Copperhead returned this week with another exciting issue, ramping up the murder investigation while delving into some character backstory. Jay Faerber and Scott Godlewski have delivered their best book since the incredible first issue.
The story opens on a confrontation between Sheriff Bronson and the local ‘fat tycoon’ Benjamin Hickory. Sheriff Bronson, in her typical fashion, disregards Hickory’s complaints, leading to an interesting anecdote about her past. Back at the station, it is revealed that her son Zeke knows something about the murder case, but is reluctant to implicate Ishmael, the android that saved his life. This leads to a developing strain in their relationship. While the sheriff goes to confront Ishmael in the Badlands, Deputy Boo is called to the scene of a break-in. Chasing down the perp, we’re given flashbacks to Boo’s history as a soldier.
The book is paced beautifully. It starts slow and humorous before ramping up to exhilarating speeds and never slowing down. I was completely immersed in the story. Another strength of the series as a whole is the characterization of Bronson and Boo. Sheriff Bronson is one of my favorite characters in comics currently and watching her interact with the citizens of Copperhead is a joy. The beginning interaction between Bronson and Hickory, and later Hickory and Lieutenant Ford, worked well to build her character. At this point, I want to learn everything there is to know about Bronson.
Deputy Boo gets some attention in this issue, with his history being told entirely through a chase sequence. As Boo races across the rooftops, alternate panels of flashback show him performing a shockingly similar race during the war with humanity. It’s incredible how much information Faerber and Godlewski manage to put into the two page chase, especially with such little exposition.
Godlewski’s art continues to impress. There are a lot of panels with no dialogue, but the art conveys so much of the story and characterization. Each panel deserves careful consideration, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re gorgeous to look at. Colorist Ron Riley does a great job throughout the book, but it’s the darkly colored panels that really shine in his issue.
The best part about Copperhead #4 is that it gives you plenty while leaving you wanting so much more. Jay Faerber and Scott Godlewski have been consistently delivering exciting issues and show no sign of stopping. If you’re not reading Copperhead, you’re missing out on something special.