Are you guys watching these two? Seriously, I’m asking you.
Jason Aaron and Jason Latour are absolutely killing it. Not just here, in Southern Bastards, but in almost everything they work on. From Latour’s Spider-Gwen to Aaron’s mega-selling Star Wars to their work on Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted it is evident this dynamic duo is a powerhouse team.
I have to say, part of me wants to punch these guys right in the mouth. Two reasons: 1) I’m super jealous that they get to work on such kick-ass books and 2) I wanted with every geeky-fan-of-this-book, Earl-Tubb-lovin’ bone in my body to hate Euless Boss. If you’re reading this series you know exactly what I’m talking about. This book has given us a glimpse into what made Boss The Boss and it’s easy to empathize with the sorry, Southern bastard.
The series started with a hardened old man, Earl Tubb, coming home to Craw County Alabama, a place where football is life, to handle some family business. It’s quickly apparent that Tubb’s home isn’t what it once was. Throughout the first five issues fans found themselves rooting for Tubb who, like his father before him, decided to make a stand. We watched the emotional roller coaster Earl went through dealing with his past as well as his present. When he started to kick some ass we were right there with him, making it that much harder when Tubb finally fell.
As a writer I am often cynical of other’s work. I nitpick, guess where the story will go next and I’m usually right. It’s a trait my wife hates. But, I honestly didn’t know where Southern Bastards would go after issue #4. We were left hanging, knowing that Boss had finally beaten Tubb, bad had triumphed! Also, all those phone calls and messages Earl was leaving? He was talking to his daughter and she wasn’t ignoring him, just busy. So yeah, I was at a loss for what would be next.
Issue 5 takes the reader back to the beginning of Boss’ reign, when he was just a boy trying to make it as a Runnin’ Reb. I wasn’t expecting it, which is good, and I liked it. Issue 7? Love it! I am not happy that I feel for Euless but his struggle is real. Aaron has a talent for pacing and unexpected twists and Latour’s artistic style is a perfect fit for this book. The violence in this series is one of the aspects that draws readers to it and this issue doesn’t disappoint. I know someone out there reading this probably just rolled their eyes but this isn’t just violence for the sake of it. This is the story of a boy being beaten down by everyone and everything around him. Life won’t give him a break. Born small with a big man’s dreams and a homelife that attracts as much physicality as the ball field. This is the heart breaking kind of violence you see in a really great movie where the hero gets hurt but keeps pushing to get the job done. Euless will not quit and it’s easy to see how he could become the Boss we know in previous issues.
If this book isn’t on your pull list, put it on there. The first four issues are collected in Southern Bastards Vol. 1: Here Was a Man TP, grab a copy and catch up.
Thanks for reading. Remember to find me on Twitter or Facebook and if anyone has a suggestion on any comics they’d like me to review, please send me a message.