Review: Southern Bastards Book One

Southern Bastards Book One PremiereSouthern Bastards Book One Premiere by Jason Aaron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

description
Just like good bourbon, Jason Aaron and Jason Latour’s Southern Bastards has just the right mix of smooth and burn to make this book one of my favorite titles EVER. I get that they burrowed from other classic stories and play up some southern tropes, but ask me if I give a shit. And y’all, they do it right.
description
The first half of the book focuses on Earl Tubb’s return home and his run in with the man that is Craw County. Been a looonnnggg time since Earl’s been home and things have changed a mite. Coach Boss runs the show and these two mean motherfuckers are destined to cross paths. Earl’s a larger than life character that I straightaway took a likin’ to. A man’s man with a sense of duty that wants nothin’ more than to mind his business, but finds himself forced to decide between doin’ nothin’ and doin’ what’s right.
description
The 2nd half of the book spotlights Coach Euless Boss. He’s rattlesnake mean and colder than a witch’s tit with a serious hankerin’ for high school football. How he came to coach the Runnin’ Rebs, as well as control Craw County is detailed here. While I hated this ornery sonuvabitch, I had to respect his determination. There’s nothing he won’t do to get what he wants.
description
Latour’s southerner background provides him with all that’s necessary to create a convincing backdrop for his thoughfully designed characters. The places felt like he was pulling them from memory. Right down to every roadside sign, team logo, or run-down trailer. Craw County’s natives shared the same attention to detail. Earl’s huge hands, Boss’ hat, and the tatted-up rednecks that put down roots in Tubb’s hometown share the same authenticity.
description
Being a massive fan of Aaron’s terrific work in Scalped, I’ve been waitin’ for him to return to the creator-owned crime genre I’ve fallen so in love with. This title’s on pace to be even better than that masterpiece of crime fiction. Fans of southern noir need look no further. Aaron and Latour really take care in laying the foundations for what I hope will be a lengthy stay in Craw County. Is it a recommend? Darn tootin’! IT’S GRANNY-SLAPPIN’ GOOD!

Get this review and more at:

View all my reviews

Advertisements

Review: Men of Wrath

Men of WrathMen of Wrath by Jason Aaron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Men of Wrath is a short, but oh so sweet, piece of southern noir that I really fuckin’ dug. Jason Aaron continues to feed my jones for hardboiled crime fiction with this mean little ditty.

description

No convoluted story here, just a straight gut-punch of a tale about the men of the Rath family and their legacy of violence passed from father to son with each new generation. Ira Rath’s brimming with the crazy maliciousness that seems to have corrupted all the men of the Rath family tree. He’s the definition of an ice cold sonofa’ bitch. This book narrowly focuses on Ira, the enmity between him and his son, a house fulla’ guns, and a bloody climax that kept me on the edge of my seat right to the end.

description

This one is heavy on the cruelty and right to the point. 5 issues and done. Sometimes it should be like that. Plenty of violence and very little mercy to go around. Aaron’s doesn’t seem as long-winded in this one as in some of his other, more well-known books. I’m cool with that. Plus, he’s got Garney ridin’ shotgun with this book. Aaron seems comfortable to allow Ron to do his fair share in tellin’ the tale.

description

Ron Garney really impressed me. I’ve been ambivalent towards most of his stuff in the past, but it’s usually of the capes and cowls variety. No web-shootin’ or claw poppin’ here, and he nailed it. Either his style or my tastes have changed, because I also went for the more recent Wolverine stuff he did with Aaron a little ways back. Here’s to hopin’ that these two boys hook up again for another book down the road.

description

If you like happy endings, sensitive characters, and lots of profound dialogue look elsewhere. If you’re cool with mean folks, doing horrible things, with lots of bullets and blood, this one’s worth a look-see.

Get this review and more at:

View all my reviews

Review: Thor, Vol. 1: Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron , Russell Dauterman (Illustrator)

Thor, Vol. 1: Goddess of ThunderThor, Vol. 1: Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been waiting quite a while to get my hands on all 5 of these issues, and Marvel Unlimited finally came through for me!

description

Most of this story was worth the wait! Loved the new chick, loved the politics on Asgard, loved Maaal…Maleket…the badass dark elf’s part in everything, and loved how Thor reacted for the most part.

