Discovering Copperhead

– by Michael Tennant –

There are times when I am not just sitting here at my computer rambling on about the comics we all love. At times I actually attempt to create my own. Sometimes it is like chipping away at a mountain with a toothpick.

Months and months ago I was working on my own cosmic epic and I was in need of some inspiration. So I reached out to my comic brethren and asked for some suggestions (this is how I discovered Skull Kickers after all). I needed science fiction, science fantasy, anything that could give me a spark.

You have no idea what a wonderful group of geeks we have assembled here at the Comic Book Underground. I asked and the Underground answered.

Black Science, Copperhead, Descender, East of West, Faster Than Light. Just a few of the titles various members suggested to me. I had already read Black Science. So I took a look at the others. All good suggestions, for different reasons. Of all of them one book stuck with me. Copperhead.

Beyond inspiration I am always looking for something new to read. I rarely know what I am looking for until I find it. But Copperhead did the trick. A little bit western, a little sci-fi. A whole lot of grit. Writer Jay Faerber and artists Scott Godlewski (Volumes One & Two) and Drew Moss (Volume Three) hit the target.

Growing up on westerns like Rio Bravo and Gunsmoke, I am not surprised I love this series. You could easily imagine this as a weekly TV show. Not that we have not seen the concept before. But they do it so very well.

There are tweaks to the usual characters. Clara Bronson, the new sheriff, is an outsider. Boo . . . uh, Deputy Budroxifinicus is a little resentful (he was up for the sheriff job), but seems loyal and trustworthy. Alien townspeople fill up the backwater mining town of Copperhead, along with a shady mine owner and artificial former soldiers.

While Moss replaced Godlewski on art after the second story arc, the series has not missed a beat. The writing by Faerber leaks out just enough mystery to keep you guessing without taking over from the story you are immersed in.

Month in and month out this is one of my favorite books. I expect it will stay that way.

Michael Tennant
After discovering Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes #239 as a young man, Michael never looked back. Armed with a passion for journalism and a thirst for knowledge, he still talks to his imaginary friends.

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