Written by: Jay Faerber Art by: Scott Godlewski Colours: Ron Riley Published by: Image Comics
Welcome to the Copperhead issue 1, a space western set in a run down mining town on an alien planet, replete with mag lev trains that borrow their appearance from western era trains. Being the first issue in the series, Jay Faerber is setting the scene for the book, and that’s fine. He delivers an effective, if not spectacular, first issue. Copperhead does succeed in delivering the ‘space’ western feel – one panel in particular evokes a very Tatooine presence while one of the vehicles brings Battlestar Galactica to mind. The story starts with Sheriff Bronson (with two f’s) arriving ‘on world’ to replace the former sheriff who seemingly vacated the role with the assistance of bullet holes. When we meet Bronson, and her son, she is on the train heading for Copperhead. There is a brief encounter with some unwanted male attention which adequately gives us a flavor of her character. Bronson isn’t given much time to drink in the ambiance of the place, as she is almost instantly brought into a domestic incident. With her reluctant deputy by her side, she is straight into the action: a little fistfight with an irate ‘native’.
There is a gritty feel to the book, the characters come across well, the aliens are varied and interesting to look at.Faerber drops a few little hints for upcoming issues: why does Bronson and son need a ‘new start’, and what was the recent war on the planet? As previously mentioned, sheriff Bronson has a deputy, a native to Copperhead called Budroxifinicus – or Boo for short (though he’d rather you didn’t call him that). Boo looks like a giant hamster on steroids and he has a problem with the new sheriff. The issue being that, like in all other areas of authority, humans take all the top jobs. This hints at an ongoing ire and cause for resentment in the native population. As the issue comes to a bloody and fatal conclusion we are steered towards an effective cliff-hanger. So the reader has two areas of interest to keep up for the next issue.