Sunday, 6 July 2014

Southern Bastards #3 Review (Jason Aaron, Jason Latour)


Earl Tubbs has a stick - and he knows how to use it! 

If you stand back and look at the series, Southern Bastards is a small story. Old dude goes back to his backwater town, sees a low-level drug dealer killed, and decides to beat up his killers who’re also low-level idiots, and their boss, who’s coach of the local football team. Despite that though, Jason Aaron imbues it with a sense of high drama so that it feels bigger and more epic than it is, taking on an almost mythological aspect in tone.

In this third issue, Earl begins his mission to clear up Craw County of the redneck goons who’re terrorising it, starting with the morons in Coach Boss’ rib place. There’s something very satisfying with seeing evil trash getting what’s coming to them, so Jason Latour’s unflinching visuals feel cathartic as Earl swings his stick again and again until the restaurant’s cleared. 

Coach Boss gets his first real dialogue scene and he’s your usual hard-ass alpha male character. Talking through gritted teeth, every other word a swear, etc. Not the most interesting characterisation though there does seem to be real menace in his demeanour. 

By the end of the issue the stakes have been raised as it looks like Earl’s stick has done more damage than just broken some bones, so expect things to really kick off in the next issue as Coach Boss’ goons come at Earl, full force. 

Southern Bastards #3 is a strong issue full of tense, adrenaline-fuelled action with Aaron’s distinct writing and Latour’s excellent art. If you enjoy street level vigilante stories, this is one series you don’t want to miss.

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