Its flashback time in REDNECK #4 from Image Comics. Donny Cates takes readers back to the roots of the conflict between the Landry’s and the Bowman’s as Bartlett works through his memories to try and find out who it was that killed Slap at the end of issue #1. The tale dates back to 1836 when Bartlett was a deserter of the Alamo who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hunted both by the Bowman family of vampires and Sheriff Landry he awakes to a new living death surrounded by the fallen of both groups. Over the years the Landry’s have kept chasing the Bowman’s from one side of the country to the other while Bartlett attempted to find his place in the world. It takes a strong push from Perry to get past Bartlett’s mental blocks of that fateful night, but once he does the realization might be worse than he thought. It was not the Landry’s who killed Slap, but something far worse.
This issue was great and served two purposes. The first was to give readers the backstory of the family and how Bartlett came to be one of them, the second being a much needed to twist to avoid the remainder of the tale becoming a stale revenge story. The trip into the past answered so many questions and did so quickly, spanning hundred of years in just a few pages. Even though it was short the flashback never felt rushed while at the same time filled in all the story gaps necessary. We learned about JV’s wife, the source of Granpa’s hatred for Bartlett, and the incident that began the feud in the first place. I feel like Cates walked a tightrope on this issue and stuck the landing perfectly. The revelation of the real killer on the closing page will propel the narrative moving forward and yet again I close an issue of REDNECK with eager anticipation for the next issue.
Lisandro Estherren’s pencils continue to impress from issue to issue. REDNECK #4 shines in particular due to the vast distance that it travels in both time and space. Bartlett’s trip down memory lane is beautifully drawn and properly depressing in its colors. I don’t know is REDNECK is slated for a long run or just an extended mini series but the cast of characters created has sucked me in and I want to see where there crazy life takes them next. I will continue to recommend this title for readers looking for something a little different and to keep their eye on Donny Cates as he takes over Thanos from Marvel Comics in the coming months.