The shit hits the fan in the conclusion to the first story arc of Southern Bastards. It’s been a nonstop, brutal and nasty ride with these characters in the deep South. How will it all come crumbing down? Is it good?
Southern Bastards #4 (Image Comics)
Earl Tubb has been pushed to the brink. After the near-fatal beating of a kid, Earl decides to take it to Coach Hogg and his goon squad.
This is going to get rather bloody…
I can safely say that this had to be one of more surprising and shocking endings to a story arc that I have seen this year. As such, I cannot tell you what happens in it, but I do guarantee you that you’ll be undoubtedly sucked into the story and left with a huge desire for more. The story here is incredibly strong, very powerful and heavy in its emotional twists and turns. The only downside to it is that comic has been coming out so slowly that now that it might hurt the momentum it has built with this issue.
Besides that, Jason Aaron’s writing is really strong like usual. Earl is a fantastic character with so much depth and humanity, especially in the opening scene when he makes a phone call to his kid. The villains, while their motivation still seems to be lacking, are really ugly and despicable characters, but yet feel strangely real despite it all. Like these are the types of people you might expect to run into the deep south. The setting is still wonderfully realized and feels very much alive, especially with all the references characters make to the locales. The dialogue and narration are really strong, the pacing and story flow are excellent, and the ending will leave you speechless. So very few comics these days are capable of that.
The artwork by Jason Latour remains really good and fits so darn well with the grittiness and southern flavor of this comic even if I’m not completely into it yet. The characters are distinguishable and easy to tell apart, the setting is nicely drawn (though some backgrounds leave a bit to be desired), the colors are decent, the emotion is strong, and the action and layouts are really well put together. If you have enjoyed the previous issues’ art, you’ll especially like this.
Is It Good?
Southern Bastards #4 is the finale for the first arc of the series and it goes out with a bang. The story is fantastic, the characters are engaging and memorable, the writing is strong, and the artwork really ties it all together. After this ending, I am in this for the long haul. I can’t wait to see where the comic goes in the coming months.