Written by Jason Aaron
Illustrated by Jason Latour
Letters by Jared K. Fletcher
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: 10/29/2014
After completing the first arc of Southern Bastards last month, with part four and the conclusion of “Here Was A Man”, I did not want to believe what I had just read. I was hanging on to a hope that I would open up issue five and continue to enjoy what has been one of my favorite newest characters in comics right now. In a story that included such heinous brutality with the beating of an innocent child, along with one of the most vicious beatings and murders I can recall seeing in a graphic novel, Jason Aaron continues to explore the more primal, violent, and darker side of the south in this tale about a city corrupted by a man who abuses power, governs with fear, influences with violence, and spreads hate.
This latest arc starts off by flashing back to the high school days of our Coach Euless Boss, and perhaps sheds a light (but not justifies) his violent nature. In between flash backs, Boss goes on to explain to a follower how the people of Craw County, Alabama are no better than he is, by allowing him to commit the acts that he does by just looking the other way. People who are in positions of power in this locality, people with influence like the mayor, business owners, and the sheriff even, all allow the corruption and crimes to continue. It is shame and not their fear that envelops these fine people.
So getting back to my disbelief, I must admit that there is a sense of disappointment that Earl Tubb will no longer be a part of this journey. Aaron appears to be shifting focus to the origin or roots of this particular evil, at least for this issue. At the end of issue four, it was also revealed exactly who it was on the other end of all those messages and missed calls that Earl would make, and it makes absolute sense that the daughter of Earl Tubb will play a prominent role in upcoming issues.
This is my first review of Southern Bastards, so my praise for the creators is overdue. Jason Latour’s (Loose Ends) illustrations are rough, dark, and just transfixing, and it is evident on the faces of the characters he draws, panel after panel. Jason Aaron (Thor: God of Thunder) has impressed with these first five issues. He has an incredible story-telling gift and I look forward to his continued story building. Both Aaron and Latour have a love hate relationship with the south, providing us with a perfect collaboration and story that only they should tell.
REVIEW: SOUTHERN BASTARDS #5
Peter Rodriguez (Geek Sushi)