So, Thor lost his worthiness to wield Mjolnir at the end of Original Sins. And nobody knows what the hell Fury whispered in his ear that caused him to drop it, but Thor has been sobbing and cuddling with the hammer ever since, trying to win back its love.

description

Mystery Thor shows up on the moon after everyone has left to go fight Frost Giants, and snatches it right up…no problem.

description

So who is this new Thor?!
Well, don’t expect to get any answers out of this volume!
Yeah, yeah. Most of you already knew that. But I’d been purposely avoiding everything spoilery since this title started. Do you know how hard that’s been? Ugh. Anyway, I wanted to wait till I could read this volume for myself. So, when I got to the end of that last issue and I still didn’t know who Lady-Thor was? Fuck you, I’ll call her that if I want to! I felt a mighty disappointment. Because god knows when MU will release enough issues for me to read the next volume…
So. I did it. I went ahead and read the spoilers.
sigh
Hmmm. Ok.

description

There were some great scenes in this one, and there were some not so great scenes in this one. But, overall, I thought Goddess of Thunder was a winner.
I was almost annoyed that old Thor insisted on fighting new Thor, but then it turned into a parody of the usual When-Two-Heroes-Meet-They-Gotta-Fight trope, so it won me over. Plus, since Thor thought his mother might be the one behind the mask, it had a funny ending…

description

Not everything was quite as funny to me.
The idea that a female villain is going to just say:
Oh! I’m so impressed with the strides you’re making in feminism! I’m going to just give up, let you whack me in the head, and then haul me off to jail…simply because we both have a vag!

Re-donkulous.
First, she’s not the first or only female hero out there.
Second, this chick wouldn’t care even if she was!
Hello? Hardened criminal? She just wants to steal shit and move on, not make a statement about women in the workplace. But thanks for shoehorning that in there for all of us lady-readers…I guess?

description

As long as I’m on a bitchy roll, I may as well get it all out.
So why does Thor give this new chick his name? Why can’t she just be the Jane Doe, Goddess of Thunder? I mean, it makes no sense!
What? All of the Avengers are going to have to stop calling him Thor and start calling him Odinson, now? That’s stupid!
If I lost the ability to drive my minivan (my equivalent to Mjolnir), and somebody else had to drive it, I wouldn’t start calling them Anne.
I’m still Anne. Just a minivanless Anne!
I’m all for more female superheros. We need them, we want them, and it’s long past time that comics started representing a huge part of their readership with a bit more respect.
But.
I think they can do that without renaming characters.
{end rant}

description

However, this was so much fun to read that I overlooked most of the stuff that bugged me. It’s fun, and this new Goddess of Thunder kicked ass!
Oh! I also enjoyed Sif’s cameo. I would love to see more of her in something.
Anything! Maybe even a title of her own?
*big pleading eyes*

description

Anyway, even if I didn’t agree with everything, I thought it was a great concept, and a blast to read!
Definitely Recommended.

View all my reviews

Review: Southern Bastards Vol. 2 – Gridiron; by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour

Southern Bastards, Vol. 2: GridironSouthern Bastards, Vol. 2: Gridiron by Jason Aaron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Firstly, thanks to NetGalley for the free ARC! I’m happy to give my review in exchange for the chance to have read this.

Following up on the events of Vol. 1, this story focuses on Coach Boss, and how he got to where he is. Cue about every terrible thing that could happen to a kid, and that happened to him as a kid. Deadbeat Dad would be mildly putting it…he only wanted to play football, and through the determination and help of an older Black man, of course, he turns into a demon. But he injures himself badly, and the coach does everything he can to make sure that Euless Boss won’t go to College to play ball.

This need for football in his life leads Boss to a fateful decision, which ends up having repercussions in the modern day as well.

Again, the last few pages set up the return of Tubb’s daughter, which I hope we finally get around to next issue.

I think I finally figured it out though; this series is about how growing up in the South, and with a complex Father-figure, most of the characters are Bastards in some way, in that they’re without the guidance of the father or the father is dead. Just so happens they’re also bastards in the other way too.

I think I liked the first Volume better, but it speaks to Aaron’s skills as a writer that we nearly forget just how gruesome Boss’ crimes were and he’s almost a sympathetic figure.

Still, it’s a solid series, and I’ll definitely be continuing to read.

Thanks again NetGalley & Jason(s)!


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

View all my reviews

Review: Southern Bastards – Here was a Man; by Jason Aaron

Southern Bastards, Vol. 1: Here Was a ManSouthern Bastards, Vol. 1: Here Was a Man by Jason Aaron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

description

My first Indy Week Buddy Read Shallows. Thanks to Humble Bundle for their last and superb Image Bundle. I will be flowing forth with tons of IMAGE reviews as such! (especially since I figured out how to load them onto my iPad!)

So this non-mainstream slice of Jason Aaron is his first since the glory days of SCALPED, a certain masterpiece of modern noir crime fiction. (I’m only in the middle of that series and I’m already hooked like a junkie for my next fix).

Aaron is in my Top 2-3 writers in the industry right now, no doubt. So when I read the jacket on the back of this one and look at all the names giving quotes and recommending this: Brubaker, Hickman, Fraction, Remender, Snyder; well holy fuck, that’s just like the 1927 Yankees talking about Gehrig or Ruth…a regular murderers row of talent. The best in the bizz.

