Advance Review: Slowly Ratcheting Up The Tension In `That Texas Blood’ #15

by Tom Smithyman


Readers looking for a thought-out story that takes its time to develop will enjoy That Texas Blood. It knows where it’s going and doesn’t apologize for taking a while to get there because it wants to build up the tension and flesh out its unique characters.


With a serial killer on the loose taunting police and the storm of the century bearing down on the rural country, the tension is slowing building in That Texas Blood. The emphasis here is on slowly. If you’re looking for action and adventure and quick fixes, this likely isn’t the series for you. Think of it instead as a pot that is gradually coming to a boil. It will get there, but you have to wait for it.

With character development and methodical police work in spades, Chris Condon’s text reads more like a movie script than something found in a typical comic book. That, of course, is what makes this series different. Like Texas itself, things move at their own pace.

The Red Queen Killer (named because like the empress from Alice in Wonderland, he likes to cut the heads off his victims) is on the loose in Ambrose County. He’s taunted the sheriff’s office by leaving one of his signature chess pieces soaked in blood after killing a local woman who recently returned to the area from law school. With a blizzard starting to dump debilitating snow on the road, Sheriff Joe Bob Coates senses an opportunity to catch the madman once and for all.

Artist Jacob Phillips makes the most of what he has to work with in an issue filled largely with necessary exposition. Across three pages, with almost no dialogue, he relays a father’s fear and devastation when he learns about his deceased daughter. The story’s last page is another wonder, as he shows the killer tacking up mementos from his victims as the sheriff is on the radio promising the murder’s capture.

It’s almost certain that the sheriff will get his man by the end of this arc. But the true joy in this series is the journey that he will take to get there.

That Texas Blood #15 will be available for purchase on July 6, 2022.

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