The Southern Bastards #15 starts off a new story arc that is tense, suspenseful and even tenderness. The Jasons deliver their respective creative A-game to the next level to create a very tense atmosphere for a prodigal daughter finally arrives, whereas the plot paves way to a suspenseful twist and cliffhanger due to what transpired in the past arcs, which surprisingly adds a sense of tender moments in the side story where old flames rekindle somehow. In short, the Jasons are NOT resting their laurels despite their recent accomplishments (i.e. Eisner’s) just yet. Instead, they level up by giving us how far the major antagonist would go in the midst of his latest debacles. Thus, we are treated with a delicious medium-rare/well-done steak!
The most noticeable part in this first chapter is Latour’s artwork. His lines are definitely sharper than ever. His overall interiors are cleaner than before. His colors are brighter and illuminating than past issues. In other words, he improves a lot. Although I kind of miss his rough drawings, particularly the momentous and climatic thirteenth issue. Or perhaps, he shows his newfound confidence in presenting his other art style in various capacities and different contexts. Let’s see what this increasingly phenomenal artist can offer to us in the succeeding issues.
Sure, what can you expect from this highly profane, mature and violent series: Tame and friendly political correct dialogues and kid-friendly visuals? Then settle and read your mainstream comics instead, like Jason Aaron’s Thor and Star Wars books and Jason Latour’s Spider-Gwen. But for more Southern goodness, hard-boiled gritty suspense and deep-fried rich storytelling, The Southern Bastards is the right choice.
P.S. If there’s a potential cross-over, I like to see Negan batting his Lucille against Coach Boss’s counterpart.