JV’s Shocking Past Revealed: Reviewing ‘Redneck #27’

by Brendan M. Allen

“Tall Tales,” Part Three. Who was Carroña, and how did he come to control Asilo Del Muerto?
Redneck #27 reads a lot like Redneck #26. Last chapter, Greg learned that Granpa is none other than Vlad III. The chapter before that, Greg was shown the very origin of vampirism, and that ‘Demus’ is short for Nicodemus, of the Sanhedron. 
We already saw Bartlett’s turn a few arcs ago. The current chapter focuses on the Bowman paterfamilias. Not exactly his origin, since we already saw some images of JV that predate these that suggest the old man was a Berserker at some point.

This chapter is really heavy on exposition, as it takes place in flashbacks narrated by Demus. I’m not sure exactly where Donny Cates is headed with this. Greg was either going to join up and fight once he saw Gran’pa was on Demus’ side, or he wasn’t. All these history lessons on the exact origins of each of the family members seem a little unnecessary.
One of the things about Redneck, from the very first chapters, is how closely JV and the brood guarded their identities and the family secret. I don’t know how I feel about all this information coming to light so quickly.

The artwork is brilliant, as usual. Lisandro Estherren perfectly captures the grit and visceral emotion of Redneck. Estherren has a unique ability to layer beautiful and  gruesome imagery that’s pure Redneck. Color by Dee 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.

I’ve been tracking this series from the beginning, and have been loving it, for the most part. There have only been a couple chapters that kind of lost me, and, unfortunately, this is one of them. I honestly don’t think I needed to see Gran’pa again, or know his backstory. The Demus thing was pretty big, and enough to hold me for a while.
Finding out JV’s backstory, right after finding out Gran’pa’s origin, immediately after seeing Demus’ genesis… it’s a little much. At this point, I think we’ve hit everyone’s backstory, though, right? Hopefully we dive back into the impending war on humanity in the next installment.

Redneck #27, Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment, released 24 June 2020. Written by Donny Cates, art by Lisandro Estherren, color by Dee Cunniffe, letters by Joe Sabino, edited by Jon Moisan, logo/design by Andres Juarez.

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