Writer: Brian Wood / Artist: Mack Chater / Dark Horse Comics
Briggs Land is a sleeper hit if ever there were one. Well-developed, complicated characters mixed with faded arthouse color palettes and lightly seasoned political nightmare scenarios make for a crime drama book with tension thicker than the Sunday paper. By the time AMC is done developing this into a show and we’re well into its second season, we’re going to wonder why we weren’t raving about this before. Well… you might. I’m in on the ground floor.
Issue #2 of the Lone Wolves story arc picks up with the family contemplating what to do about the latest “visitors” to Briggs Land, attempting to prevent a bad situation from turning worse. Of course, in stories like this, that’s usually exactly when things get worse. The subtle character development happening is better than I thought. This is turning out to be more of a character study of Isaac Briggs adjusting to life back home from war than it is the Briggs’ family trying to maintain their legacy (although it’s that too). This issue in particular seems to zoom in and focus on how the world and his family views him differently as the man that war made him.
Brian Wood is really great at building tension quietly to a boiling point that happens in a single scene, dropping that glaring image in your lap and just letting you deal with it. Mack Chater is the lynchpin in bringing these telling snapshot moments. The stylized color palette he brings to Wood’s scripts makes for book that stands out from just about anything else like it on the shelves… not that there’s much else like Briggs Land on the shelves.
Bottom Line: A good story got better. It’s looking like we might as well view this as an Isaac Briggs solo run and I am completely fine with that. Aside from Grace, it’s looking like he’s the most interesting character in the book so far. If Sons of Anarchy were in all sepia tones, it would probably look a lot like Briggs Land.
Reading Briggs Land? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.