By Dustin Cabeal
I have no idea what a “Cobber” is, and it's definitely not explained in these first three issues of Cobber. I’m also never going to look it up in case you were wondering. Cobber is essentially a modern day western. The story line is beyond familiar in that it’s been done a hundred times and will likely be done a hundred more times.
A town is being controlled by one familiar and under siege by the boys that do all the dirty work for the dad that runs shit. Cobber, which is what the man is called, but never introduced as comes into town just as things are getting interesting.
The story starts off with a man hiding under a bar for far too long before popping up and seeing a man leaving, that man is Cobber. He leaves a bullet and a piece of onyx on the bar as he leaves. The story flashes back to a family being visited by the evil dad running the town. He kills the day, apparently gets away with it even though this story is seemingly modern and takes the family’s home. The wife and daughter are all grown up now, and he’s trying to buy the daughter’s auto shop. Eventually, and stop me if you’ve heard this one, he burns it down to encourage the sale. Cobber gets mixed up in things, captured, thrown from a truck and honestly doesn’t do much to maintain his cool guy mystique.
Cobber is easy to read because you’ve likely read it before. It’s a classic western and samurai storyline, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it doesn’t offer much else. Cobber does very little in the story. He mostly shows up and has one fighting sequence in which he dodges a bunch of punches. He’s easily captured doesn’t try to hide his presence or make his presence known. The supporting characters are reduced to love interest and mother that’s destined to die in the story. The villains have no personality and are stereotypes at best. The dialogue is smooth and flows rather nicely. It’s believable until the bad guy's talk, and then it rambles on and on. The pacing is also very tight which again makes it easy to read.
The art is not a style I typically enjoy. I didn’t find myself hating after the first couple of pages which is a credit to the art, but I didn’t fall in love with it. It suffers from “tell and not shown,” which is to say that instead of showing us a bar brawl in which Cobber kills everyone in the room, we instead watch a dude cower under the bar and see the aftermath. Cobber never establishes why he’s a bad ass we should like and follow because on his hero’s journey he only falls and not very convincingly.
It's an okay story. It’s been done a lot and a lot better, but the creator is trying. It's at least easy to read which is more than I can say for a lot of other stories that are similar. You’re either going to love or hate the art which is just the way that goes, but I’m sure that some people will find it entertaining and hell, I’d even read another issue to see if the story can offer any new twists to the formula.
Creator: Hayden Fryer
Publisher: Siberian Productions