Comic Book Review – Southern Bastards #1
I can’t say I’ve ever been to the South in this great nation. I’ve been to Florida for a few Disney World trips but I’d hardly call that the true South. I’ve never been to Alabama, or Georgia, any of those other great sounding humid states. And after reading Southern Bastards, now I’m not sure I really want to.
Jason Aaron has decided to tackle his roots with this tale of Earl Tubb, a burly man returned from his life away to his childhood home to take care of some unknown business. He returns to Craw County and finds it much changed from his early days, particularly noticing the presence of a certain “Boss” character all over town. After catching up with an old local named Dusty, Earl’s quickly introduced to the corruption that’s spread around Craw as he defends Dusty, perhaps taking it a little to far. There’s much more to Earl’s presence back at home, much of it revolving around his father, the legendary sheriff Bertrand. There’s loose ends a plenty and the seedy underbelly of the south will rear its ugly head as Earl gets more involved than he probably planned.
I like the tone of this opening issue. There’s not a ton of backstory divulged, but you don’t need it, as events unfold you gather pretty much all the information you need to understand why Earl might be back in Craw and just what’s going on under the surface of the town. There’s obviously and old boy network running things now and it’s corrupt as hell. I have a feeling Earl is already in too deep just by setting foot in his boyhood home and things can only get worse from there. Latour’s art is a blast, there’s subtle details in most of the panels that tell as much of the story as the dialog, and his characters feel lived in and dirty and grungy. I could almost smell Dusty off the page. Real southern flavor right there!
Southern Bastards seems like the kind of book that you’d read just to make yourself feel a little bit uncomfortable. Because you like how it feels, and because you know this kind of stuff is probably happening in some backwater county right now. Aaron seems to know his source material and it’s got an air of authenticity about it. Southern Bastards is off to a solid start and is looking like another great Image book in the works.
Score: 5 (out of 7) I can’t wait until someone in this book says “Boy, you sure gotta purty mouth.” I’ll probably have to wash my hands and watch some My Little Pony after that issue.
What did you think about this issue? Let me know in the comments or shoot me a Tweet (@lanzajr26)