Political and full of tension, Brian Wood and Mack Chater’s Dark Horse series Briggs Land feels incredibly well timed. Our country seems to be a powder keg ready to blow and this series exemplifies that.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
For 150 years, the Briggs clan have kept off the grid and out of the public eye. With the events surrounding a group of detained Canadian hikers and the execution of a Patriot member by a police sharpshooter, Grace and her family are outed to the world.
Why does this matter?
Wood and Chater have a way of letting silence and empty space create a vacuum of tension. This series will have you on edge and worried what could happen next.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Time to negotiate.
In the concluding chapter, the Briggs family must figure out what to do with two backpackers that wandered onto their land and the citizen who was shot by the FBI. Things are ready to explode, and Wood aims to make you feel that explosion even if it never goes off. From the moment the backpackers are asked to move away from a door to the blatant threats the FBI zings at grace you’re going to be wincing. Like in real life, this series captures the small moments that are actually very large.
This issue makes you truly believe both sides are right in a way. The FBI might be the biggest enemy despite having just as much jurisdiction, though the Briggs family aim to remove their ability to hold them over a barrel. That said, the closing captions do well to capture the perspective of the Briggs family even if you disagree with their ways.
Chater continues to draw a good series with the environments being a highlight. The tension in scenes is captured well in the facial expressions and calm of these characters. A lot of them are calm to begin with, but when tensions run hot being cool and collected is an important part of staying alive. Chater captures that well.
I’d be so scared.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Attempting to avoid spoilers, but if you were expecting anything more than a slow fizzle of tension you may be disappointed. This issue is quite good at directing you so that you expect something explosive to happen or something to go wrong. When things go right you’ll be put at ease and the tension will subside, but this is in no way about big dramatic beats we’ve become accustomed to in fiction these days.
Is It Good?
This has an ending that feels very right in a story arc that’s all about walking on pins and needles.
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