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"Red Border #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by AWA Studios

article-cover

Written by Jason Starr
Illustrated by Will Conrad
Colored by Ivan Nunes
Lettered by Sal Cipriano
2020, 24 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on June 24th, 2020

Review:

Karina and Eduardo managed to escape across the border into Texas, fleeing from the mob. They want Karina dead, as she's preparing to testify against them as a witness. The thing is, while the couple has made it out of Mexico, they are not out of danger just yet. They have found shelter with a nice family just over the border. They seem a bit too nice though. Something is definitely off about them, but on the surface, everything looks fine.

I will admit I was ready to give up on Red Border about halfway through this issue. Sure, there are some odd things that overall make it seem like a basic thriller. The characters are fine, but I wasn't super invested just yet. Then we got to the last page and everything changed. I won't spoil it here, but I'm totally in for this series now.

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In hindsight, we were waiting for this other shoe to drop. There is certainly something going on with this family and not just how they speak to Mexicans or ask to touch their skin. It's more than just systemic racism. Writer Jason Starr keeps us going for a bit before ripping the rug out from under us.

Artist Will Conrad captures this tone perfectly. These people smile just a bit too wide. Their gaze lingers for a little too long. These things add to their overall eerie nature, despite their clean appearance. Conrad also showcases the uneasy feeling that Eduardo and Karina feel as they struggle to figure out what to do next in the face of all this.

Colorist Ivan Nunes makes it clear that there's a third villain in Red Border and that's the heat of the sun. It beats down on these characters with a bright intensity. Eduardo and Karina are safe from the sun at this ranch, but is it a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire? The light also hides the horrors lurking just beneath the surface. There are no shadows for these monsters to hide in, so can they really be so bad?

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The mob is an afterthought at this point. I'm sure they'll come into play down the line and it will make for some interesting interactions, but for now, they're firmly on the back burner. We get just enough of them in Red Border #2 to remind us of how ruthless these gangsters are and what they're capable of. The boss talks a bit too much too, although letterer Sal Cipriano handles this well.

Red Border definitely heats up with this issue. In looking at the series so far, I wish the revelation in this issue had come earlier. It would have packed a bigger punch and certainly upped the stakes from the get go. Now that we're here, I'm excited to see where we go next, as it's sure to be a path full of bloodshed and terror.

Grades:

Story: threeandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK
Art: fourstars
Overall: 3.5 Star Rating

 

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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