In Copperhead #3, Jay Faerber and Scott Godlewski recapture the magic of their incredible first issue. The previous issue stumbled a little, but this one is firing on all cylinders right out of the gate.
The book opens immediately after the ending of issue #2, with Sheriff Bronson pointing a gun at Ishmael, the android who has just saved her son’s life. Faerber does a great job of introducing us to the history between humans and androids without ever using a flashback. The book then returns to the investigation of the Sewell family massacre. Sheriff Bronson and Deputy Boo aren’t making a lot of progress in the investigation, but a couple of breaks in the case toward the end of the book lead to a high tension standoff and a perfectly executed twist ending.
In the last issue, my biggest complaint was the stagnating storylines. This issue rectifies that with an issue that’s simultaneously fast-paced and heavy with new information. Faerber balances these two with great skill, keeping the story moving while never sacrificing the background information. The more that is revealed about Sheriff Bronson, the more likeable she becomes. Faerber delivers nuanced characterization here, only giving subtle hints at her past and motivations. Deputy Boo continues to be comic relief and while I enjoy it, I hope to see him take on a more central role in future issues.
Godlewski’s art continues to work well with the series, his expressive faces telling a lot of the story. I particularly enjoyed his use of shadow in the beginning of the book, making some of the prettiest panels of the book so far. There are a lot of story elements that are exclusively portrayed by the artwork and going back through the issue helps you realize exactly how much is going on outside of the dialogue boxes. This is a book that readers should take their time with to get the full effect of the art.
Copperhead #3 returns to the heights reached by the first issue with a deeply satisfying continuation of the murder investigation. There’s a lot to enjoy in the book and this was one of the strongest books of the week. Faerber moves the story along at a nice clip without sacrificing the character exploration and Godlewski delivers some of his best work on the series so far. If you’re a fan of good science fiction, you need this book.