Southern Bastards Volume 1 Review (Image Comics Series)

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Southern Bastards Volume 1 Review

About Southern Bastards Volume 1

Some people will say that all children rebel against their parents. Others will say that children grow up to become their parents. I can see the merit in both of these sentiments. I was a punk rock teenager rebelling against my conservative and religious family.

Even though we still don’t see eye-to-eye on these topics I do find myself using the mannerisms of different family members.  Nothing is more cringe-worthy than when my mother tells me I did something that reminds her of either my father or stepfather.

Southern Bastards is a gritty and violent tale of corruption in a small Alabama town. It is a creation of writer Jason Aaron and artist Jason Latour. The book is filled with all of our favorite cliches of the southern United States. We see the obsession with football. Everyone seems to hang out at the same barbecue restaurant. Underneath the sweet tea and carnage, we see a man trying to reconcile with his deceased father.

Earl Tubb left home at a young age and never looked back. Now he is an older man going back to his childhood home to clean out his father’s belongings. His once-quick trip turns into a long stay when he sees how his town has been corrupted by a gang of people from his past. Earl is resentful of his father for what has happened in their lives.

At the same time, he finds himself stepping into his father’s shoes. This dissonance seems to be the driving motivation for this character. Earl’s struggle is beautifully displayed in both the writing and the artwork. Both Aaron and Latour use their respective styles to juxtapose the characters’ pasts with their current predicaments.

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Southern Bastards Review

Southern Bastards Volume 1 Review

Jason Aaron’s writing utilizes flashbacks in order to show parallels and differences in Earl’s life. The flashbacks are cleverly woven into the story. Sometimes the flashback sequence only lasts one or two panels. These panels often reflect upon the panels directly next to them. This lets the reader quickly draw connections and learn the book’s backstory. 

Jason Latour’s artwork works to enhance Aaron’s use of flashbacks. The panels in the main narrative usually have a dull grey or beige palette. Latour uses colors to emphasize certain parts of the artwork. This creates an interesting and dynamic art style for the main plot. The flashbacks are drawn in a warm palette of reds, oranges, and yellows. The quick changes in color scheme help readers follow both the main story and the flashbacks. Fans of the movie Memento may find familiarity in this visual structure. 

Another interesting use of color schemes can be found in the covers of the issues. The covers are typically representative of what is going on with the main story.  The majority of the covers are drawn in the red palette found in the story’s flashbacks. This shows the two storylines combined into one. There are currently two issues that do not follow this theme.

Southern Bastards offers up an emotional journey about digging up the past. At the same time, the book contains much conflict and violence. Aaron and Latour did a great job of balancing the two aspects of this book. On top of all that, readers are treated to a Dixie-fried story filled with the culture found in the southern United States. Southern Bastards definitely hits the spot when it comes to summer reading.

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Have You Read Southern Bastards Volume 1?

We hope you enjoyed our review of Southern Bastards volume 1. Have you read this Image Comics series? Let us know on social media!

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