Southern Bastards has had a slow buildup lately. Near the end of the very first arc: Coach Boss beat Earl Tubb to death in front of the entire town and that one act has hung over his head like a sword of Damocles. The vengeance of Earl’s estranged daughter Roberta has been waiting to arrive all that time, and now it’s finally here in an issue that ties up a lot of loose ends, as it opens new roads.
The last arc has been a convergence of various parties out to destroy Coach Boss or just out for good old-fashioned revenge. Chief among them being Roberta Tubb, who as a military veteran has systematically made Boss’ life a living nightmare before dealing the final blow. As always with Southern Bastards, Jason Aaron and Jason Latour paint a pretty dire picture in Craw County, and a sense of inevitability for what’s happening to Boss as more or less a cosmic punishment. Despite all that though, Boss still manages to remain somewhat sympathetic and pitiable, even while confronted with an endless host of his sins in this issue.
While Jason Latour is beloved as a writer on Spider-Gwen, his art is equal to his work as a writer. The grimy world of Craw County is in its full and grim glory in this issue with the converging conflicts, held together by Roberta Tubb’s hunt for Coach Boss as the primary driver. Even for Southern Bastards, this issue is especially violent, tied together by Latour’s incredibly kinetic art. There’s also no other comic where you’ll get gritty violence perpetuated by various animals, forest hunters, and angry veterans. While you’d be joining Southern Bastards rather late in the game, any issue is someone’s first, and this issue is as incredible as the preceding nineteen. Now is as good a time as ever.
4 Monkeys out of 5