Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Jason Latour
Release Date: 29th July, 2015
Straight off the bat, let’s talk about what Jason Latour had to say about the controversy surrounding the Confederate Flag. Originally published on the 28th of June on his Tumblr, it has been reprinted in the back of this very issue. The variant cover to this issue shows a dog ripping apart the flag that has been a symbol of Southern Dominance and Race Discrimination for some time, and for an artist who hails from this part of the country to come out and show this was commendable, bold and noble.
In his essay, Latour explains his motives behind the cover, beginning with “I am a white Southern man who, despite my harsh objections to what I feel it represents, is willing to admit that I have a conflicted relationship with the Confederate flag.” He goes on to talk about the flag’s origins and what it means to him. However it is how he signs off that is most important; “We are all neighbors. We are all Southerners. This is OUR culture and it means what WE choose it to mean. So, yes. I’ll say it again– Fuck that flag. Southern Pride is good collard greens. Death to the flag. Long live The South.”
It’s maybe something that could be taken into consideration here in Scotland, we need to be together and take control over our own shit. Anyway, that’s a chat for another time. We’re here for my opinions on comics, not politics!
The issue itself continues to follow Esaw and his downright psychotic ways. From the opening scene to the last panel we get a good grasp of just who he is now, and it’s someone that we’ve all known at some point in our lives. At the base of it, he’s just a scared little boy with daddy issues. Aaron manages to write a tale here white rings true for a lot of people who can be observed puffing their chests and acting out, just to be noticed and “make their daddy pay”.
The issue also deals with the further descent into full-blooded evil, with a pastor trying to help and Esaw losing control. The inclusion of the pastor is an important one, as it’s my understanding that religion has a strong foothold in the South, and while it’s not my bag, this kind of thing where a religious man would try to help a wayward soul is commonplace. I’d probably refuse the help myself, although it’s a safe assumption that Esaw takes it a tiny bit too far?
Latour does what he does best on the issue, nothing is held back and everything is shown in all of is brutal honesty. You can truly see the pain and suffering on every page, never mind parts of characters anatomy I could have done without seeing! The art of the book alone is worth the cover price, even if it is brutally graphic at times. It’s true and real, holding a mirror up to the life we seem to have carved for ourselves. Who’d have thought the guy drawing this is the same one who’s writing Spider-Gwen….
Hands down one of the best books on the shelves today, every issue gives you a punch to the dick and kicks you while you’re down, but in a good way, y’know? So pour yourself a beer, get some BBQ and dive right in to this one. Y’all can thank me later.