Writer: Brian Wood / Artist: Werther Dell’edera / Dark Horse Comics

Take the Godfather, a dash of Sons of Anarchy, a few tea party wingnuts, shake well and lightly glaze it with some good old fashioned right wing politics and you might come up with something like Brian Wood’s Briggs Land. Anyone who has read his masterpiece, DMZ, knows that Wood is never one to miss an opportunity for sociopolitical parable and he certainly doesn’t in this secessionist crime drama. The tension has been palpable at just about every turn, but this issue things are getting turned up a notch.

Issue #6 of Briggs Land: Lone Wolves picks right up where the last issue left off with Grace and Noah cornered on the road by her husband’s henchman (it’s really the only word I could come up with to describe the guy). This was probably my favorite moving plot line, but it’s just as outstanding to watch the women of the Briggs family getting into formation to solve the current conflict in basically one master stroke. Grace has tiptoed around the inevitable but she’s clearly ready to rip the bandaid off and make sure everyone knows the change in management hasn’t weakened the power structure at all. Wood does a pretty good job of portraying the Briggs women as perceptive, formidable characters that have learned the game twice over and have probably always been in a position to take the throne. Also, there a great couple of flashbacks that effectively give us some insight into Noah’s psychological damage at the hands of his father that we’re probably going to see resurface sooner than later. Meanwhile, Werther Dell’edera’s artwork is doing a fantastic job of keeping the aesthetic pace established by Mack Chater. The slightly more angular line work and darker color palette works wonders for delivering on the tension and silent intensity of Wood’s script.

Bottom Line: What a fantastic 30 (more or less) pages of intensity, emotion and action efficiently delivered as if one were receiving it intravenously through an IV to the veins. Wood is killing the game and nobody’s talking about it but I suspect they will be as soon as this book goes to trade. Also, this issue has one of the most legit covers I’ve laid eyes on all year.

9.5 Sergio Leone-style Standoffs out of 10

Reading Briggs Land? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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