Writer: Donny Cates
Illustrated: Lisandro Estherren
Colorist: Dee Cunniffe
Published by: Image Comics
Picking up shortly after issue #2, Redneck #3 continues the conflict of the Bowman clan all the while introducing the true horror of the hidden patriarch and highlighting the failing family mechanics of a once proud vampire clan.
Donny Cates skips the brutal fight scene that ended issue #2 and charges directly into the aftermath. Limbs are scattered, cars are on fire, and lives were lost, but the worst damage that was possibly done was to the stability of the Bowman clan. JV is seemingly consumed by revenge and hatred towards Bartlett. All of this seems pretty standard, but a couple new interesting plot points were also revealed in this issue. First, it seems there may be a new vampire in the group as the leader of the charge against the Bowman’s. Father Landry is seemingly about to be turned. This should be an interesting future dynamic between the younger Bowman’s and the former religious leader if it in fact sticks.
Secondly, the shadowy former head of the Bowmans has finally been given dialogue! What seems to be the true evil character in the story is finally allowed to speak and is characteristically frightening. Artists Lisandro Estherren and Dee Cunniffe absolutely nail (get it?) the haggard Nosferatu look of the shadowy figure, while also introducing subtle clues in his character design as to what he has been through. What happened to his legs? Why does he need the constant IV drip? Why does he look burnt? All these questions should be answered soon, as the grandfather continues to make a bolder and bolder presence. It also seems as though Cates is planning to draw parallels between the grandfather and Perry, the youngest Bowman who is also has psychic abilities.
All of this is wrapped up in the end by allowing us to see what exactly Bartlett’s past was, which should be interesting. I hope it doesn’t last too long because it could veer on fillery territory if given the chance. Especially because there are so many interesting plot points in the present that I would prefer to be dealt with before.
As mentioned before, the character designs from Estherren and Cunniffe are on perfect. I love the subtle dirtyness inherent in all the characters. It adds a moral greyness to the story showing how none of the characters are supposed to be perfect. The added shading in the scenes between the grandfather and Bartlett highlight the horror influences to the story as well. The artists also draw some exquisitely haunting visuals such as the preacher throwing up blood and the cover image of the wheelchair on fire. The art is seemingly perfect for the story being told, but may not be for everyone.
Overall, Redneck #3, offers more intrigue into the first arch of the story and sets the seeds for future strife and conflict in the Bowman family, hopefully Cates doesn’t get lost in the past and focuses on the present though.