Dark Horse Comics 2016
Written by Brian Wood
Illustrated by Mack Chater
Coloured by Lee Loughridge
Lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot
Caleb Briggs, eldest son and member of the white power movement, attempts to
intimidate a local business owner into selling. Grace Briggs uncovers more about her incarcerated husband’s attempts at revenge.
One of the things that impresses me to no end is when a story has few words and relies upon the visuals to really tell it. The guys do that here incredibly well too. Mack has this opportunity here to really cut loose and shine with what he can do and I’m here to tell ya it’s so damn good. I mean Caleb getting up going to the gym and working out hiding that incredibly hard body behind those clothes and that mild mannered facade, not to mention that back tattoo really opened up this issue with some kind of powerful storytelling.
Mack’s attention to detail here is phenomenal! The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and the use of backgrounds are meant to tell a story and he does that here as well as any television cinematographer. The way facial expressions and body language are portrayed really do wonders with giving us as much characterisation as the story itself does.
Then there’s Grace and what she’s going through. She’s wrested control of the family from her husband and he’s not happy about it and will do whatever he needs to seeking revenge and retribution. We’ve seen the attempt on her life already and now she and her lawyer are talking well it’s some heavy stuff. On one hand I understand what she’s saying but on the other she’ll always be a Briggs through and through and her kids are Briggs but what her husband is planning well push seems to be coming shove awfully fast.
Now i’m not really sure what Caleb’s plan is but he isn’t going about things very well. His temper and his penchant for violence, not to mention that white supremacy thing, don’t lend themselves to level headed leadership. While he may think he’s his father’s son he’s really nothing more than a bully, muscle to be used. He proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt to me this issue and it makes him something of a loose cannon. One whose wick is lit and the explosion from him could very well be devastatingly epic.
There’s some great work happening in these pages. From the story Brian has created to the pacing of it and the way the characters have taken on lives of their own to the stunning work Mack and Lee do on the interiors. It’s really this crazy real look at those who live off their own sovereignty and don’t acknowledge the rule of government. Though now that he’s in jail and has lost his place as head of the family Briggs Sr. certainly is going to use that government he has disdain for to his advantage. It’s scary in it’s realism and fascinating in it’s scope that people believe in this.
Powerful, gripping storytelling that’s meant to shake the reader to their core and like a trainwreck you just can’t turn away from.