Dark Horse Comics 2016
Written by Brian Wood
Illustrated by Mack Chater
Coloured by Lee Loughridge
Lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot
BRIGGS LAND, USA—NEARLY A HUNDRED SQUARE MILES OF RURAL WILDERNESS, OWNED AND CONTROLLED BY THE BRIGGS FAMILY, A COMMUNITY OF ANTIGOVERNMENT SECESSIONISTS. FOR GENERATIONS, THE BRIGGS CLAN WERE CONTENT TO LIVE FREE AND PEACEFUL LIVES, BUT WITH THE RISE OF RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM AND THE AGE OF TERROR, THEIR ACTIVITIES HAVE TURNED CRIMINAL.
UNDER THE EYES OF A PAIR OF FEDERAL AGENTS, GRACE BRIGGS WORKS TO CONSOLIDATE THE POWER SHE JUST SEIZED AND PREVENT A CIVIL WAR AMONG HER SONS.
This is one of those rare books that you have to read. Seriously it could take it’s place alongside Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad in how well the story and the characters are coming to life. It’s so character written and story driven that we’re already knee deep in the quicksand of what’s happening. Fed with her jailed husband and his ways Grace has wrested control of the family and community and the retaliation has already begun.
With everything that’s happening in the world today and this crazy election that seems to have been going on for far too long already it isn’t that big a leap to see a community like this already in place. It almost has that documentary feel to it. So much so it verges on making the reader uncomfortable and yet so fascinated you can’t look away.
Reeling from the attempt on her life and the danger that put her grandchildren Grace has her first family meeting where she lays down the law and wants to see which of her kids are going to be supporting her or could have been involved with their father in the attempt on her life. That she is such a strong willed woman and is smart, intelligent and not one to suffer this kind of attack is great to see. She’s bucking the trend here where usually it’s men who rule and the women are left to be silent in their traditional roles of housekeeping and child rearing.
We learn more about the agents and why they have such a hardon for the Briggs family and Jim. Daniel’s connection to the whole case is revealed and much like a man’s standard thinking it’s his partner who notices Grace and begins to see the potential that perhaps she’s one they need to take a harder look at. He’s resistant her proposal though she manage to provide some documents that may change his mind. Again the characterisation here is great and comes from unexpected places so it’ll be interesting to see how the women of this book take over the traditionally male roles and change the way they think.
The interiors here have that small screen look and feel to them. It’s very much a cinematic event. Like actors on a set I would like to see backgrounds in every panel to really flesh out the scenes more because those that we do get make an amazing impact on the story. The characters feel like they could step off the page they are so well rendered. The flow through the page layouts, angles and perspective here really give you that strong presence needed to get more involved.
Crazy intense and surreal with tinges of real life situations this series will make you think twice about those “crazy” separatists.