"Redneck #9" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics / Skybound
Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Lisandro Estherren
Colored by Dee Cunniffe
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 24th, 2018
The Bowmans were already having a rough time since they were run out of their home after their grandfather got into a huge battle with local police. Now they're holed up in the woods, living on scraps, and their old nemesis Landry has reared his ugly head once again. They thought he had changed after he was turned into a vampire and taken into the family, but they could not have been more wrong. Landry is about to tear these folks apart and he's going to enjoy every minute of it.
Every time I think that the Bowmans have been through enough, writer Donny Cates shows that there's more torture they can endure. This arc shows some pretty rough times. JV, the patriach of the clan, has been killed and the rest don't know it just yet. They're holding out hope that JV will come in and save them, but that is not going to happen.
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Landry is a menacing villain. He's huge and intimidating. More importantly, he's conniving. He's been planning this for some time, using the Bowmans to learn the ins and outs of vampirism as he builds a clan of his own. This group is like a dark alternate version of the Bowmans. Where the family is a cohesive unit that looks out for one another, Landry's team is more sinister. They're not going to be content with scrapping by eating cow's blood. They want human meat and they don't care who they have to go through to get it.
What makes Landry particularly interesting as an opposing force is that is appearance doesn't totally match up to his stature. He looks like a big slob. His clothes don't fit right and appear like he just found them and threw them together. I imagine his ripped sleeveless t-shirt was once a bed sheet or a curtain that he haphazardly wrapped around himself.
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I've gone back and forth on Lisandro Estherren's artwork. There are times that it's gorgeous and powerful, such as when Landry is giving orders to his followers as police arrive. Other times, it looks flat and awkward, lacking form. This breaks the tension that steadily builds throughout the issue and not in a good way. It can take you out of the experience to see a character that looks almost like a cartoon in the middle of a violent and dramatic scene.
Dee Cunniffe's colors are always on point. Redneck #9 flows from the cool blues of the evening to the swirling lights of danger from the approaching police cars to the harsh interior light of a basement. Each time the tone of the scene is set by these colors. It gives you an idea of what you're in for.
Redneck is a gripping read. I have become so emotionally invested in these characters that I go through each issue with bated breath and clenched fists. How can they possibly get out of this situation alive? It's clear that their escape and survival will only come with more bloodshed...a lot more. I just hope Landry is on the receiving end of that because he's become a heinous creature that deserves every bit of violence coming his way.