Published on December 10th, 2014 | by JCDoyle0
Southern Bastards #6 – Review
It’s all about determination and good old fashion beatings in this months Southern Bastards. And if you chuck in a workout montage, you’ve pretty much got the handle on this issue.
Euless Boss wants to be a Runnin’ Reb so much he continues to go to the try outs despite the fact he receives a thorough kicking every time. He trains with the team, they give him a beating for being useless, he goes home. The next day he trains with the team, beating, home. While this is going on he has been noticed by Ol’ Big, a blind, black man who might be able to help him out but at first Euless is hesitant to accept the help: what will his dad thing? To be honest, his dad is a waste of space: he fills their caravan with stolen chickens and shagging lowlifes and cares little for Euless’ attempts to impress him so it doesn’t take too long for the young Coach to adopt Ol’ Big as a father figure. This relationship lasts for years as is illustrated by the brief foray into the present day where the Coach and the Blind man worry over losing a game.
Back in the past, there is the obligatory training montage where Euless under goes a Karate Kid style training regime and low and behold he manages to get a spot on the team. Hurrah! Part of this is down to Euless’ determination not to give up despite the hatred thrown at him from certain member’s of the team but he is also helped by admirers of Ol’ Big who are also Runnin’ Rebs.
Everything is finally working out for Euless as he rushes home to share his good news with his deadbeat dad but, not surprisingly, there’s a few unwanted guests back at the caravan and things get messy.
The artwork this month is sufficiently brutal with a lot of almost abstract images of football training. The character designs reflect the nasty, underbelly of humanity that populates this story and even Euless’ fresh young face only manages to stay in shape for a few panels at a time: the constant beatings distort his appearance making the reader almost plead with him to give up. Then, when he finally manages to get on to the team, Latour illustrates the boy with a much smoother, rounder face almost split in two by the huge grin he wears: his emotions are reflected by his physical appearance. It’s a simple but affective way of engaging the reader with the character.
Unfortunately the script itself isn’t as engaging as the previous issues. The nature of this story means that this issue is very visual, what with the constant beatings of one character or another, and Aaron lets the narrative take a back seat for too many of the pages. There are a number of clichés on show, such as the training montage and the deadbeat, caravan dwelling father, which are a little too clichéd and don’t have the clever little twists that I would have expected to see from this comic. Overall this issue feels like it’s too little story over too many pages, which is a shame because the bullying aspect of the narrative is very important to the Euless character. In the first arc we learnt what a bastard the Coach was but here the reader is being shown a different side of him which is getting lost in the violence.
Although I didn’t find this issue as good as previous one’s, I believe that there are great things to come from this comic.
Title: Southern Bastards
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Jason Latour