Between that and the fairly accepted praise from friends on here who’s opinions I truly value, this was set up for greatness…

And boy, does it deliver.

Earl Tubb is one badass mofo. Having left the small Alabama town where his daddy was sheriff 40yrs ago, never to return…until now.
He comes back conflicted, and within hours, is knee deep in local bullshit all over again.
This feels like a Clint Eastwood movie just waiting to be made.
Cross Deliverance with Walking Tall and give ole’ Squint the reins.

description

The county his father kept clean until his death is the usual Southern Hellhole, run by Coach Boss, a combination of Boss Hogg and the Coach in Varsity Blues, except filtered through Satan. The use of heavy reds and browns and yellows really give the feel of hell on Earth, heat, and damned souls.

Try as he might, Earl wants nothing more than to pack up his family house, and get the fuck out…but the murder of an old acquaintance is just a little too much for Earl to take when he sees the current Sheriff isn’t fixin’ to do a Good Goddamn thing about it.

This is the same kind of unflinching look at the real America of the South, that Scalped gave us of the Western/Plains Native Reserves. This is noir so dark, it’s black. It takes a chunk of you just to read it. Make no mistake, this isn’t some comic book, this is pure American Noir in the hands of a modern master.

If you haven’t already, grab yourself some fast, because like the best Ribs/BBQ, you DO NOT want to miss out on this.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

View all my reviews

Review: Scalped: Vol. 6 – The Gnawing…by Jason Aaron

Scalped, Vol. 6: The GnawingScalped, Vol. 6: The Gnawing by Jason Aaron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Compared to this, the dark knight is like My Little Pony. Holy fuck, noir. This is dark, this is grit. This is 150 shades of grey. Layer upon layer of complexity and interwoven relationships. It really is cranked up to 11 and then never stops. You want some bad ass motherfuckers? Try Red Crow…guy is stone cold. Takes out the Hmongs’ man, while on the phone with him. Then tells him to come and get it…then takes a beating like Rocky fucking Balboa. Saves the Rez, and still gets the last laugh…oh and the whole time? Nitz and the FBI are on him like brown on rice…oh, and he finds out there’s a rat from the FBI in his inner circle…oh and his daughter is a train wreck too, but he tried to save her…

Catcher…fuuuuck.

Dash is a Bad Bad Baaaaaad Horse. Manages to get revenge on Diesel, evade being caught as the rat, stops another guy fro. Ratting him out to Red Crow, and dodges Nitz, gets saved from Red Crow’s #2 by Catcher, and still manages to come out positively on the karmic scale…

I agree with Mike and Sam on their reviews…there aren’t enough words…Jason Aaron…fuuuuck. This volume alone gives you a decade of freedom for me to not ever disparage your work.

READ. THIS. NOW.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

View all my reviews

Review: Thor Vol. 3 – The Accursed; by Jason Aaron

Thor: God of Thunder, Vol. 3: The AccursedThor: God of Thunder, Vol. 3: The Accursed by Jason Aaron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

OK…that was disappointing. Even more so because it’s Jason Aaron…

The first issue #12? That was a 5 star issue. It made me get all teary eyed, and was good solid stuff about a God who loves humans, yet still cannot always save them. Following on the heels of the God Butcher saga, this was a perfect approach to a more small scale and human approach to Thor. I loved everything about this issue. It also involves all 3 Thors at different points in history, showing the love he has always held for Midgard.

the rest of the book is a sorta LOTR gang from the 9 realms who try to hunt down Malekith, who escapes from Hel. Just a little too obvious until the end, but the ending was actually well done and sets up what will surely return as a bigger storyline down the road.

the final issue goes back to young Thor and is funny, but also shows him growing as a young God, learning about life and responsibility, alongside a drunken dragon. Yup. Thor and a dragon get shitfaced together….that’s the funny part.

So not amazing, good, but the middle lags a bit and is kinda boring.

If anything, get your hands on issue #12, because that’s the diamond of this collection, and one of the best Thor issues I’ve ever read. (Anne, this means you…don’t waste time on the whole TPB, just read #12)


alt=”Image and video hosting by TinyPic”>

View all my reviews

Review: Thor: God of Thunder Vol. 1 (& 2) (#1-11) by Jason Aaron

Thor: God of Thunder Volume 1Thor: God of Thunder Volume 1 by Jason Aaron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This volume contains issues 1-11, and covers the entire Gorr the God Butcher storyline. I had already read volume 2, and thought I was getting volume 1 from the library, but this was a great packaging job.

Since I already reviewed volume 2 I will focus on the first half instead…

The story starts off with Thor in Iceland circa 900, with the discovery of a severed head, which turns out to be a God as per Thor…then we move to present day Thor the Avenger, who answers a prayer for rain on a distant planet…when he asks why they didn’t pray to their own gods, he’s told they have no gods, which baffles Thor. He searches and finds the hall of the gods for this distant planet, and discovers they have all been butchered by someone…then he is attacked by a mysterious black figure.

