Copperhead #18 (January 2018)

Copperhead #18

Copperhead wraps the arc in a really, really, really quick issue. Faerber intentionally avoids half of Clara’s character development possibilities. There are four. Faerber does two. They aren’t the hard two.

There are some great Clara moments, but Moss’s art hurts every one of them. Between the rushed story–it’s written to endcap a collection, not be a full issue–and Moss’s loose faces… it’s not great.

It’s not bad at all and Faerber sets the book up for an interesting arc when it comes back, but Copperhead has gotten to the point where Moss is holding it back. Faerber’s character moments can’t connect without expression and Moss can’t do human expression.

He’s pretty good at the aliens. Like, Boo. Boo’s fine.

But it’s not Boo’s issue. It’s ostensibly Clara’s, only it ends up being no one’s.

Anyway. Okay read, good series, but the issue takes about three minutes to get through.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Drew Moss; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 17 (December 2017)

Copperhead #17

Copperhead hasn’t exactly been lost since Faerber took the focus off Clara and expanded the existing supporting cast, then expanded new supporting cast, but it’s been kind of… not Copperhead. It’s been missing Clara.

Clara’s back, y’all. Clara’s back.

Even with the issue mostly juxtaposed against bad dad Clay out to kill Ishmael the good android and kidnap son Zeke–and Faerber working on two subplots–it’s basically a Clara issue. Because there’s some big backstory revelation (even bigger than the last reveal Faerber did a couple issues back) and it’s from Clara’s point of view. She even narrates some of it.

There are, as always, problems with Moss’s art. His composition is pretty spot on, which helps, especially once the action gets going, but the proportions are still inconsistent, the faces are still inconsistent.

The composition helps.

Copperhead keeps on going. Faerber keeps on getting through these story arcs, which sometimes seem a little unstable, and he gets them solid by the finish. Because Clara. It’s her book, after all.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Drew Moss; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 16 (November 2017)

Copperhead #16

One of the most frustrating things about Copperhead is how effective it can be. This issue ends with one heck of a standoff and it’s kind of cheap, but it isn’t because Faerber has done so much work on the characters and their relationships it can’t be cheap.

This issue has the secret origins of Sheriff Clara. It’s also got some revelations about Zeke and Zeke’s dad. The B plot is the good guys trying to track Clara down. The B plot is where Faerber gets in all that Copperhead texture. Where it’s serious even though all the aliens are cute.

Moss’s art gets real hurried and real thin by the end of this issue. The scenes aren’t complicated. They’re just rushed. It starts early too. By the end of the book, it’s looking rough. Hopefully the art turns around. The writing can carry it but it’d be nice if it didn’t have to do so. Moss lets the expressions go and Copperhead needs its expressions.

I just hope the art’s back on for the next issue; Faerber makes a lot of promises for the next issue.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Drew Moss; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 15 (October 2017)

Copperhead #15

Copperhead is back after a little longer than expected, particularly since last issue had a big cliffhanger. The issue’s good–with Faerber comfortably moving from character to character, hinting at reveals, doing reveals. This new arc has Sheriff Bronson in trouble and everyone banding together to help her. For one reason or another.

She’s not in the issue much, which is probably the biggest surprise, even if Faerber tries to pretend the closing revelation is somehow a showstopper. It’s not, but he’s already done well enough he can go out on it.

Moss’s art is a tad loose. Overly agitated might be the best description. His lines are a tad erratic, hurried maybe. It does make the comic read more immediately, which turns out to be a drawback given Faerber’s soft cliffhanger.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Drew Moss; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 14 (June 2017)

Ch14

Faerber closes off the arc with an action thriller. The sheriff has got to find and apprehend a contract killer, but without enough information and without any backup. Why no backup? Because Mayor Boo is a bureaucrat now, not a deputy. And, of course, the subplot with Clara’s ex-husband hunting her down moves along. It’s a strange pairing, visually speaking; Moss’s sci-fi action chase is competent and maybe even more confident, but his Western sci-fi space showdown is far more ambitious, if loose. Copperhead‘s a little wobbly, it’s still a very solid book.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Drew Moss; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 13 (May 2017)

Copperhead #13

Artist Moss still doesn’t compare well to the original artist, but at least he’s starting to get into the personality of Copperhead. Clara is on a case and nothing’s going to stop her. And what’s up with Boo? Mayor Boo. Faerber is moving really fast–and given Clara’s scary (now really scary) ex is trying to get to her planet–the arc feels like a race. Once you get done, you’re exhausted even though it’s a short read. Some nice twists in the case too.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Drew Moss; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 12 (April 2017)

Copperhead #12

It’s another too fast read, mostly because Copperhead has been gone so long you want to spend more time with the characters. But it’s also because Moss’s art doesn’t invite dwelling as much as Godlewski’s did. Moss has got the aliens down, he’s got the pace down, but he hasn’t got Clara. Close-ups yes, but not the medium shots. He loses track of her expressions. Still, it’s good stuff. Just rushed.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Drew Moss; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Copperhead 11 (March 2017)

Copperhead #11

Copperhead is back with a new artist, Drew Moss, who brings a lot of motion to the proceedings. The sheriff is running around town trying to figure out who killed the mayor, with a visitor in tow, and Moss really makes it move. Meanwhile, Boo’s got his own future to think about. It’s a quick read, but a solid one. Faerber’s comfortable, even after the hiatus.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Drew Moss; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

Letter 44 14 (February 2015)

Letter 44 #14

It’s a fairly decent fill-in issue on Letter 44. Drew Moss guest illustrates a flashback to before the mission issue. Soule recaps the relationship between Overholt and Willets; I don’t remember them on the mission. Soule expects a lot from his monthly readers. Letter 44 isn’t written for the trade in terms of plotting, but definitely in the details.

Moss’s art is nearly okay. It could be stronger in a lot of places, but it moves reasonably well. Willets, the enlisted mechanic savant, asks too many questions about Project Monolith and gets in trouble. Overholt is around to help him out. Neither have much character depth and Soule overdoes the military dialogue. He has to overdo it, actually. Otherwise the issue wouldn’t work.

Between Soule’s thoughtfulness and deliberate storytelling–and Moss’s amiable, if lacking, art–the issue’s fine. The plot and revealations aren’t compelling, but don’t need to be.

CREDITS

Writer, Charles Soule; artist, Drew Moss; colorist, Dan Jackson; letterer, Crank!; editor, Robin Herrera; publisher, Oni Press.

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