Briggs Land #3 Review
Written by: Brian Wood
Art by: Mack Chater
Colors: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Nate Peikos of Blambot
Editor: Spencer Cushing
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Review by Robert Coffil
Briggs Land 3 is a pulse pounding conclusion to the first story arc. This issue has Grace dealing with the event that almost lead to her demise in the first issue. The vast majority of this issue happens in one location, almost like a one scene play, and boy does the creative team dial up the tension. As a fitting end to the arc, all the disparate arcs come to a head without neatly resolving so as to bring the reader back for the next issue.
While waiting to deal with her would be assassin, there’s a flash back. This look back in time highlights the iron fist that Grace’s husband, Jim, ruled with an iron fist. This is important because both Jim and Grace are idealists, but they exist on two very different ends of the spectrums. Jim wants everything to be perfect on his land. Anything that could possibly tarnish the very idea of his community has to be dealt with swiftly and with extreme prejudice. Grace on the other hand, wants Briggs Land to be an idealized version of the world. She wants it to represent the best of what it can possibly. Grace wants it to be not just a one strike and out rule, but weed out the bad to grow and groom the others so they can be the best version of themselves.
Once the flash back is concluded, we are thrust back into the waiting game of Grace’s ambush. However, the first person to offer aide are the FBI agents who have been investigating the Briggs from the first issue. This is where Chater’s storytelling and pacing shine. There is just enough dialogue, but the panels with no words and the flash to Grace’s shotgun let the reader quickly know just how bad this can go.
While warding off the FBI agent, things come to a head and the killer shows up. It gets very tense and Grace must responds in kind. Chater’s excellent character models do a great job of expressing emotion. You can see that she doesn’t want to behave in a certain way but has to. This depth in character really helps provide range to Grace.
After the action climax, Grace goes to deal with the family of the assassin. She handles this in an entirely different way from how her husband would have dealt with it. However, the family responds in a way she wasn’t exactly expecting. The mother of the family wants to stay on the property. I think Grace had an idea of how the regular people endure life on Briggs Land and she thought that shaking off the shackles of her husband would allow her to make it better. What she didn’t expect was for people to already be content with their lot in life and not want a change.
Buy! This series is an interesting political take on the world we live in. Issue 3 deals less with the pure political ideals and more with the ramifications of characters actions from previous issues. The way this issue was done as a climax to an arc worked perfectly. The pacing by Mack Chater with his control of panels and controlling the reader’s gaze is amazing. Buy this issue if you are into good character dramas.