By Jason Aaron & Jason Latour
Here it is folks! Southern Bastards’ current arc, “Homecoming”, reaches the titular football game. The cover says it all; every issue has had a red palette, but this one is blatantly blue. Jason Aaron and Jason Latour want readers to know this is an important installment in their series. The past four issues have chronicled the lives of specific characters in Craw County and the events leading up to the big game. With the stage set, the creative team throws the audience into the world of Southern High School football. Coach Boss has a lot riding on the game against their long-time rivals, the Wetumpka County Warriors, especially since he killed Earl Tubbs and his mentor Coach Big committed suicide recently. The Warriors are dead set on plowing through the Rebels and destroying Euless Boss…
Even if you’ve never been much of a football fan, Aaron and Latour bring dramatic elements into the mix that heighten the real-world scenario making it very engrossing. Set practically anything against rain and lightning and the emotions will run rampant. Jason Latour leaves nothing to chance in depicting the sheer brutality that football is capable of. Like so much of the material that has been shown in past issues, some of the panels are so well done that one can barely look at them due to the ugly or shocking nature. Color continues to play a major role in the series; blue and white not only represent the Wetumpka County Warriors, but they also seem to allude to how events will unfold due to Coach Boss’ recent actions in the series. The coloring not only elevates the illustrations, but adds another dimension to the overall material.
Football is another major element of Southern culture that Jason Aaron continues to use as a cornerstone for Bastards. What’s interesting to note is how he subverts reader’s expectations of how developments or circumstances play out. That’s the type of writing fans of this series have come to expect and he doesn’t disappoint. It’s also nice that the story of this issue is not just the football game; it also further develops Euless. Aaron’s disturbing inner dialogue for the character gives great insight into how dangerous and deluded the man is. The issue opens and ends with him and that’s for good reason.
This comic continues to be a gritty gem in Image’s lineup. It would have been very easy to tap into Southern stereotypes, but instead the creative team embraces and confronts these notions, thereby enriching them. Fans should absolutely pick this month’s release because the tease for the next issue shows someone whose appearance in Craw County is something readers have been itching to read.