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Southern Bastards #11

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By Jason Aaron & Jason Latour

The “Homecoming arc continues to delve into the lives of the secondary characters. This issue focuses on one of the more intense characters introduced in the montage in issue five: Deacon Boone. He was a hunter looming over a buck in his first depiction. As the story returns to present day, this powerful creative team of Jason Aaron and Jason Latour expand the South a little more.

One of the fascinating aspects in this book is that by developing Boone, readers are exposed to another aspect of Southern culture. Aaron makes it an explicit point by having Deacon Boone explain what it means to be truly “country”. Also, religion and faith factor heavily into the character as well. Boone is a deacon (his first name has not yet been revealed) at a local Pentecostal church that incorporates snake handling rituals. How Jason Aaron blends all this content into the overall story is just all around impressive because it’s not forced and it elevates the material to being an ethnographic study/analysis.

Latour delves into new territory a bit with settings in a church and forest. Due to this, a new color scheme is used in comparison to most of the other books. It’s a little brighter and with the forest or “country” obviously green and brown is prevalent. It’s only when Boone crosses paths with Coach Boss do things become familiar. Everything is a necessary and conscious decision. The first panel of this comic is a nice nod to Deacon’s first appearance. Also, the splash page at the end is just shocking and beautiful. It encapsulates such raw emotion, which seems to be a big component of who Deacon Boone is. As different an approach in terms of story and art this issue is, it is very refreshing and just adds to the gritty tapestry of Southern Bastards.

This is the third issue in the third arc, so readers shouldn’t just jump in. Pick up the first two trades and the previous two issues to catch up because this is a must-read. Period. This is a brilliant comic series on every level. This series has been optioned as a TV series, which is exciting, but hopefully the details and heart won’t be lost in translation. Hats off to Jason Aaron and Jason Latour….keep it up!

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