A small town Florida sheriff learns the hard way not to mess with a coven of witches in REDLANDS #1 from Image Comics. Jordie Bellaire has colored some of the best comics we have all read over the last few years and now has co-created an awesome comic book with Vanesa R. Del Rey. Set in the Redlands, Florida in the late seventies this title opens with a police station under siege by dark forces. The local police attempted to hang and burn a coven of witches but they are not so easy to kill. For centuries they have been dethroning kings and tyrants who have grown fat and rich on the backs of others. Now they are here to free Redlands with their own unique brand of justice.
With the release of REGRESSION and now REDLANDS from Image Comics I am beginning to rethink my stance that horror does not play well in comics as a medium. This title captures that feeling of dread lurking right around the corner amazingly well. The tension and atmosphere inside the locked down police station is palpable and the terror of those under siege can be felt leaping off the page. The script is incredibly tight and moves along as a quick pace only to slow down at the most tense of moments. And talk about tension! Bellaire and Del Rey have set such a small stage for their drama to play out but the claustrophobic nature of the story plays into it perfectly. This is definitely a cold open that throws readers right into the middle of the story and I am sure we will learn more about the coven and the local sheriff in later issues.
A big part of what makes this book work so well is the art. It is straight up creepy in the best way. A heavy use of black and a sketchy style create a frenetic look on the page. Everything is going crazy, people are losing their minds, and it is all lit by the lone fire from the attempting hanging just outside the door. The art is so good it could tell the story without the words. These two have tapped into something special with REDLANDS #1 and people need to take notice and pick up this first issue before it sells out, because it will. At World’s Coolest Comics we have already gone through our initial order so if you want a copy be sure to order one so we can get it to you before Diamond runs out.