Huzzah! After a brief hiatus, my favorite comic of 2014 is back for a new story arc. Is it good?
Copperhead #6 (Image Comics)
This issue opens with a great chase scene. Not only are Scott Godlewski’s art/Ron Riley’s colors great (as usual), but Jay Faeber’s dialogue between Boo and Bronson is superb. We’re reminded of how comfortably antagonistic this pair is with each other within the span of just a few pages. A new mystery is also hatched in the form of Boss Hog Hickory refusing to press charges against the thief they were pursuing.
After Bronson once again fails to gain an audience with the mayor of Copperhead (i.e. her boss), she decides to mull her frustrations over a few drinks at the local watering hole. She quickly finds out that the job will follow her wherever she goes…and that she can’t quite turn off the human side of as easily as she’d like.
Meanwhile, Boo gets an interesting offer from a slimy visitor, Bronson’s son meets up with his (potentially dangerous) friend Ishmael, and a new threat for the Copperhead PD begins to take shape.
Is It Good?
For the most part, it’s great.
Copperhead #6 does a fantastic job setting up the new arc. Not only does Faerber excellently balance all the narrative’s moving parts, but he also gives us some really great character moments. Seeing Boo and Bronson in their down time is a real treat, particularly the potential love interest for the sheriff. One of the best things about the latter is that Faerber could have easily chosen the clichéd ‘damaged warrior who can’t love’ trope, but opted instead to treat Bronson as a believable person who still desires companionship (from a safe distance for now).
Unfortunately, the book does have some issues. There are a couple spots were the narrative transitions are a little clunky. I’m not sure if this is Faerber still utilizing the Marvel Method, or simply a slip in the editing process. Either way, it’s a very minor problem, but definitely noticeable on an otherwise top flight book like this one.
Also, the issue’s greatest strength acts as its primary weakness. Copperhead #6 is a whole lot of set up—really good set up, but still set up. Unlike the beginning of the first arc, none of the story’s mysteries are of the HOLY CRAP like the first issue. They’re all very intriguing…and they could get crazy (would Boo really sell out Bronson?)…but nothing quite like the punch-to- the-gut murder revelation of Volume 1’s opening chapter.
If all that sounded like nitpicking, though, it totally is. There’s honestly just not much to dislike about this issue… or the entire series. Spring may have brought us pollen and unseasonably cold weather, but it’s also brings the return of one of the best looking, best written comics being published right now.