So. Copperhead. Copperhead is an Image comic book written by Jay Faerber and drawn by Scott Godlewski. Ron Riley does the colors and Thomas Mauer does letters.
It is a space western, which is the greatest of all the genres, which is why you should be reading it. The end.
Wait, you want more? Okay, fine, jeez.
The lady on the left there is Clara. She’s the sheriff of Copperhead, a tiny mining town on a backwater planet called Jasper sometime in, I believe, the 24th century. The boy is Zeke, her son, and the bug-eyed hamster on the right is Boo, who never does get his way about what anyone calls him. Boo is her deputy, and he’s awesome.
When the story begins, Clara and Zeke are new in town, having taken the sheriff job basically because no better options were available. The book actually begins with someone trying to hit on her on the train on the way into town, and I won’t spoil how it ends (no, not that way either) except that you will likely enjoy it quite a lot.
The first arc, appropriately, is mostly introductory stuff, as Zeke and Clara get settled into Copperhead and start learning their way around. Humans aren’t automatically held in high regard and there’s a not-insignificant number of people who don’t particularly cotton to outsiders, so there’s conflict right away, especially since Clara ends up with a murder investigation almost immediately.
Oh, there are also robots. And hints of a war involving those robots (“arties,” for “artificial intelligence”) that maybe didn’t go so well for everybody.
All that and a little boy who maybe wasn’t super keen on getting dragged halfway across the galaxy by Mom, who has to balance being scary as hell as Sheriff with raising her son right.
And I’ve gotta admit it– as a sci-fi author I obviously love space epics, but I also love Westerns, and I wasn’t kidding when I said earlier that I find it to be the greatest of genres. Throw in some interesting aliens and a current plot line that literally involves rounding up a posse to chase down some kidnappers and you have got me so completely. This book is funny and clever and exciting and even once you think you’ve got the “tough chick as main character” dynamic down cold it still manages to subvert your expectations once in a while.
But seriously. Alien space posses. Go spend some money, folks.
Issue #10 of Copperhead is scheduled for September 30 and finishes the second major story arc. A collection of #1-5 is already available and a second from #6-10 will follow in October.