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"Redneck #21" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Image Comics / Skybound Entertainment

Redneck 21 00

Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Lisandro Estherren
Colored by Dee Cunniffe
Lettered by Joe Sabino
2019, 32 pages, $3.99
Comic released on June 26th, 2019

Review:

The Bowmans cannot catch a break. This poor family has been through so much heartbreak and bloodshed that it's safe to say there's no “happily ever after” in their future. As Bartlett lays broken and battered, the family gets desperate, going to great lengths to save one of their own. This is dangerous business and it does not come without a cost.

Although they're a group of vampires, the Bowmans are held together by love. They care so deeply for one another. This makes their actions have such a huge impact. Their highs are higher and their lows are devastating. Of course, Bartlett's predicament is just one of the challenges they're facing right now. They're in a town full of literal monsters, so no one is getting off easy.

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We didn't see the specifics of what sent Bartless into such a fragile state. Redneck #21 reveals the extent of his injuries and they're horrifying. Artist Lisandro Estherren captures the terror of this reality coupled with the sadness of defeat in Bartlett's eyes. He is a broken man. After all, what's a vampire to do without a jaw? I'll let that sink in for a moment to give you a small taste of what you're in for. The actual image is so very unsettling. It hurts just looking at it.

Colorist Dee Cunniffe lulls us into this false sense of security as this strange ritual begins. It looks almost peaceful with the torches lighting the way in a cool blue evening. When the fangs come out, the scene pops with red. We're reminded that these are vampires we're dealing with and they're capable of some pretty violent things. Blood flows dark under the moonlit sky.

While Bartlett's story definitely takes center stage, every member of the Bowman clan is in some kind of danger. Writer Donny Cates wasn't content with one threat and needed to add a few more to keep us on our toes. The one that stands out for Redneck #21 is Perry. She's really bonded with Bartlett over the course of this series and she will go to great lengths to keep her uncle safe. We had an idea of what her powers were, but we really see her let loose in this issue.

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Perry is the only one that can really communicate with Bartlett in his current state, as she can speak to him telepathically. Letterer Joe Sabino shows this exchange in caption boxes. Perry's are blue, looking innocent despite all the horrors she's seen in her young life. Bartlett's are a more traditional white. Interspersed within are excerpts from his wife, July’s, letter to him in red. This all adds up to a great presentation.

I read Redneck in a state of fear, terrified by what will await the Bowman family with each turn of the page. They may have been through chaos and untold amounts of bloodshed, but they've managed to persevere. That doesn't make all these atrocities any easier to endure.

Grades:

Story: Fourandahalfstars Redneck 21 Small
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Art: Fourstars
Overall: Fourandahalfstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
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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