Earlier this week, I took the advice of my local comic shop owner and bought Copperhead Vol. 1, by Jay Faerber. The book was published under Image, and though I'd read a few books (mostly Invincible), I'd never really gotten hooked by anything they publish.
That is, until Copperhead sunk its teeth in to me. The venom worked fast, and I've never been more happily surprised by a book. It tells the tale of Sheriff Clara Bronson, who recently relocated to the backwater planet of Jasper. Soon after, she is forced to respond to a deadly murder with her new partner. As events spiral out of control, she quickly learns that the town isn't as quiet as it seems.
Copperhead is fantastic in every aspect. The art perfectly conveys the feel of the planet, with a rustic overtone that clashes with the clean white armor and flying cars. The mixture of far future and old west seems completely natural thanks to the skilled hand of Scott Godlewski.
Though the art alone makes the book worth it, the gripping murder mystery plot, natural dialogue, and western themes weave an intricate tale that keeps you reading 'til the case is solved. Jay Faerber does an incredible job of developing most of the characters beyond the one-dimensional jailhouse that supporting cast members tend to get relegated to.
He also addresses issues like racism, sexism, and corporate greed, and lays bare that no one is free from bias. Even the meanest characters earn some sympathy, and even the kindest can be cruel.The rough and tumble world is interspersed with moments of humor, family, and respect, as the characters bond and work together to just make it through a few days on a harsh, unforgiving planet fraught with danger.
If you ever feel like checking out a series independent from the Big Two, Copperhead is worth looking in to. Whether you're in the mood for a western, science fiction, detective work, or some damn good action, Copperhead delivers on every account.