Copperhead #3

by Forrest.H on November 15, 2014

Copperhead #3 Comic Review
Hitting the nail on the copperhead


Colorist: RON RILEY
Publisher: IMAGE

While all my fellow reviewers are out giving 10's to things like The Fade Out and Southern Bastards (which both deserve it), I'm still, and still will be running for head of the Copperhead fan club in my little corner of review land. And you know what? Every issue that comes out, I'm more and more okay with that.

As Clara and Boo continue their investigaton, as "arties" and aliens abound, as Copperhead reveals itself, as the story twists turns and unravels, you can't help but feel drawn into this familiar and alien world. 

Faerber notes in the back of this issue that he knows how the story will end but not when it will end. I hope it doesn't end for a long time. Clara, Boo, Ishmael and others are so refined in their designs that you feel already like you've known them forever, that you can care for them already, just by issue 3. It's something that you don't see often, a familiarity and emotional tone established so early on in a run like this. The emotionally charged moment between Clara and her son near the start of this issue is so heart wrenching and warming at the same time, kind of like this comic as a whole really, alien and terrifying but also colorful and enchanting. The story is expanding, stretching and twisting but not bloating. There's a touch of the deductive and procedural tones that make Batman so enthralling here, as Clara and Boo proceed step by step through this case albeit with more humor and realism than the Dark Knight ever touched on this way. And the cliffhanger is something so obvious but still so shocking that I can fully admit that I was blown away by it even though it it's reasonably something I should have expected. Working a story that way, hidden in plain sight, is something that very few writers do this well. There's a backstory established that you yearn to know more about, the war, the arties, the woman that Clara is and maybe the woman that she was. It's the kind of world, that I feel like I know so well but still want to know more about. I could do for entire issues without Clara and Boo, stories simply of and from the world of Copperhead, sort of like how those background characters in the Star Wars Cantina became action figures and characters all to their own. Who do you trust in a world like this? Why? How can aliens seem so human? Please, Faerber don't stop now. I can tell this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Godlewski and Riley stay firmly in the fast lane, too. Maybe it's because Godlewski posts photos of the art process on his twitter often, but I'm always so aware of the complex simplicity of the world and how well it works. Mechanical and organic, the town and the people feel and look so at home in Copperhead that it's almost hard to believe that the artist isn't actually traveling to this world somehow and just drawing what he sees. It works even more so, colored by Riley. My one and only gripe with this issue at all is the few scenes with no dialouge that kind of just transition the story to another place without much there to draw you in. That being said, the before and after locations of that transition are so well done that I kind of just forgot about the pages of relatively nothing. A forgivable offense, to be sure, especially so when this world is one that I'm dying to see more of anyways. Worth noting especially in this issue, are the expressions. The emotion, tension and fears of all of these characters woman, child, alien, and the strong, daring looks of Ishmael (Whose character design is inspired, simply put) are all so...natural for lack of a better word. I have no reason, really, to relate this well to a rough and green country alien, but dammit do I feel like I understand that hurt. 

Copperhead feels like a place I visit, now. It's not a world I see from the outside, it's one I go into and look and feel around in. The story and art are working so perfectly together that simple traveling scenes that I might trash in other comics are merely minor missteps in this one. I want more Copperhead and you should too.


Our Score:


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