SOUTHERN BASTARDS #7
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Jason Latour
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: Febraury 11, 2015
The origin of Euless Boss continues as Southern Bastards #7 gives Boss something he has been clamoring for his entire young life; time on the football field.
For a title that has put the characters, and readers, through the wringer, issue #7 was optimistic. Although it was short lived, and this will probably be the ceiling for what people would consider ‘happiness’ in Southern Bastards, optimism was there. Boss must deal with many influential people in his life, mostly bad, and to see his reaction towards each one is the best aspects of the issue. One influence, in particular, is dismissed by Boss and practically mocked and to know what Boss becomes makes it very interesting to see whats to come. The second best moment of the comic comes from when Boss’s two biggest influences finally meet face to face. A tense exchange between Big and Boss’s father with Boss as a bystander was rough to witness but may have been the most important aspect of Boss’s young life so far. The BEST moment of the comic, however, was a small back and forth between Big and Boss after Boss’s final football game. A wonderfully written scene showing Boss’s passion for the game of football and his realization that it might all be over. Heartbreaking and then comforting after Big’s words which shows another seed that was planted in what would become Euless Boss from the first few issues. From issue #1, where he looked like a run of the mill crime boss, Aaron has written Boss with great complexity. As hope slowly grows though, everything is brought back down to earth in the final few pages that brings Boss back to the bottom of the totem pole. The issue was perfectly paced and gave each element that Aaron wanted to show enough time in the sun and never felt rushed. I also appreciated the football talk. Coming from a football fan I appreciated the realistic football talk that pops up during the issue.
The visual story telling was a stand out in Southern Bastards. Small details, like the beginning of the comic where they compare the popular kid’s arm cast (full of signatures) to Boss’s foot cast (with only one signature, a poorly written “Big”) or Boss looking into the mailbox and sitting by the phone, are subtle and did not need a voice over or dialogue box to show what they were doing. It takes both sides, the writing and art, to make visual story telling stand out and they accomplished just that.
Jason Latour’s art is as great as it has been the previous six issues. Latour’s use of heavy shadows create a hint of an ulterior motive in every panel and that every character has something to hide. His detail in the characters and way he is drawing them perfectly fits the tone and the ‘down home’ feel of the book. I can’t imagine anyone else but Latour doing the art.
Southern Bastards may not be the most explosive book out this week, but it is one of the best. Aaron and Latour are killing it on the origin of Euless Boss and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.
The Verdict: 9.0/10