Move forward thousands of years and we see an old broken Odin on the throne of Asgard, alone and exhausted…only we discover this is actually Thor of the future, fighting multitudes of the same black beasts from the present day.

As the book continues, each Thor faces the same foe; Gorr, the God Butcher. Icelandic Thor fights him in the past, present Thor seeks knowledge of all missing gods and journeys the cosmos to find them all slain, future King Thor fights the hordes of Gorr singlehandedly (literally only one arm) as the last God standing, not just in Asgard, but in the cosmos.

Things start to converge, and set up the inevitable showdown…but that’s part 2.

Aaron has given us the holy trinity of Thors, past present future, and the depth of character that allows him to delve into and create is fantastic. This isn’t about Asgard and the gods, or the Avengers (though we do get a short cameo from Iron Man that illustrates the deep respect and bond between the two, which I truly enjoyed.) it is about Thor.

I don’t want to get more into it, but this is a great Thor book, and way to rejuvenate the Son of Odin. I give the first book 5 and the second book 4, so I round this double sized volume to 4.

I’m not even getting into the existential philosophy and deep subject matter, which goes down well because there’s still lotsa Mjolnir throwing and blood spraying for those who like the action and plenty of Thunder from the Thunder God.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

View all my reviews

Review: Scalped, Vol. 5 – High Lonesome; by Jason Aaron

Scalped, Vol. 5: High LonesomeScalped, Vol. 5: High Lonesome by Jason Aaron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. Jason Aaron has already made it to my top 5 comic writer list, and with this kind of work, he could make the jump to favourite of ALL genres. This is crime noir that sits comfortably alongside Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler, and in his own medium, Ed Brubaker. The best noir ironically requires shades of grey; many…not quite 50…but a lot. Aaron has a cast in this series we have been getting to know, but here in this volume, we delve into the back stories of some of the more important members we haven’t yet…FBI Special Agent Nitz; Diesel, the 1/16 Kickapoo Indian wannabe; Catcher, the crazy old timer who’s fried and spooky, and a career criminal with many names who may destroy everything for Dash.

This is just epically great. Characters I should hate are seen in the contextual light of their experiences, which changes my opinion to a bit greyer…
Revelations are made that add even more layers of depth and lies to get through, and we are left with the setup for a big swing in momentum.

I could gush more, but if you’re not already on this train, get on now!! At the very least, read more Jason Aaron…in a just world, he’ll be screenwriting and directing any time now…


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

View all my reviews

Review: Thor – God of Thunder: Godbomb – by Jason Aaron

Thor: God of Thunder, Vol. 2: GodbombThor: God of Thunder, Vol. 2: Godbomb by Jason Aaron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is Thor at his Hulking best (for lack of a better explanation/an easy reference). Though I haven’t read Vol. 1 (my library does this very odd thing of ordering books out of sequence…GRRRRRR) I found that I was able to pick this right up and not be lacking for much info.

Gorr is a man who questions the Gods, and when bad shit befalls him, like any sane person would, he loses faith, and takes it to the extreme. He wants to kill all the Gods so men can and will stand on their own. I actually found this to be a very acceptable idea, even if not a very original one.

Thor has to stop Gorr from building his God-bomb, which is exactly what it sounds like…a bomb made by a God to kill all the Gods…silly, but OK, serves the purpose.

Thor isn’t quite up to the challenge, but ThorS are. Yes that’s right…not one, not 2, but THREE THORS! (and no I don’t have a lisp/speech impediment)
The holy trinity of past, present and future Thors (Young Thor of Scandinavian days, a rage-fueled warrior who hasn’t yet proved himself worthy to carry Mjolnir; Thor the Avenger (“our” Thor from present days) and King Thor (Future, who looks just like Odin, but is in fact, a much older Thor).

So you have the best of what Thor was, is, and will be. I like this idea very much. As much as a battle against Gorr, this is just as much about Thor, and who he is, and needing to figure that out.

The wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey travel-y stuff is made fun of properly, especially by King Thor, who’s quite a funny old man for all the bad shit that’s befallen him. Either way, the 3 of them have to go defeat Gorr.

We also get a glimpse at King Thor’s granddaughters, who end up working alongside Young Thor (and in a funny section, one of them has the hots for him, only to realize it’s a younger version of her Grandad! HA INCEST! ZING!).

This is nice to have some humour inserted into what could otherwise be far to heavy/dark/New 52ish of a book.

I won’t get into the specifics of what goes down and any more stuff, but I understand what some people think Gorr is lacking as a character/motivations/originality. I also think maybe I saw it more as a reflection on Thor. That being said, it’s also got some kick ass God of Thunder reigning down from the Heavens.

This tome doth rock verily.

description


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

View all my reviews