Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jay Faerber
Art, Cover: Scott Godlewski
Colours: Ron Riley
Lettering: Thomas Mauer
Zeke (who is Sheriff Clara Bronson’s only son) and his new friend Annie are lost in the Badlands near Copperhead, looking for Annie’s lost dog. It’s dark, and they are suddenly surprised by Ishmael. At least, you can call him so.
While Zeke is lost and in danger, Sheriff Bronson and her grumpy deputy Budroxifinicus (who still doesn’t like being called Boo) are busy investigating the gruesome mass murder of the Sewells, a family of green-skinned, four-armed, one-eyed creatures that Clara already dealt with in issue 1 – arresting the mother after an instance of domestic disturbance. By doing so, she has saved her life. Or maybe she has condemned her family.
Anyway, one of the Sewell boys seems to be still alive. So Sheriff Bronson, leaving Budroxifinicus to analyse the crime scene (and giving him one more chance to moan), is looking for the Copperhead doctor, Doc Mosley, who – faithful to the Old West stereotype – is extremely busy getting drunk. Lecturing him about the evils of alcohol is Thaddeus Luken, a character that will probably be important later on. But this is just a hunch.
Sheriff Bronson’s priorities are with her job, but this means that young Zeke risks being left too often alone in a place he doesn’t know. Author Jay Faerber plays very well with this topic, that surely touches every single mother who’s working a job – any job. But of course this isn’t the only point made in this issue of Copperhead. There is the problem of acceptance, seen from two different points of view: Clara is new at her job, and she’s a woman doing a man’s job; Budroxifinicus, instead, thinks he’s been overlooked for the Sheriff position because of what happened in the war (that’s not been explained yet). Also, he’s not human.
Scott Godlewski’s art and Ron Riley’s colours gets darker and grittier compared to the sunny, nearly gaudy image of Copperhead we were given in the first issue, mostly due to the fact that it’s a mining town at the edge of a desert. Sure, that side is still present, but most of the events in this issue take place by night or under cold, merciless neon lights.
All in all a very good story, that builds up towards some likely interesting developments (both on the mystery side and from the personal drama point of view) without it being just a transitional issue.