Title: Copperhead #4
Writer: Jay Faerber
Artists: Scott Godlewski & Ron Riley
Publisher: Image Comics
Rating: 4 / 5
The strongest issue since the debut, Copperhead is finally reaching a plateau and I think next issue it will climb over it into greatness.
We open directly following issue three. You remember the wealthy miner from issue one? Turns out he owns the mine where Clara followed the fractured Mrs. Sewell who ended up causing quite a ruckus. Benjamin Hickory (isn’t that just the best damn wild west cliché tycoon name there is?) wants Clara out of the picture, so he rings up her old partner to see what can be done. I won’t ruin it for you, but the result is probably the best use of comic relief in the series thus far.
If the cover wasn’t enough indication, this issue finally spends some time centered on Deputy Boo and I think it’s all the better for it. We still get the sense that he’s prone to work like a lone wolf and might not fully accept Clara’s stature as Sheriff, but there’s no doubt he’s fully enveloped in the current case. He’s got a real deep-centered sense of duty and we’re given a great flashback layout by Godlewski during a foot chase, where he remembers disobeying orders during the war. Boo is one of those characters who will never do exactly what he’s told but no one could accuse him of being anything less than honourable and exemplary. It remains to be seen how this will eventually work out with Clara.
Speaking of, our Sheriff of Copperhead sets out into the treacherous bad lands to track down Ishmael. I’ve yet to figure out if his deeds are a red herring for something else in this murder mystery or if he’ll turn out to be another very dangerous thorn in Clara’s side.
With Clara, Boo and Ishmael all ending this arc on cliff-hanger-type panels, we have plenty to look forward to for the conclusion of the arc next month.
Review by Brent Gladney