It’s been a while since the last issue of Southern Bastards, so it’s good to get back.
Southern Bastards #11 switches focus to a more mysterious figure, one that was only briefly alluded to back the fifth issue. Is it good?
Southern Bastards #11 (Image Comics)
Like the past two issues, Southern Bastards #11 puts the focus on another character who hasn’t had the spotlight yet in Craw County: Deacon Boone of Piney Woods. Unlike the other two, this issue doesn’t really add much to the ongoing background story involving Homecoming Week and the big game (these events are referenced, but not mentioned). Although it’s disappointing there was no connection to the still unfolding backstory, Jason Aaron does an absolutely terrific job developing Deacon Boone nonetheless.
Deacon is a very interesting and almost likable character you can understand and get behind — at least more than most of the series’ cast by comparison. Aaron provides the backstory for Boone and his family in rapid succession (the first three or so pages), which provides a great understanding for why he’s a hunter and why he lives the lifestyle he lives. From there, the rest of the issue focuses Boone’s his daily life and having to deal with a problem (given a later page, he seems to like dealing with a lot of problems in a particular way). Aaron makes it clear that although he likes living off in the woods by himself away from people, he still cares a lot about the townspeople he interacts with at the local church. He’s done some good things… but also plenty of bad in trying to help these townsfolk, but all with the overall intent of helping the county in his heart. Doing this however, has started to eat away at him. Aaron is definitely setting up this character to be a big player later on in the comic and it should be interesting to see what his purpose will be.
Everything else about this issue is fantastic like usual. The dialogue and narration are very engaging and enjoyable to read, especially the opening portion that shows how different Deacon is from the rest of the characters living. The story is well-structured and tightly paced and Jason Latour’s artwork is solid as ever. Though special points go out to Latour’s colors this time; in one scene in particular, he captures perfectly the haziness of an early morning in the woods with a masterful use of warm light tones from the palette.
Is It Good?
Southern Bastards #11 is a great issue of the series that highlights an equally great character. It’s a big step up from the last issue and one that really makes me hopeful and eager to see what comes next, even if it didn’t reveal anything new with the backstory. Check it out as soon as you can.