Review: Southern Bastards #14
It’s not uncommon to come out the other end of reading an issue of Southern Bastards feeling like you’ve been punched in the gut. The gritty noir series has focused on football, racism, and corruption in a small southern town with each arc spotlighting a certain aspect. The first arc had a Walking Tall vibe about it with a man returning to right the wrongs. The following arcs focused on the corruption giving us the other side of the horrific characters we’ve come to know.
And then there’s Roberta Tubb….
Introduced some time ago we haven’t gotten to know Earl’s daughter and this issue has her returning to the home of her father to pick up the broken mess that’s been left.
But, what writer Jason Aaron does is quite impressive mixing in issues of racism, domestic violence, police corruption, and servings one’s country all in one issue. Add on top of that a few pages that adds massive amounts of depth to Roberta and her father, the issue is one that’s layered and has you thinking throughout.
While things, like the racism, are pretty straightforward, Aaron does give us some small twists, like the neighbor’s kid at the end. Moments like that challenge your thought process and what you’ve read getting you to rethink it all. There’s also the scenes between Roberta and her father which adds depth to each and creates a complicated family with so little said.
The reason the issue can get away with so much in so little is Jason Latour’s art which adds as much as the text on the page. A look on a character’s face, the iconography on a piece of clothing, the body language, it all adds to the story and tells us so much without words. These two could easily produce a wordless issue that would have more depth than many other comics. The art here enhances the rawness of the issue and is a prime example of details adding so much to the storytelling.
Southern Bastards #14 is a prime example of why this series is one of the, if not the, best comic on the market right now. And so far, this is the best issue I’ve read of any comic this year.
Story: Jason Aaron Art: Jason Latour
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review