I love comics and graphic novels, so what do I do with that love? Well, I turn it into a new feature!
From Panel to Panel is a new feature where I talk about the awesome (and perhaps not-so awesome) comic books and graphic novels I’ve read. Basically, this will be me pushing them onto your laps. You’re welcome.
You say, “Space Western,” and I say, “how high do I need to jump to get it? Because I love me some Space Westerns.”
Written by Jay Faerber, art by Scott Godlewski, and colors done by Ron Riley, the very first volume of Copperhead introduces you to Clara Bronson, a no-nonsense sheriff, who arrives in the mining town of Copperhead with her son, Zeke to make a fresh start. There, she has to deal with rowdy alien hillbillies, corruption, murders, creatures that live in the Badlands, her own prejudices, and so much more.
WHY COPPERHEAD SHOULD BE ON YOUR RADAR
- Space Westerns are the best.
I might be bias, but anything in Space is awesome. And when you add Westerns to that? Sign me up.
My love for Space Westerns started because of Firefly, and I’ve been looking at anything that reminds me of that wonderful show. I found it in Copperhead. (I like to imagine that this comic takes place in the same world as Firefly. Or maybe an alternate universe with aliens who look non-human? I just feel like they’re related.)
- You have a lot of badass characters.
- Sheriff Clara Bronson—she’s tough, smart, and badass. She’s the no-nonsense sheriff that Copperhead needs, even if they aren’t particularly happy she’s around. Her son, Zeke, is everything to her, which makes her extremely protective of him. She does her job the best she can, even if that gets her on the bad side of the people in town.
- Deputy Budroxifinicus—also known as Boo, which he hates to be called—is the resentful deputy who had wanted the sheriff job. He snarks, but he is a mighty fine deputy.
- Mama Sewell—the matriarch of the Sewell alien hillbillies—who’s family becomes the new sheriff’s first case. Like Clara, she’s protective of her family. She’s not very welcoming to outsiders interfering in her family’s business, and will go on the attack to protect the people she loves.
- Zeke Bronson—Clara’s son—seems to always want to help people like his mom, which is why he decides to help his new neighbor, Annie, find her dog and runs into trouble when the two kids realize they’re not safe where they are.
- Ishmael—an artie (aka artificial human)—lives in the Badlands, where he lives in relative peace with the Natives until he breaks a unspoken truce and kills some of them.
- Hugo—the missing dog that Zeke and Annie are trying to find. (Okay, I didn’t need to include Hugo into the character list, but look at that adorable mug.)
- The comic alludes to a war that was fought between aliens and arties that you’d want to learn more of.
Who doesn’t like learning more about wars, especially if it’s in Space? We learn that there was a war that was fought between the aliens and arties (artificial humans) who were created to fight on behalf of humans. Why though? I’m very interested to seeing this aspect be expanded because it’s such an important event that’s engrained in many of these characters’s lives like Boo and Ishmael.
You will want to know about the Badlands and the Natives.
Just beyond the city limits is a place called Badlands, where nobody ventures into at night because of the Natives who dwell there. The Natives look like insects that have been turned gigantic due to a chemical spill. They’re nasty and creepy, and will attack when you step foot on their lands.
- The art makes you wonder what else is beyond the vast lands these characters live in.
Just look at the gorgeousness:
You’ve gotta look at the gorgeous art and the coloring that perfectly captures the grittiness of the bleak mining town of Copperhead.
- The story is familiar.
This can be a good and bad thing. Copperhead uses the same tropes you find in any books or shows/movies about Space and Westerns. I don’t necessarily mind that it’s not reinventing Space Westerns or creating something entirely new and out of this world because the characters and the art that Faerber and Godlewski created are amazing. It’s what I’ve come to love. Copperhead is not on the same level as Saga, but hey, Brian K. Vaughan recommended this comic, so.
There’s so much I want to know about this Copperhead world. I will definitely be keeping a watch for volume two when it comes out.