used for less than good intentions in Copperhead. Also, not all the artificial humans are robotic slaves. It seems some live in the wastelands of Jasper without the leash of their masters. What they do? Are they good or bad? That’s the mystery.
Bronson’s story, for whatever reason, is to leave her past behind her, start a new life with her son Zeke. What exactly happened to her in her past life is what we want to know. What caused her to leave whatever planet she came from and come to a rotten egg smelling mining town where violence is prevalent, the government is corrupt and the town is ruled by the mob and other business types? However Bronson is one rough, aint taking B.S. from no one type of Sheriff. She carries a gun and isn’t afraid to use it. She only cares about one thing and that’s her son Zeke.
Copperhead is one of my favorites of 2015. Written by Jay Faerber and illustrated by Scott Godlewski, its writing is gripping. Copperhead’s history is riveting enough to keep me glued to the book til the end. The characters are well developed and the first 5 issues in the volume establish the setting so well I was craving for the next volume. The art by Scott Godglewski conveys the grittiness of Copperhead perfectly. It’s a space western and Godlewski nailed it. I haven’t seen a lot of Godlewski’s work but I love his art in Copperhead. Keep an eye out for him.
Copperhead definitely gets shortboxed. I’d have to put this in my top 5 reads of the year. Everything about it is amazingly well done. I’ll need to pull up Jay Faerber’s other work because he’s very good story teller.
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