By Jason Aaron & Jason Latour
The creative team of Jason Aaron and Jason Latour are just knocking it out of the park with Southern Bastards. The majority of the audience, myself included, was expecting this book to be where Earl Tubb’s daughter comes to the county. Instead, the team gives time to explore who is and what made Coach Euless Boss…
This is no doubt a bold narrative tactic, but one I believe will pay off in the end. The previous issue gave hints at a complicated code that Coach Boss lives by, making him an intriguing antagonist. Now, Aaron tries to build sympathy for the character in issue six. Even a mentor character, with some familiar qualities, is introduced to further this concept…and it absolutely works.
The training sequences in the comic are well depicted by Latour and cements the idea of the “hero’s journey”. Framing these moments within a Southern context provides an interesting and fresh take on the old convention. The closing pages are full of tense, dark content executed well with Jason’s minimal color palette and use of shadow contrast, delivering an emotionally shocking cliffhanger.
Southern Bastards continues to be a powerhouse of a title; it is one I have to immediately read and others should follow suit. The second arc is only two issues in, so, if new to the series, pick up the first trade paperback and issues five and six.