Brian Wood And Rebellion; A Look At Briggs Land #1.

Briggs Land #1, Dark Horse Comics

If you’re not familiar with the writer Brian Wood and you read comics, I’m really confused as to what titles you’ve been reading.

Wood has been all over the place, in a good way. From DC/Vertigo (DMZ, Northlanders) to Marvel (X-Men, Moon Knight), and from Dark Horse (The Massive, Star Wars, Aliens: Defiance) to Image (Mara, Starve, The Couriers), Wood has been one prolific son-of-a-B. And for one such as me that tends to follow writers they enjoy rather than publishers or genres, this is a good thing. I look forward to the release of a new book by one of my favorite writers, like someone would look forward to a new “rebirth” of their favorite super hero universe. (“oh my god! a new chance for me to buy #1's of everything! I could have sworn it was only 4 months ago when the last Iron Man #1 came out… Oh wait, it was.”)

Brian Wood is certainly no stranger to writing about characters that favor going their own way, and not laying down when The Man tells them to. It feels so natural that Briggs Land is a Wood title, my only wonder is why he didn’t get to it sooner. So realistic it’s seemingly written from inside the walls of a compound, Briggs Land is about a matriarch of a family (and organization) that has their own 100-acre ranch, fenced in and not considered (by them) to be a part of our country. Very Waco, TX and Branch-Davidian-esque. With her husband, the former leader of the pack behind bars for life, detectives on their back watching their every move, and enemies looking to gain ground (literally) any chance they can, she can’t even trust her own sons.

A thousand bucks… how many packs of cigs is that?

This premise is so interesting — and unique. In a medium where stories are recycled like soda cans, refreshing tales are more than welcome.

How many of us have wondered what life was like in these compounds? Are these people all white supremacist rednecks, or pro-secession militia, or religious terrorists? Or all 3…? Do they have regular lives, jobs, families? And just how dangerous ARE they? The best stories (comics or otherwise) take situations we constantly wonder about and give us a wide glimpse into them, while taking us for a great ride. He’s done it before with The Massive and DMZ, and I’m so glad he’s doing it again. The character work is superb; we are given so much backstory and detail over the course of one issue, you can’t help but be roped in.

…and the pedestrians had no idea.

Wood, take note; as much as I love you writing stuff like Moon Knight (and yes, you taking over after Warren Ellis’s brilliant six-issue run was perfect), this is where you shine. I don’t know what type of anti-authoritative interest fuels you, but so be it. I hope we see 5 volumes of this, at the very least, as long as you keep it interesting. Considering Briggs Land is already in development for an AMC television show, I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon- which is great news for all of us.

More recommended reading by Brian Wood:

  • The Massive, Dark Horse Comics
  • DMZ, DC/Vertigo
  • Northlanders, DC/Vertigo
  • Starve, Image Comics


@dirtynouveau (IG, SC, TWT)