This issue picks up eight months after the events of last month’s issue, with the vampire family having pulled off a daring escape from the police, and now settled in their new home in Waco, Texas.
Redneck #7 is a solid issue in the series, and sets up this new arc going forward. The story itself is a slow burn, but manages to keep the reader invested as the story unfolds. Cates’s writing is amazing, as he endears the reader to these characters. He sets a great tone for this issue, and puts the emphasis on the loss the family has endured. Their ancestral home is gone, they’re wanted by the police, and they don’t know what to do next. After losing the slaughterhouse they owned, their easy food supply is now gone. Forcing them to rely on Phil and Evil to keep them nourished.
The issue contains a considerable amount of exposition, which helps set the somber tone of the story. It also leads to some satisfying character interactions between Bartlett and Father Landry. The way Bartlett acts as a sort of “big brother” to Father Landry humanizes his character, as he teaches him the ins and outs of being a vampire. Cates uses this moment in the story to run through the various vampire tropes we’ve come to know over the years. It expands on the lore, what type of vampires they are, and what items may affect them. This comes into play later on and adds to the captivating nature of the story. My one complaint about the story in this issue, is that Cates doesn’t make very good use of Greg and Sheamus. The two of them don’t really do anything significant, and are just sort of…there. With enough development, the two could grow as characters and make me care about them. That being said, Cates does craft a surprising ending to this issue, which sets up this latest arc.
Another gripe I had about this book was the artwork. I’m not a fan of Estherrens artwork, as his linework feels busy, which makes the characters look strange. If the excess lines were cleaned up, it would give the title a more refined look. Father Landry’s design, however, is impressive; as Estherren dresses him down. It keeps his look in line with the style of the other characters, and makes him feel like one of the family while he learns to be a vampire. The art lends itself to the emotional beats of the story, making the group really feel like a family as they play cards in their home. The environmental scenes look exceptional, and they really show off the setting of the story. I found the panel layouts to be well done, with moments that’ll catch the reader’s eye. They also provide good scene transitions on each page. Dee Cuniffe’s colors work well with the somber setting of the issue, while Joe Sabino’s lettering give the writing a good sense of weight.
This new arc for Redneck starts off slow, but ends with a bang. While the art could use some improvements, it does manage to hit some good emotional beats. Cates’s writing is astounding, and help make the issue enjoyable to read.
3.5 Stakes out of 5