If you’ve ever wanted a comic about an anti-government society collapsing in on itself, a woman rising to power and resentment towards said woman, then you’re in for a treat. BRIGGS LAND LONE WOLVES delivers all of that and more. Heavily political, deeply personal and a tad more than aggressive, BLLW tells the story of Grace Briggs, the woman who kicked her alpha husband from the top dog spot, a division of a community, corrupt police and a boy with daddy issues. It’s beautiful, really.
Brian Wood eerily nails the voice of a militia that seeks to dismantle terrorism and big government with bombs and firearms. The irony. Wood provides each character with a voice you can hear clearly, his word choice highlighting parts of their personality that wouldn’t be evident otherwise. No stranger to political commentary in his work, Wood was the right creator for this job. A little bit of action goes a long way when mixed with a full plot line, and this issue most definitely provides plenty of story despite the fact that the action is limited to minimal scenes and without great lingering upon them as is. The conflict of the family, and the people they command, is the forefront of this comic book, and Brian Wood keeps it that way.
Werther Dell’edera, who worked on Batman Detective Comics, matches Wood’s style perfectly. His art is quiet, with a tension that seems to build with every page flip. Paired with the muted tones of Lee Loughridge, the story almost has a serene undertone to it, broken up sporadically by bright flashes of a fired gun. They work together to create an issue that flows easily, giving you just enough details to picture yourself there, without overwhelming you so as to distract you from the politics and dysfunction that is the Briggs family.
I won’t lie and say I wasn’t excited to see a story that had a woman is such a traditionally male role, the leader of an secessionists community. Grace Briggs is portrayed as smart, capable and empathetic to her people, which may be exactly why her incarcerated husband would love nothing more than to see her dead. It looks like the Briggs clan is in for a rough ride ahead, and you should join them, because there’s nothing more dangerous than a broken family.
(W) Brian Wood (A) Mack Chater (CA) Matthew Woodson