Sometimes when I get back to a series I hadn’t read much of in a while, I make some comment about how I meant to but lost track of them. But then there’s something like Redneck, the Texas vampire series from Image Comics, and it’s not so much that I lost track of the series, letting additional volumes just sit in my unread pile until I remembered it existed so much as I had no idea more trades came out.
Regardless, that means I finally got to the fourth volume, subtitled Lone Star.
To recap: series narrator Bartlett married the love of his (un)life July. But the family’s former familiar, a highly trained human killer named Evil, attacked and left many vampires dead. Bartlett himself took a bad hit and seemed to be dead.
He isn’t, not quite. But the Bowmans are down to partiarch JV, JV’s one surviving son Greg, his young (looking) daughter Perry, Bartlett, and July. Bartlett’s condition is left largely a secret for a long time, but the Bowmans are desperate enough to go to the one being who can help Bartlett recover: his vampire maker Senor Carrona in the odd, other-dimensional place known as Asilo del Muerto, or the Asylum of the Dead. Carrona is an elder, and he has some magical abilities of his own. He can heal Bartlett, but for a price.
It may be a price JV is unwilling to pay.
I mentioned above that Bartlett was the usual narrator of this series, but since he’s incapacitated, that task falls to the very pregnant July and the psychic Perry, alternately. July’s task is to watch out for Bartlett while Perry has her own plans when Evil is captured and Greg decides to do something incredibly foolish. Perry’s telepathy makes her a force to be reckoned with, even if no one else really knows that. Both offer interesting perspectives the series hasn’t taken advantage of before.
However, much of what is happening here has to do with very old vampire lore, the likes of which the series has only teased at. Carrona and another elder want something that JV thinks is a really bad idea, and they likewise know something about events from the past, events that some vampires want to relive but the Bowmans themselves seem to understand is a really bad idea.
This is Donny Cates doing what Donny Cates does best: write a creative and fun narrative with a lot of unexpected twists. It’s why I keep coming back to his work, particularly since I seem to be on something of a roll with his work for the time being. Lisandro Estherrren’s artwork fits the series well, and I didn’t see those rosy cheek thinks he kept drawing on July in the previous volume. Really, I don’t know how I lost track of this fun series, but I will be getting to volume five soon since I got a copy of that too.
Provided I don’t forget about it first.
9 out of 10 monster pit fights.