Cobber #1-4
Written by: Hayden Fryer
Art by: Hayden Fryer
Published by: Siberian Productions

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

Cobber is the newest comic from Siberian Productions, published out of Austraila (which will be my future home someday).  Cobber is the brainchild of writer/artist Hayden Fryer whose works include Billy: Demon Slayer and Darkest Night which I’ve reviewed over the past few years.  I was very excited to read Cobber – the fascinating tale of a man with no name who comes to a town and finds himself in the middle of deadly feud.

It’s a modern day Western with an Australian twist.  A guy named Eddie is the survivor of a shootout and returns back to a hometown which is pretty much ruled by his family.  He is followed to this town by a guy called Cobber in the comic but known as The Gunslinger in the solicit.  He’s pretty much The Man With No Name.  The Gunslinger arrives to find tensions high in this little town thanks to Eddie and his violent kin.  Gunslinger sides with a beautiful mechanic named Roxy and her mother to try and take on the Stewart family alone, which is like being a high school quarterback with no other teammates playing against the New York Giants.

The Gunslinger is a badass but he’s facing one psycho family who know the town like the back of their hand.  As the tensions escalate and violence begins, Gunslinger has to use his wits and his skills with a revolver to try and get himself out of the mess.  Even so, by the end of issue 4, things don’t look so good for the guy who came to town looking to take on a bad man.

The book has a very Australian feel to it.  That isn’t to say that I didn’t “get it” but the terminology of the book takes some getting used to.  Take The Gunslinger for instance.  Multiple times throughout the series he is called Cobber, which also is the name of the book.  I had a feeling that Cobber actually meant something so I went over to Google and looked it up.  Cobber is an Australian slang for friend.  So, as the characters don’t know The Gunslinger’s name, they simply call him Cobber.  It makes sense now to me.  Of course if you are Australian you get this from the get go.  If you aren’t, it might just slip by you.  It’s like I write a book called Shoobie about a guy working at the Jersey Shore for the summer.  If you aren’t from Jersey you probably have no clue what I’m talking about.

I really dig Hayden Fryer’s artwork – it is so unique and a style that I’ve loved since his Billy: Demon Slayer days.  The artwork almost takes backseat to the story as Fryer’s modern day western tale truly shines.  It feels very cinematic.  Cobber would really make one hell of a movie.  Someone should really get George Miller on the phone to produce this bad boy.

Cobber is a five issue miniseries thought, at present time, there is only 4 of the 5 issues available.  It felt weird just doing a review of the fourth (and latest) issue alone which is why this review feels more like an overview of the series.  Reviewing the fourth issue and its events would pretty much ruin the rest of the issues that came prior.  As I want to recommend this comic I don’t want to give away anything that would spoil the other issues for you.

So I’ll say this: Fryer has been producing some quality comics for what has to be well over ten years now.  Cobber is the finest work he is done thus far.  It’s a true accomplishment. Even though this is set in modern time, Cobber feels like the best Western I’ve seen since possibly Unforgiven – or at least the amazing Australian western The Proposition.  So someone get Guy Pearce and John Hillcoat on the phone.  They may have their newest film sitting right in their laps.  Cobber is bloody.  It’s vicious.  No prisoners are being taken here.  As the inevitable showdown is coming I can’t wait to see how the comic wraps up.


You can find Cobber at Siberian Productions’ website:

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