Written by: Donny Cates
Art and cover by: Lisandro Estherren
Color by: Dee Cuniffe
Letters by: Joe Sabino
Published by: Image Comics/Skybound
All of this…over a horse
“In an attempt to stop the chaos engulfing their family, Perry and Bartlett revisit Bartlett’s past…but digging up old wounds sometimes opens new ones. What exactly is Bartlett’s big secret?”
The saga of the Bowmans and Landrys is officially in its fourth chapter, but the story is a couple centuries old. At the end of chapter three, Perry finally corners Bartlett and starts poking around in his memory to start to get some answers about who killed Slap. She ends up poking a little harder than she intended.
Chapter four starts digging around the roots of the Bowman/Landry feud, 180 years back through Bartlett’s memory. Turns out, Bartlett isn’t just the linchpin of this current conflict. He also contributed to the very root of the rivalry between the two Sulfur Springs families. Bartlett’s been in the mix since his turning.
History repeats itself because drunken idiots don’t learn sh*t from nothin’
Donny Cates continues to shock and amaze with a brilliantly unconventional story. Every time you might think you have a handle on where he’s taking us, he’ll put you on your heels with a new twist. Donny’s sharp pacing brings every episode right to the edge of a cliffhanger before signing off with “Come back real soon!” It’s very frustrating, but for all the right reasons.
The art team is in rare rhythm. Lisandro Estherren has a disturbing way of making violence and gore beautiful. His expressions and non-verbal cues are spot on. Dee Cuniffe’s moody palette is in perfect synch with Estherren’s heavy, scratched line work. There are a lot of flames and scenes with multiple light sources, which can be real challenges for colorists. Cuniffe nails it.
I have to talk about the lettering in this issue. There are several unique challenges in this issue for Joe Sabino. Bartlett is providing exposition from the present while simultaneously providing dialog in the past. Perry is physically interacting with past Bartlett, while speaking to past and present Bartlett. Sabino uses some very clever tricks to keep it all sorted.
If you haven’t been following Redneck, there’s still time to jump on board with this fantastic series. You could get in right now with this issue and have a blast going forward, but I’d definitely recommend getting the first three issues while you can find them.