Written by, Donny Cates
Art by, Lesandro Estherren
Colors by, Dee Cunniffe
Letters by, Joe Sabino
In the last issue of Redneck the story ends with the Bowman and Landry families fighting in downtown, which exposes the vampire family. The police arrive and everyone scatters.
This issue begins: Phil has been captured by the police and is being interrogated. The interrogation serves as a vehicle for Phil to provide his backstory: how he became connected to the Bowman family vampires and how the Bowman family got involved with the Landry family. After returning from Vietnam Phil learns that his deceased father’s farm is in the process of being repossessed by the bank. On his return from the bank, Phil saves a vampire’s life. The family, the Bowman’s, are grateful for Phil saving their son so they pay off his loan to the the bank, which is own by the Landry family. Later, the Bowman vampires burn the bank to the ground. It’s that kind of book.
Meanwhile, members of the Bowman family have been captured by the Landry family and another group of vampires. Gabriel Villalobos, “Evil”, who questions the Bowmans, is particularly interesting in both his demeanor and backstory. Evil is ex-military who gained his nickname because he has no heart. Sort of. As the story goes, he took out a group of guys and was shot up several times in the process. He escaped alive but his heart stopped. They replaced it with a “valve” system. In essence, he has no heartbeat.
What attracted me to this book was the gritty, brutal, and stark nature of the characters. Vampires kill and suck blood, bank owners are self-serving and crooked. Tenderness and vulnerability are inserted in this story through the humans who have been included in the Bowman vampire family. However, this cruel world feels like it needs a character or story-arc that creates some contrast to the darkness of the current characters. I’m not sure what separates this story from a number of other vampire stories. I like that there are non-vampires in the vampire family and that the Landry family, who are human, seem more evil than the vampires. However, I’d like to see this story diversify before it grows stagnant. Pick it up