Southern Bastards #16
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Jason Latour
Cover: Jason Latour
I knew this issue was going to be good but after the third audible “Damn!” by page eight it was evident that “good” would be an understatement.
With Coach Boss realizing that his losing streak can’t continue he’s decided to take matters into his own hands and remove the star player of the opposing team from the upcoming game. It’s a savage move that doesn’t go as planned for the characters involved and you, the reader. Aaron’s dialogue between Coach Boss and the talented Theron was unexpected but one of the best exchanges this series has seen. Once again we see the skewed thinking of Coach Boss laid out and how he attempts to rationalize his actions but it’s when young Theron challenges all of it and calls out his one time idol that it’s all shattered. Theron’s disappointment an anger come to a head when the violence starts and his family is in danger but the creative team isn’t ready to let things settle down just yet. There’s a few surprises left during the second half of the issue when Aaron introduces Colonel Quick McKlusky who gives Coach Boss a subtle middle finger as they discuss the misfortune that happened to Theron and his family.
Once again Latour hits every single beat perfectly that moves this story on it’s emotional highs and lows. The intro is pure cinematic greatness and you can just hear the music hit when the Southern Bastards banner appears behind Coach Boss and his boys and the panel goes all red! Which is a perfect contrast to the quiet scenes that preceded it. The characters are on point as usual especially when Theron is chipping away at Coach’s “nobility”. The layout during this scene helps with the intensity along with the muting of certain colors while those reds continue to pop. Which also help to make the living room scene one brutal and exciting set of panels from start to finish. Colonel McKlusky’s resemblance to a certain celebrity was just fantastic and I couldn’t help but read the dialogue in his voice the entire time.
Aaron and Latour continue to give us some of the most intense storytelling in Southern Bastards and make coming back to the Dirty South more enjoyable in each issue! And after the way they left things here it looks like Craw County might end up looking for some payback.