Review: Southern Bastards #16

southern-bastards-16-coverSouthern Bastards #16 is like a club to the head. In a good way. Okay, maybe that metaphor is a little to on the nose after this issue. This book is like a two hundred and fifty pound linebacker on steroids rolling down the field and you are the opposing coach. You can send every offensive lineman you want to block, but he is just bowling them over one by one. A broken finger, a bloody chin, or a few missing teeth isn’t going to stop him. You, the reader, watches on in horror, and suspense at what is to come. The next thing you know, WHAM! That is what this book feels like, and it is awesome.

Much like football, sometimes things go your way, that’s if you are the “good guys” in the tale, and more often than not, they go the way of Coach Boss. He has lost two games in a row, and his legacy, his empire, and everything that makes him the icon that he is for the Runnin’ Rebs and Craw County is at stake. This issue shows how far he is willing to go to protect that. Now we’ve seen Coach Boss go pretty far previously, and this issue just doubles down on that. The odd part about him as a character, is his logic. I won’t spoil everything, but you can see that he rationalizes what he is planning to do to a player when his defense cannot stop him. He deems it is okay, because it’s his rules, and that’s been his way.

The writing by Jason Aaron is excellent, and if you’ve ready every issue, you know that Coach Boss was once a runt who no one ever took seriously. This is why back story and getting to know a character is so important in comics. Because of the excellent character building of this monster of a man, we know he won’t ever let anyone come in the way of his greatness ever again. He has worked too hard to get where he is, and he will do anything, to keep it that way.

The only thing I missed in this issue, was Roberta, but there was enough going on here that will likely begin a downward spiral for Coach Boss, and I am almost afraid to read anymore. This book is so good, and it reminds me of Game of Thrones where the bad guy keeps succeeding at something and you just pray for a hero of the story, any damn hero, to take them down. Now don’t get me wrong, we have seen things not go Coach Boss’s way lately, but it’s the repercussions of what he will do next that scare me. What happens if say he loses his job as a Coach? That is terrifying to think about. As crazy as he is, we all know it would be far worse.

Jason Latour continues his awesome and original style on art through the book. The violent scenes, as always, are drawn like beautiful car wrecks. They are such works of art, even if they are so hard to look at. Another thing I love about his style, is he uses sound effects that you expect in a super hero book, like “TWHUMP”, and “BLAM!” but in a very cool and non-distracting way. Also his Coach Boss is just awesome. He is like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino mashed with The Hulk. The colors also look great, and the theme of red throughout Southern Bastards is strong again in this issue, as it is the color of the Runnin’ Rebs.

If you are not reading this book, you should be. Even if you are not a football fan, this book is so much more than that. It is a book about standing up for what is right, or putting your head down, when there is corruption that is right in front of everyone. This book does a great job at showing you people who make both of those choices, as people do in real life do. So far, anyone who gets in Coach Boss’s way, usually does not again. Is the tide starting to turn? It’s 4th down and inches to go for Coach Boss, and I hope the defense stuffs him.

Story: Jason Aaron Art: Jason Latour
Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review