"Redlands #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Jordie Bellaire
Illustrated by Vanesa R. Del Rey
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 13th, 2017
A crazed killer is menacing the town of Redlands, Florida, leaving a trail of female corpses in his wake. The bodies are left in a ritualistic fashion as a calling card of sorts. They serve as a very specific message to the three witches that run the town through the police department. This madman has found out their secret and he’s threatening to reveal it to the world.
The first issue of Redlands serves as a great introduction to these women and the power they possess. We now jump to the present day, decades later. They have not aged at all and now they’ve moved from the hunted to a position of authority in the town. The opening page of both issues shows the same shot, separated by forty years. This is a great way to begin the comics.
|Click images to enlarge|
Redlands works like a supernatural-tinged police procedural. The issue opens up with the three detectives going over the details they know so far and what little they have in the form of leads when a new body turns up. We’re instantly pulled into their world and lives, knowing what they’ve been through in the past and what they’re up to in the present. They don’t joke around when it comes to this stuff and they’re working hard to keep this place safe, not only for the public, but for themselves. As mentioned, they have their own secrets.
It’s this twist that amplifies Redlands. Although the main characters work on the police force and are trying to protect the town, they’re still witches. That status comes with some otherworldly needs, including human sacrifice. You’re forced to come to grips with this. Is their monthly sacrifice permitted as it keeps everyone else safe? Is that a price the townspeople are willing to pay? Would they still be considered good guys?
|Click image to enlarge|
Vanesa R. Del Ray’s artwork and Jordie Bellaire’s colors are an incredible one-two punch for this book. They quickly capture the tone of the series with some grim and gritty images. You can practically feel the stifling Florida heat in the opening pages, casting a blood red hue in the sky. The darkness during the evening scenes is almost overpowering, like it’s trying to snake in and gobble up the characters and the witches are the only things keeping it at bay.
There are no doubts upon opening this comic that it is a horror story. You get that feeling right away. Quiet terror permeates through every page, slowly growing as you go deeper and deeper through it. This isn’t a world of jump scares and spiking soundtracks. This is the kind of horror that will get under your skin and grab hold of your very soul.
Redlands is like a supernatural True Detective with a tinge of Silence of the Lambs thrown in. It works as a solid cop drama and is only intensified by the occult abilities of the three main characters. This is a horror comic to watch.