As a central Texas dweller, I would probably be driven outta the region if I didn’t read the writing of fellow Texan Donny Cates. Admittedly, I was late to the party, but God Country is one of my favorite titles of 2017 and I nearly missed it! I couldn’t let Redneck slip past me like a back alley shadow creeping in the night. Redneck #5 is out today and the story is captivating, well-written, and deeper than one usually finds with vampire hillbillies. Highly recommended.
What is this all about?
What started as an innocent night on the town has led to this moment. With Sulpher Springs in flames, will the Bowman family withstand its destruction?
Let’s get to the guts! OK this is a dialog heavy issue and necessary for storytelling. That isn’t a criticism as so much as I really want to know what happens next. There’s action too in bits and the amazing art fully transports ya as you read. If you haven’t been reading along – PAUSE, catch up – CONTINUE reading this review…To put it simply this is a story of two warring families, the Bowmans (vampires) and the Landry’s. Theirs is a feud that has lasted decade after decade and the killing on young “Slap” Bowman has plunged the two groups back into conflict after years of uneasy peace. Them’s the basics…there is a lot going on in this comic, maybe it’s the sleep deprivation, but I need a scorecard to keep track of all the details!
This issue picks up where #4 left off as JV Bowman faces Father Landry – who is now a vampire. Honorary Bowman, Bartlett is rushing to stop this confrontation as he has learned that the Landry’s didn’t have anything to do with the killing of the youthful Bowman boy. Bartlett, thanks to the mental powers of the youngest Bowman, Perry, now has recollections of what happened the night of Slap’s murder. Bartlett stops JV from killing Landry but still gets a good punch in. Bartlett is a soft touch though and as police arrive he offers newly vampiric Landry an olive branch.
The big reveal happens when Bartlett recounts his memories to JV. JV is the de-facto head of the family, while the scary as hell grandfather lives locked up in an upstairs room. Bartlett’s memories will lead to some epic excitement in issue #6 I’m certain of it. Lisandro Estherren’s art again is wonderful. The rendering of evil, darkness, violence, and even tender human emotions is just spot on. This isn’t a run of the mill vampire tale. The Texas setting is a blast and the characters are fully realized.
So, there y’all have it – Blood, gore, and FAMILY! A great series that is as much fun as it is smart.
Reviewed by: Jeff Daily
Written by: Donny Cates
Art by: Lisandro Estherren, Dee Cunniffe, and Joe Sabino
Published by: Image Comics
Release Date: August 23, 2017