The Bowmans’ Only Hope Lies In The Asylum Of The Dead: Redneck Volume 4 TP

by Brendan M. Allen

In the wake of their darkest day, it’s time to say goodbye to The Lone Star State as the Bowman family searches for salvation… in the shadows of Mexico.

After Donny Cates basically wrote the vampiric Red Wedding to cap off the third arc of Redneck, things were not looking good for the Bowman clan. In Redneck, Volume 4: Lone Star, we find out exactly who survived, and where they’re headed from here. Of the entire clutch, only five Bowmans made it clear. And Bartlett is just barely holding on.

JV has a plan, but it involves a whole new set of risks in a whole new setting. The family will basically have to give up everything they’ve ever invested in. Again.

“Puttin’ down roots was always gonna be too good to be true. We’re built for the run.”

I don’t know why Donny Cates hates the Bowmans, but I honestly don’t know what else anyone who’s been paying attention would expect. There’s no way he was gonna let these fine folks just go about their business unbothered. It was way too good to be true. Every time the Bowman brood starts getting comfortable, something awful happens to thin the herd and turn their situation completely inside out.

That’s really what keeps Redneck fresh, though. Just when we start getting comfortable, Cates pulls the rug out. Every damned time.

In the aftermath of the wedding massacre, everything’s about to go sideways again. JV’s apparently way more powerful than he’s ever let on, and now he has to unleash that power on the world for the first time in centuries.

Up to this point, the Bowman brood has been trying to fit into polite (ish) society as monsters among men. Now, there’s a whole new set of challenges as they’re forced to find their places among other monsters, who, oddly enough, seem to hate the new kids as much as the humans did back home.

Lisandro Estherren and Dee Cunniffe get to flex some different artistic muscles in this arc. The publisher’s blurb told us we were headed to Mexico, but beyond that, you can’t really be prepared for how twisted this thing gets.

Estherren’s linework perfectly captures the grit and visceral emotion of Redneck. He has a unique ability to layer beauty over gruesome imagery that’s pure Redneck. Cunniffe heightens the tension with a dark, brooding palette. Each period of the Bowman epic has been marked by its own set of challenges, and the art has evolved in lockstep with Cates’ script.

The lines between reality and mythology are getting blurred. In a vampire story. I know. I heard it. Anyway, Estherren and Cunniffe get to create some really interesting set pieces, moods, and characters. New setting, new monsters, new rules, but everything still carries that beautifully disturbing Redneck visual signature.

This is an incredibly sinister arc. Seems odd to say that, in light of everything that came before, but this chapter goes down a very dark path. There’s been loss and death and all kinds of gore, but it’s hard to look at the events unfolding here and have any hope for the Bowmans’ future.

It’s there, it’s just hard to trust that tiny glimmer, considering how many times this thing has gone South.

Redneck will break your heart, kid.

Redneck Volume 4: Lone Star, Collects Redneck #19-24, Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment, 27 November 2019. Created by Donny Cates and Lisandro Estherren. Script by Donny Cates, art by Lisandro Estherren, color by Dee Cunniffe, letters by Joe Sabino, edited by Jon Moisan, logo and production design by Andres Juarez, produced by Carina Taylor.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.

%d bloggers like this: