Your Deadshirt New Comics Shopping List for: November 12th, 2014

It’s Wednesday and that means new comics. Let Deadshirt steer your wallet in the right direction with reviews (and preview pages) of titles out today from Image, Dark Horse, IDW, Boom! Studios, Archie, MonkeyBrain, Oni, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Action Lab, and more!


Copperhead #3

Written by Jay Faerber

Art by Scott Godlewski

Colored by Ron Riley

Lettered by Thomas Mauer


$3.50 (print)/$2.99 (digital)

Image’s intriguing space western continues as the new sheriff takes on crime and parenting in a shady mining town on a strange planet. After landing on Copperhead, Clara Bronson barely had time to hang her hat before a massacre took place in the outlands. Now, things are getting more complicated as different players are introduced, and Clara has to determine who is trustworthy in this diverse group of outlaws and misfits.

Thus far, the comic has executed some impressive storytelling, successfully weaving together clear world-building and a compelling plot in the first issue alone. The protagonist is a staunch sheriff and a single mother, making for a strong* female lead that is engaging though not perfect; Clara comes with her own prejudices originating in a past that has not yet been revealed, however we do know there was a major war. She determines that, as head lawman, she needs to put old differences aside, but tends to reveal her biases as an overprotective parent.

The art accomplishes some pretty stellar storytelling of its own in this issue. Panels are layered over expansive shots of Copperhead, painting a broader picture of all the goings on and contributing to the steady pace of the plot. The more intense scenes tend to drift away from wider shots and instead focus close ups on eyes and mouths, emphasizing emotions rather than action. There are half a dozen or so alien designs that don’t match each other in any way, suggesting that this outpost is nothing but a dusty melting pot of outsiders.

This wacky cast of characters is not without depth. A classic love/hate buddy cop rapport is building between the sheriff and her furry deputy, Budroxifinicus (a.k.a. Boo, because who could pronounce Budroxifinicus). Despite the fact that some of the Copperhead residents are green, one-eyed hillbillies or artificially intelligent retired murder machines, they are interesting and easy to care about. Image has cranked out another winner that could become a classic on par with its current top-selling titles.

– Sarah Register

(Click thumbnails to enlarge)




Drifter #1

Written by Ivan Brandon

Art and color by Nic Klein

Lettered by Clem Robins

Logo and Design: Tom Muller


$3.50 (print)/$2.99 (digital)

A spaceship falls from the darkness of space to crash on an alien planet. The sole survivor wakes to discover he’s alive and stranded on an incredible world far different than his own. Soon afterwards he walks into a Western plot we’ve read way too many times before: a drifter with a mysterious past walks into town and causes trouble while he hunts the man who done him wrong. Thousands of kinds of entertainment have been made using this plot, and while Drifter is good, it just can’t overcome the fact that it’s nothing new.

Nic Klein’s art, especially in the opening crash sequence, is stunning. It feels hyper-detailed yet free-flowing–but, unfortunately, once this crash is over with the setting becomes a pretty standard “Old West” town with some spaceship parts scattered around to let you know this is sci-fi. While the art is still well done, it loses its uniqueness because it’s a place we’ve all seen before.

The problem with Drifter is that I’ve read maybe five other Space Westerns this year, and it doesn’t do much to distinguish itself from the herd. If you’re going to make a Sci-fi Western these days, you’ve got to make it exceptional and this book falls short of that high bar.

– Jason Urbanciz

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Prometheus: Fire and Stone #3

Written by Paul Tobin

Art by Juan Ferreyra

Colored by Eduardo Ferreyra

Lettered by Nate Piekos

Dark Horse


The best of the “Fire and Stone” crossover turns in another solid issue of fan-hitting nastiness. Last issue ended with cancer-stricken biologist Francis injecting his faithful synthetic Elden with the “black goop,” continuing the Prometheus franchise tradition of creating tension by having geniuses do improbably stupid things. Instead of curing his cancer, exposing an android to the Alien-making gunk (a franchise first) turns it into a biomechanical menace, reminiscent of an Alien, an Engineer, and a Terminator all at once. Juan Ferreyra’s design for Elden is impressive, but Tobin’s dialogue for him doesn’t match up: he goes directly from subservient to vengeful, and only in the sister book Aliens vs. Predator do we get an elaboration on Elden’s psychosis. The Aliens ignore, and actually seem to rally around, Elden. Whether it’s a reference to the original Dark Horse series, in which Aliens ignored the non-living androids, or another hint that all the “black goo” creatures are directed by a common intelligence, it’s an inspired touch.

Captain Foster, meanwhile, is forced to admit her true purpose on the planet–investigating the fate of Weyland from the movie–to the rest of the crew after Aliens attack and kill a bunch of redshirts. This seriously pisses off Galgo, who is becoming one of my favorite violent scumbags in comics right now, and he and his security troopers go off a-plotting. The character dynamics on this ship–as well as the three-part ship itself–are inspired, and a far cry from the dull Aliens book. The various agendas at work send parts of the crew spinning off in different directions. One of the groups appears to be in focus for the remainder of the issue and presumably the next. Oddly, the fates of the other two groups have already been elaborated on in some of the other “Fire and Stone” series. I can only hope the trade is in chronological order.

I can’t argue with the ambition of this series, but the execution has definitely been uneven. Prometheus has the best art and is at least tied for best writing. It doesn’t hurt that chronologically it is set immediately before both Aliens vs. Predator and Predator. Ironically, AvP is handling the big sci-fi ideas better than this book, as well as having more action, but only Prometheus remembers that when you write a horror story, you have to care about the characters in it. A sequence where two spouses, separated and in equally tense situations, reach out to each other over the radio is the kind of pathos that none of the other “Fire and Stone” series can seem to find room for.

– Patrick Stinson

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Be sure to let us know what you picked up this week in the comments below, on Twitter or on our Facebook Page!

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