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REVIEW: COPPERHEAD #1 by Jay Faerber and Scott Godlewski (Image)

Available Sept. 10, 2014
 Welcome to Copperhead, a grimy mining town on the edge of a backwater planet. Single mom Clara Bronson is the new sheriff, and on her first day she'll have to contend with a resentful deputy, a shady mining tycoon, and a family of alien hillbillies. And did we mention the massacre? Writer JAY FAERBER and the art team of SCOTT GODLEWSKI & RON RILEY bring you this gritty 24th Century Western with an extra-long first issue for the regular price of $3.50!

One of the most enjoyable subgenres of science-fiction is the sci-fi/western. Many of the same themes like redemption and revenge carry over into the dusty towns of the future. There is a new sheriff in town, literally, in a crummy little mining town under the suspicious control of a baron who is found of wearing white like a good creepy baron should. Copperhead #1 by Jay Faerber and Scott Godlewski is a great example of what makes sci-fi/westerns fun to read. It is off to a fantastic start with a familiar but intriguing lead in the no-nonsense Clara Bronson and a town full of mystery. 

Bronson herself is a bit of a mystery as she arrives in Copperhead with her son in tow. She is all business as she meets the local deputy who's rather resentful that she got the sheriff gig over him. The deputy, Boo as he's referred to, adds some comical relief. Faerber makes his snide remarks funny without making him unlikable. Their first police call would fit on an episode of Cops except it would feature green alien hillbillies. 

Benjamin Hickory is the Boss Hogg of Copperhead and he makes his presence known to Sheriff Bronson. The mining tycoon is a smooth-talking friendly-type who surely is hiding some devious thoughts behind those pearly whites. Faerber creates some interesting characters that make an impression right away. Within a few panels, whether you like them or not, you want to know more about the characters. It's a difficult and rare skill that without it would kill a story. Faerber has plotted the beginning of a mysterious arc with some complex personalities you wouldn't mind spending some time with. By the end of the issue one you'll want issue two now (which is out October 8 by the way)!

The team of penciller Scott Godlewski and colorist Ron Riley help in bringing Faerber's story to life by providing some flawless art. Sometimes writers and artists are in tune so much that the words and pictures compliment each other and that's what Copperhead has. The thin lines work great to create a clean precise look to Bronson to fit her rigid personality while also just as successful as creating a gelatinous outline of the hillbillies. Riley's colors perfectly captured the expansive sunny and dry landscape in shades of yellow and brown that brought to mind the Western towns of the past on Earth and brought it to the backwater planet of Jasper. 

This is an exciting debut issue and our PICK OF THE WEEK. Art is subjective so there aren't many sure things in comics but Copperhead #1 is as close as it gets to a sure-fire hit. If sci-fi/westerns are your thing or you just like good comics then check this out this week.  

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