The saga of the most unlikely group of vampires continues in REDNECK #3 from Image Comics. Donny Cates has managed to craft a story that I honestly dismissed as silly at first glance and now I just want to learn as much as I can about the Bowman family and how they ended up being the last bastion of their kind in the middle of East Texas. Father Landry and his boys picked the wrong rednecks to pick a fight with and in the aftermath everything has gone to hell. The younger Bowman boys are out for revenge, their father is stuck in despair, and Bartlett has no idea what to do next. The only solution next is to finally visit the creepy old vampire who has been hiding upstairs since the first issue. This final confrontation leads Bartlett to the harsh truth he has been hiding from for years and finally a trip down memory lane to see where it all started.
Bartlett has been the focus of this tale from the beginning and we are finally starting to learn more about him and his family outside of the young boys who are out for pure violence and their father who has retreated from reality. Cates has teased two key players in the Bowman family and issue number three brings them into focus. The first is Granpa Bowman who is just about the creepiest depiction of a vampire I have seen in any medium. His words to Bartlett act as a wake up call for who he is, for what vampires were before the humans forced them into hiding, and the difference between domestication and raw nature. This moment has been building and it lived up to expectations. It felt unhinged, unsettling, and genuine. The second is young Perry. Her power to enter ones mind is finally revealed as she send Bartlett back to his past when roles were reversed and he was the one being hunted.
The pencils by Lisandro Estherren have grown on me as this series has progressed. My first impressions were that it was rather messy but the more I look at the more I like it. The rough lines and loose style really fit the haphazard nature of the story. By issue number three things have gone completely off the rails and the frantic art style plays into that very well. Above all I need to mention the amazing design of Granpa Bowman. To try and describe it would not due it justice, suffice to say he is the embodiment of of the creepy old vampire who looks frail and diseased but in reality is the most fearsome of the group. I am really enjoying this series and I would recommend it to any and all comic book fans so if you have no jumped on this bandwagon yet get down to World’s Coolest Comics and catch up.