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Southern Bastards #14

    Ian Jane

  • Southern Bastards #14

    Southern Bastards #14
    Released by: Image Comics
    Released on: May 11th, 2015
    Writer: Jason Aaron
    Artist: Jason Latour
    Purchase From Amazon

    Earl Tubb is dead, but not forgotten.

    When this latest issue starts out, we learn about a woman who went to Afghanistan to serve her country, to implement community development programs with the local Afghani women. A noble idea to be sure, given how violent the area was and how the locals didn't trust their government at all. This woman's name is Roberta and she's back on American soil, walking up to a house watched over pretty protectively by an unfamiliar looking dog. The same dog that appears to have been shitting all over the porch and yard

    She walks into the house Earl lived in after he and her mother split up, but shortly after she does that the cops show up. A suspicious person was reported in the area - her. She's got dark skin, everyone in the neighborhood is suspicious of her for that reason. We flash back to Roberta talking to Earl about the job she's going to do overseas. He's not happy about it, after all, he served in 'Nam and knows how it can go. in the present time, she hangs up on her mom who warns her not to go snooping around her dad's stuff, he was never there for her.

    Roberta heads outside and meets the owner of the dog. He doesn't want her moving into this neighborhood and tells her as much. When the man's kid has the nerve to smile at Roberta, his hide gets tanned. When she decides to mow the lawn, she notices the shed has been broken into - and that racist piece of shit next door, he's got a nice looking lawnmower over there. The guy and his cousin threaten here - that doesn't end well for them. She takes them down pretty quick and then makes short work of his woman, who comes at Roberta with a knife. And then kid? He drops the 'n word' at her.

    Roberta leaves, but not without a memento - her daddy's assault rifle. And then she calls her mom back.

    This is clearly setting up the next storyline, which is clearly going to play off of the first storyline, not that the last one didn't. Does that make sense? What matters here is that we now know who Earl was talking to on the phone in the early issues of the series - his daughter Roberta. We don't know anything about her mother yet, aside from the fact that she was none too keen on Earl, but it would seem that the apple hasn't fallen too far from the tree. Roberta is her daddy's girl in more ways than one, and now that she's back in Alabama, there are some loose ends that need to be tied up. And not just the issue of the lawnmower. Aaron's script does a fine job of formally introducing us to this new character who quite obviously will play a large role in things to come, giving us some interesting background details on her and showing, in no uncertain terms, how she deals with thing. They 'why' is yet to come but we'll get there. Big things are afoot.

    Latour's artwork? No one else should ever draw this series. Seeing Earl again was pretty cool, and even if this book is only a couple of years old there was a welcome familiarity to seeing that cranky old man's face pop up in this issue courtesy of Latour's style. It just works. It jives beautifully with Aaron's writing and together these guys just nail it - the atmosphere, the tension, the underlying social problems of the location where it plays out, and the nastiness that is inherent in a certain segment of its populace.

    Another very fine issue in a excellent series.

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