Written by: Jay Faerber
Art by: Scott Dolewski
Reading the description of Copperhead #1 last week, I will admit, didn’t get my hopes up. To put it in context, I had just finished talking about God Hates Astronauts #1, an absurd science fiction comic coming from Image. To be honest, I was expecting another, similar book. And really, I’ve kind of just been looking for another serious science fiction story. Not necessarily dark or brooding, but just something somewhat serious, that had something going for it other than its humor. Quirkiness is great, but sometimes, it’s fine to scale it back a little. Fortunately, Copperhead did exactly that.
Copperhead is, essentially, a sci-fi crime book/western, which is definitely cool. The setting and plot are both indicative of this, as we’re introduced to a world that feels lived in and alive right off the bat. The issue begins on a train, and so even though the world is pretty limited for the first few pages, the narration and dialogue still makes the world seem like a place worthy of spending a good deal of time in. Once it opens up even more, that feel only increases. And as the world slowly becomes filled over the course of Copperhead #1, the world slowly becomes the book’s strongest aspect. Dolewski’s art add nuance to the world as well, furthering its importance to the issue.
Inferior only to the world building of this issue, the characters are great as well. Faerber does a great job of establishing the characters in this issue, but also fleshing them out. Not only will Copperhead #1 introduce you to its cast, it will also take you out to a movie with them. Not literally, of course, as I doubt that there’s even a movie theater in the run down town in which the cast lives. Anyways, the cast has a lot to offer the book. It’s the characters that give this issue comic relief, but also give it an anchor for readers to cling on to.
All in all, Copperhead is off to a good start. The pace may be a little slow for most of this issue, but really, that’s Faerber laying the groundwork for what’s to come. This issue may not be perfect, but it definitely gets a lot right, and has a lot of promise. It’s definitely a new series from Image that, like most of those that have come before, is definitely worth checking out.
“Fairly slow pace”
In this comic, we’re introduced to our principal characters and their relationships, see two fights, and a mass murder.
What the hell would be “fast paced”?
That’s just it though. The book doesn’t kick completely into gear until the very end, and before that, it’s all introductions. We’re introduced to the characters, the world, etc, which is important, and the issue does a great job of establishing everything. In that sense, sacrificing pace wasn’t exactly a bad thing, however, this issue doesn’t move along as briskly as it probably could have.