Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Southern Bastards #2
Aaron & Latour
The second issue of Southern Bastards is as strong an issue as the first, if not stronger. When you break the issue down there isn't much that happens in it. Basically, Earl Tubb comes to the crossroads a couple of times and it seems that each time he gets himself pulled deeper and deeper into staying at his backwards hometown. The issue is brilliantly executed and illustrated to perfection to make this comic have as big an impact as possible. This is a must read.
Earl finished packing up the house and is about to head out on the road back to the big city, never to look back at his crazy hometown. However, with darkness approaching he decides to stick around for the evening. It's Friday and the thing to do on a Friday night is check out the local High School's football game.
This proves to be a mistake as the man that Earl interacted with in the previous issue comes stumbling onto the field, bloodied and barely alive. He seeks out the coach. The coach is the man behind the madness in the town. Old Earl can't keep his nose out of trouble and he confronts the coach, during a game no less. Earl manages to leave the field unscathed but then he heads to the police station for help. I won't give away more than that but the final few pages prove to be the making of man on a mission.
The book is definitely one of those origin type issues where a character just can't keep out of trouble. Trouble seems to find him and he seems to be drawn in further and further. Earl's given plenty of chances to get away and drive off but he doesn't. Earl can't stop from righting a wrong, even against impossible odds.
Latour's work is dark and very creepy. It's a detailed look but one that looks weathered. The faces have plenty of cracks and the skin looks aged beyond their years. The comic doesn't have much in the way of action but the artwork presents plenty of drama in its images. If this comic is meant to scare a reader then I think it may work just fine.
Southern Bastards is the kind of comic book that presents an ugly set of characters in an ugly setting and somehow drains more ugly out of the barrel as the story progresses. Aaron has built a great character in Earl and he's given him the perfect foe in the football coach. This is a comic book that should not be missed.
5 out of 5 Geek Goggles