Review – Redneck #9 (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics (Skybound Imprint)
Writer: Donny Cates
Artwork: Lisandro Estherren, Dee Cunniffe (colours)
Release Date: 24th January 2018

Fresh from snagging a Diamond Gem Award for “Best New Comic Book Series” (congrats guys!), Skybound’s Redneck continues this week as things go from bad to worse for the Bowman family.

When we left things last time out, Bartlett, Greg and Seamus had been cornered by Landry and his new “flock”.  This issue helps provide us with little more insight into the thought process behind Landry’s sudden but inevitable betrayal, while also escalating things considerably by having the local law enforcement show up unexpectedly.

Writer Donny Cates also casually drops in another mysterious plot thread surrounding young Perry, further emphasising just how well-planned this series is.  Sure, we have the immediate threat that needs to be dealt with, but there’s always something else coming down the pipe, and Cates seems to be taking great pleasure in always making sure that the Bowmans have more than their fair share of impending obstacles to overcome.

At this point, it’s a testament to the striking nature of Lisandro Estherren’s artwork that I honestly couldn’t imagine anyone else drawing this series.  His scratchy, chaotic style is perfectly suited for this down-South tale of violence and family values, and while there isn’t necessarily any standout splash page-type action here (save for the final page, the awesomeness of which I’ll leave for you to discover yourself), several of the individual panels – such as the one featuring the wide-eyed Perry – are hauntingly impactful.

Dee Cunniffe continues to work his magic here too, particularly during the scenes set in and around the cabin where he alternates between pale blue and magenta to provide a striking contrast between the night sky and the glow of the police car lights.

The aforementioned final page suggests that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Bowmans, although given  the track record of Cates’ sadistic writing, that light may well end up being a train.  Either way, the characters here continue to grow and evolve, and with all manner of intertwining plot threads surrounding the main narrative, there’s likely to be even more twists and turns in the weeks and months to come.

Redneck continues its almost supernatural consistency here, providing a violent and dramatic look at warring families and the bonds of blood.  Oh, and one of the families just so happen to be vampires.  It’s gripping and entertaining from start to finish, providing a vampire story for people who don’t necessarily like vampire stories, and comes highly recommended as always.

Rating: 4.5/5.

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ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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