Comic Review – Southern Bastards #3

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of his favourite one, with potential minor spoilers.

Last week before payday, so a bit of a struggle to make room for comics. I even put a couple back on the rack I actually wanted to pick up! Maybe I’m growing as a person, and learning to prioritise like an adult. Maybe I was hungry and remembered I need to eat at some point over the next few days. Whatever, I was pretty sure I was going to review Southern Bastards #3 anyway. Southern Bastards is published by Image Comics, and written by Jason Aaron, with art from Jason Latour and letters by Jared K. Fletcher.

After over 40 years, our protagonist Earl Tubb returns to his home in Craw County, Alabama, to pack up what is left of his uncle’s house. He finds the place under the control of ‘Coach Boss’, the high school football coach who uses his players to instil fear in the county between games. While Earl is there, the coach’s boys assault and end up killing a friend. Constantly trying to convince himself to leave, Earl eventually realises he can’t just let it be (as we knew he wouldn’t). Events conspire for his dad’s old weapon of choice to almost fall on his lap, and as the previews stated, ‘Earl Tubb is an angry old man with a very big stick’. In this latest issue, Earl heads to the local diner to confront some of those responsible for the murder of his friend. And by confront, I mean beat the shit out of them with his stick. He then orders some ribs and waits for some of the other county residents to stand up with him against Coach Boss and his cronies. If I make it to old age I hope I am as much of a badass as Earl.

Earl

The world Jason Aaron has been crafting in this series is excellent. I’ve never been to ‘The South’ of the US, but the feel, the characters and the dialogue really evoke what I little know about that part of the country (though I certainly don’t mean that every town in the south is like this!). Latour’s art is brilliant, bringing this world to life and imbuing it with a dirty feel and colour palette. Everything in Craw County is ugly, especially the people. Considering the things they’ve done that suits just fine.

Southern Bastards is great, and issue #3 is another solid instalment in this first arc ‘Here Was a Man’. The story is simple but really interesting, and is totally different from anything else I’m reading at the moment. The first two issues have been reprinted (I think), so pick this up and track them down (or wait for the first arc to be collected in trade paperback in a few months) at your local comic book shop, or grab all 3 digitally. Now!

Score: 8.5 Ribs out of 10

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