Sheriff Joe Bob Coates returns for another promising story arc that features a massive blizzard, some political intrigue and a serial killer who likes to decapitate then stage his victims. Its a great start to a consistently strong series.
When it rains…it snows.
That’s the feeling in Ambrose County as the new story arc opens in the latest issue of That Texas Blood. It is now January of 1992 and Sheriff Joe Bob Coates is trying to get residents ready for a once-in-50-year blizzard that is barreling down on the region. Meanwhile, the new sheriff’s political opponents are raking the muck over a video that seems to show Coates freeze as the former top cop in the county is shot. As if that weren’t enough, the Red Queen Killer decapitates a young woman and threatens the sheriff’s secretary.
Since the beginning of this compelling series, storytellers Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips have delivered thoughtful, true-to-life characters put in difficult situations. Condon’s scripts have filled us in on Coates’ life story, cleverly beginning with Joe Bob as an old man, then jumping back to his days as a deputy in the last arc. Now he’s middle aged, new to the sheriff job and still unsure of himself. His political issues, coupled with the storm and murder have the potential to push the character in interesting new directions.
Phillips’ artwork is consistently top-notch. The issue’s introduction, which depicts the events leading up the young woman’s murder is as creepy as it is terrifying. The victim, Patti Doyle, First sees the killer in the reflection of her old television screen. After the pair struggle, Phillips shows Doyle’s murder using that same technique. It’s a bold choice but one that pays off by telling the story without being overly gory. (Don’t worry, there’s plenty of gore when the police discover the victim holding her head in her lap. It’s truly a moment that takes your breath away.)
This story arc will continue for the next several issues. If the initial installment is any indication, it should be a dynamic ride.
That Texas Blood #14 will be available for purchase on June 8, 2022.