I know, I know, it’s technically the 11th, but I’m going to start dating theses reviews with the date I picked the comics up from here on out. Anyhow, on to this week’s comics I deemed good enough for my pull.
Bitch Planet #1- Image
I somehow utterly failed to realize that a new Kelly Sue DeConnick series was coming out until Tuesday night- but it was definitely a good surprise. Kelly Sue DeConnick is rapidly proving herself to be one of my favorite contemporary comic writers- anything by her is definitely going to receive at least a try. Bitch Planet might not have been something I’d pick up normally, since prison stories, even scifi ones, are hardly my cup of tea, but I gave this one a try, and the first issue already has me hooked. That’s not to say it’s perfect- the twist definitely confused me for a little bit, but that’s very likely to be my fault, so… Also, it’s pretty refreshing to have a comic book where the majority of the cast isn’t white. That’s still pretty damn rare these days. Valentine De Landro’s art is pretty well fitted to the book, and the dot-based backgrounds like you’d see in old comics really fits the aesthetic of the book. (I can’t for the life of me remember what that technique is called.) Also, having the title page be a two page spread four pages in? Actually works really damn well here. Very cinematic.
Copperhead #4- Image
Copperhead is really working well for me so far. It’s not that the story is particularly better than other good scifi police procedurals- and I do consider Copperhead more of a police procedural than a western so far, though it draws strongly from both- it’s that the comic focuses on a smaller, more focused cast than usual. It’s a consistent weakness of the genre, especially in comics- you have a limited amount of space to develop your characters, and introducing a giant cast just makes them all fairly forgettable. The comic Storm Dogs comes to mind- brilliant story, amazing setting, spectacular art, some of the best alien designs I’ve seen in a comic- but ask me to name the characters, or even describe more than a few, and I’d just have to shrug. It’s not that they are bad characters, by any means. I remember liking quite a few of them. Copperhead has avoided that pitfall by focusing on a smaller, more mobile cast, and it works extremely well. That, ultimately, seems to be its biggest takeaway from Westerns, rather than any stylistic element.