Southern Bastards #14
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Jason Latour
Cover: Jason Latour
This issue is what you hoped it would be ever since Aaron shocked us with the death of Earl Tubbs and the revelation that he had a daughter. All of that build up and anticipation to actually meet Roberta pays off as we’re introduced to a woman who is very much her father’s daughter. Aaron gives us that same stubbornness and no nonsense attitude that helped to shape Earl into the man he was. The family dynamic is also explored via several voicemails left by Roberta’s mother and a very touching flashback moment. This was one of the standout sequences in the issue because Aaron packs so much heart into this short scene. You’ll even miss Earl which is a testament to how great his character development was in the short time we got to know him. Hopefully we get more father/daughter moments like that between the two.
Latour’s artwork has been one of the other high points in this series from day one. His style captures the ugly beauty that is Alabama and deepens the narrative from panel to panel. Though Roberta is military trained he balances out her physical strength with the emotion of a person trying to ease back into her previous life. Putting her humanity at the forefront and saving her badass skills for later. The fight scene is just a visceral blur of smashed faces and bodies heightened by the red coloring of the action. But he also nails that emotional gut punch that Roberta received from the neighbors kid. From her face to the body language it’s just one of several strong emotional scenes I found myself identifying with in this issue.
Ever since the first issue, Aaron and Latour’s Southern Bastards keeps surprising and delivers great storytelling. Some of the best characters in comics are in this series and it’s a collection of some good and some horrible people but all of them feel real. “Homecoming” wraps up on the perfect beat because there’s nothing more country than riding in your pick up truck with your daddy’s shirt wrapped around his old gun while you’re on the way to get some answers. You want your money’s worth? Then pick up Southern Bastards!