by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour
The second issue of Southern Bastards gives readers a glimpse of the main antagonist. More importantly, it shows just how embedded the antagonist has become in town politics following Earl’s father’s death. Earl is all set to leave the county that his father has taken so much pride in protecting. However, a series of unpredictable events forces Earl to rethink his quick departure.
Earl’s packed and ready to hightail out of Craw County; however his only mistake was not leaving early enough. Earl is learning that the county his father took pride in protecting has fallen. The town’s pride in high school football has given Coach Boss free reign of the town. The hints placed in the first issue and the conversation with the town sheriff makes Earl aware that Coach Boss untouchable status. Earl makes some shocking discoveries this issue. By the end, he is at a moral crossroads; should he continue the legacy of his father or does he leave the fate of Craw County to Coach Boss?
Aaron and Latour are stacking the odds against Earl in this issue. Aaron is laying down the southern good ol’ boy backdrop of corruption. Readers learn just how deep the corruption goes at the same time as Earl. By revealing the challenges in this manner, Aaron makes Earl a very relatable character to those who are on the outside looking in on a culture that they find unjust and repulsive.
Latour’s rugged style captures the southern noir essence. The heat of the southern Alabama is brought to life on the page. Latour gives the character’s facial expressions raw emotions that are in sync with the respective senses. The jagged lines give the characters a sun worn and harsh appearance. Latour reminds the readers that these are southern elder men who have had many a day in the sun and heat.
Southern Bastards continues to be a good look into the shady side of southern politics and crime. This issue introduces the main obstacles that Earl will have to contend with if he decides to live up to his father’s legacy. Tensions and emotions are increasing that will come to fruition in future issues.