Writer: Brian Wood / Artist: Werther Dell’Edera / Dark Horse Comics
Briggs Land is bringing the heat as one of the most quietly consistent books on the shelves. Brian Wood’s crime drama/political thriller fusion manages to paint its characters in grey areas that are often equal parts emotional and potentially frightening. This month, the mysterious patriarch of the Briggs family is no different.
Issue 5 centers heavily around currently incarcerated Jim Briggs as he makes his move against his wife, Grace, to take control of Briggs Land back. The book introduces a new player in the struggle for power over the land, but Wood zooms in on the circumstances that led to Jim’s imprisonment as well as briefly flashes us a hint at the effect it’s had on his youngest, Isaac. If the flashback is any clue, Jim (and his murder friend, Laird) has the potential to be a very scary foil down the road. Wood adds a lot of intensity to the book, building tension through highlighting the current awful state of affairs for the everyday people in Briggs Land. Wood is a talented tease, taunting readers with the possibility of something awful around every corner. Werther Dell’Edera takes over for Mack Chater on the artwork this time around. Even though not having Chater on the book takes some getting used to, Dell’Edera is more than adequate as a successor to the throne. The stylized, rough characters convey such a wide emotional range and gravitas, it’s hard not to feel fully immersed in this book.
Bottom Line: Brian Wood’s slow burn is becoming a powder keg with a short fuse ready to blow any second. The world building and character development is paying off big time. If this book isn’t in the indie section of your pull list, you’re losing.
Reading Briggs Land? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.