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Southern Bastards #16: Here Lies A Man?

Written by Ashley Leckwold on Wednesday, January 18 2017 and posted in Reviews

Southern Bastards #16: Here Lies A Man?

In a super suspenseful issue, we see the ways Coach Boss is secretly losing grip.

Source: Image Comics

Written by: Jason Aaron

Art by: Jason Latour

Letters by: Jared K. Fletcher

Southern fuckin' Bastards, man. I don't know how this comic climbed its way into my heart the way it did, but I'm glad it did because it's more suspenseful than a good football game with every issue.

The issue is almost a bottle issue, with most of the action taking place in the house of Theron Goode, a player for the Locust Fork Superbolts. Ahead of the game, Coach Boss pays a visit to Theon's house to have a chat with him and to take him out of commission for the game. Which I guess is better than the initial assumption that Boss was going kill him, but the wind up in this issue makes you think he'll do it anyway. Boss is a desperate man these days. I wouldn't blame him if he did kill a teenager. I mean, I wouldn't commend it, but I wouldn't blame him.

Still, the way the Jasons, Aaron and Latour, build the suspense and the fallout in this issue is masterful. With every page turn, the tension rises to a nearly unbearable point where you actually wonder and worry if Boss is going to do something that he regrets. It also builds up Theron in such a way that the reveal of his status at the actual game made me gasp out loud upon my first read. In a book full of tough SOBs, Theron Goode might just be one of the toughest for the way he spat in the face of a giant.

Latour's use of color has always been a low-key highlight of the book, using a red scale to evoke a sense of heat and humidity in Craw County. There's plenty of that here, starting from the opening where Boss and his crew arrive in Locust Fork in the pink hues of sunset. However, the most unsettling page has to be as they leave, cast in a blue as the headlights on the car look like cigarette burns on film and coach sits in the back with blood on his hands and no words to be said.

If Theon standing up to Boss wasn't reckoning enough, you get the feeling that perhaps he has finally brought war on himself by the end of the issue. He's already got enough ready to bear down on him within Craw County without even including Roberta, but how are you going to deal when the opposing team's fans have machine guns now?

Well, time will find a way for Boss, I guess. Or the thick end of a tree branch. Whatever comes first.


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About the Author - Ashley Leckwold

Ashley Leckwold is a writer based out of Atlanta who is the cross-section of a magical girl and a demon queen. She has done a whole other host of weirdness, including work at Steampunk Chronicle, Nerdophiles, the Ratchet Retrocast, The Rainbow Hub, PopOptiq and the Killer Queen and 27 anthologies published through Red Stylo Media. Most of her current work is non-fictional and found at her blog as well as Graphic Policy. She can often be found on Twitter at @misskittyf crying about comics, TV, pro-wrestling and music.

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