Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Copperhead, Volume 2 Review (Jay Faerber, Scott Godlewski)


Sheriff Clara Bronson’s enjoying a night off at the local saloon until her drinkin’s interrupted by a scumbag beating up a woman. Tossing him in jail, Clara inadvertently sets off a chain reaction that’ll see her deputy, Boo, kidnapped by the scumbag’s older brother’s gang leading to a chase across the alien prairie and ending at an outlaw stronghold. Saddle up! 

The second volume of this western/sci-fi/police procedural series has a fast-moving action plot that keeps the pages turning quickly. Clara is Action Woman, here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and she’s all outta Roddy Piper. Bar fights, home invasions, snipers, car chases, it’s got all the bang bang goodness you could ask for! 

The problem is when you slow down and start to actually think about what’s happening you realise the plotting is actually mega-shitty. The villain busts his idiotic little brother outta dodge but instead of leaving, they decide to kidnap Deputy Boo (if you can’t remember his character, think Batman as an 8 foot hamster) - why? Why not just execute him in Copperhead - why take him with them? Some vague drivel about him being a good “human shield” though he’s not human and he shields them from nothing - they still get shot at by Clara’s sniper artie (artificial human), Ishmael. 

Then we get to the final chapter (I promise this isn’t a spoiler) and the main villain says Boo’s good leverage as a hostage, another moronic statement backed up by nothing. Then in the next panel a different character mentions that if anyone finds out they’ve taken a cop hostage, they’re all dead. Then in the next panel the main villain decides, duh, they’re right - we gotta kill the cop and burn any evidence he wuz here. What?! Some blockhead points out the bleeding obvious and it’s “leverage” one minute and then “death” the next? Truly appalling writing, Jay Faerber. 

I really dig Scott Godlewski’s art which has a terrific classic sci-fi look to it: lots of open sky, often a burnished colour, simple backgrounds with detail on the characters. The panels are so sparse at times it almost looks zen - Copperhead has a very stylish look overall. I also really liked Thomas Mauer lettering which is a really cool font - I almost never mention the lettering but this comic’s stood out positively!

If all you’re after is a brainless action story with a sci-fi veneer to it, Copperhead is for you. This second volume though turned me off the series as it shows Faerber’s severe shortcomings as a writer, regardless of the rest of the creative team’s quality work.

Copperhead, Volume 2

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