Written by Donny Cates
Art by Lisandro Estherren, Dee Cunniffe, Joe Sabino
Published by Image comics
Release Date: April 19, 2017
I have conditioned myself to put up blinders when walking into the comic shop. Too many times have I strolled past the new book shelf to yet again get sucked into a Marvel #1. But as I get to the counter, my local comic shop clerk informs me about a brand-new book from Image comics. The Image fan-boy in me is instantly intrigued, and I am ready to blindly fork over the $3.99 for any new Image title. But as I flip through the book it dawns on me, it’s a vampire book. Like my instinct to avoid the constant influx of Marvel first issues, I have also become conditioned by the phenomenon that was Twilight, to scoff at everything and anything to do with vampires. But right from the cover, it’s clear that this isn’t a book about glittery, pretty vampire boys.
With REDNECK, Cates and Co. decided to give vampires some southern charm, telling the story of an ancient family of vampires in a small Texas town. Living there as far back as the Civil War, the Bowmans have been quietly trying to live unnoticed. But when the younger Bowmans decide to hit up the towns “titty joint”, they run into an old enemy, Father Landry. The Bowmans, and the Landrys have been after each other for generations, and this new conflict could lead to the family’s exposure. Cates does a great job of setting up a feud between the two families, that has a Hatfields and McCoys vibe. The outcome of this feud could change everything the Bowmans have worked so hard to create; without a doubt, making it a page turner.
Lisandro Estherren does not hold back in this first issue either. His loose lines help give the book a rural grit, that pairs perfectly with Dee Cunniffe’s colors. His color pallet help set the mood in this first book, by perfectly portraying the beautiful yet simple intricacies of dusk. The way Cunniffe uses shadows in this book is also stunning as it gives the feeling of despair and hesitance within the Bowmans.
Cates and Co. have put together a fantastic first issue, that is riveting from beginning to end. This first issue gives you a big bite, but I still find myself wanting to read more. I can’t wait to pick up issue #2, and dive deeper into the history of this bloodthirsty family.
I would recommend this book to:
readers of Southern Bastards by Jason Arron, fans of the TV show True Blood, and/or anybody who loves a good Southern Gothic story.