Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Southern Bastards #3
Aaron & Latour
This is quickly becoming the breakout hit of 2014. Aaron and Latour continue their deep look at the hardened characters in the deep southern town in the heart of Alabama in another compelling issue. This particular issue has the protagonist, Earl Tubb, push all his chips into the center of the table as he definitely makes up his mind about what he plans to do. Here's a hint: he isn't running. This is a fantastic read.
The comic begins with a small flashback to when Earl joins up to fight in Vietnam. His father, whose presence is felt throughout each issue, expresses his opinion on the matter. This helps to frame up a lot of what Earl is made up of. He's a character that has turned tail and run away from problems before. It seems he especially did some of these things to shun his father. This issue turns things around for Earl.
Earl busts into the eatery owned by the coach and squares off with two of the men responsible for the death of Earl's old friend. Earl offers a way for the pair to avoid some punishment but this book is definitely not short on bad-ass characters. There is no such thing as the easy way.
The fallout from the eatery confrontation looks to be part of the conclusion of the arc in the next issue. Coach and friends strike back at Earl in an unexpected way at the end of this comic. It makes for a surprising cliffhanger.
It's a fast read with dialogue that doesn't come across as preachy or forced. These are characters that sound real and interact in normal ways. If normal means arguing resulting in violence with a 2x4 sized stick. The beauty of the storytelling is how Earl's character grows and changes within this one single issue. It's probably the top reason to pick up the book. You can't help but cheer old Earl on.
Latour on artwork is perfect for this story. There is a lot of tension and the scenes are filled with hard faces and bad attitudes and the artwork presents that to perfection. While the book lacks a lot of backgrounds in the frames, it makes up for that with the heavy tones that help set a mood in the book. It's a terrific piece of art.
Southern Bastards is a great read. It feels like these characters are real and are written in a very realistic way. The book moves quickly and establishes the motives and counter-motives quickly. This is the kind of book where it leaves you wanting more at the end of each issue and that is a good thing. I highly recommend checking this comic book out.
4.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles