Crime comics were some of the earliest comics ever produced. These story were about hard boiled detectives, vicious criminals, and tales of greed, deception, and outright horror.
Sadly, realistic crime comics today are few and far between, which is why That Texas Blood is such a genuine treat. Gritty, horrific, and most importantly of all, realistic. The characters involved are not superhuman or gifted with magic abilities. They are ordinary people with ordinary issues, problems, and prejudices who have to deal with extraordinary crimes.
And you know what? It’s one of the most interesting books of the shelves today.
But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself a bit here. Issue 11 just dropped, so let’s look at the current arc, and talk about why I love this book so very, very much.
Here’s the blurb for this arc:
THAT TEXAS BLOOD returns with a BRAND-NEW STORY ARC! Following the traumatic and bloody conclusion of “A BROTHER’S CONSCIENCE,” Joe Bob reminisces about one of his first cases: a haunting and bizarre evening that left a boy dead, a girl missing, a cult on the loose, and introduced a mysterious man called Harlan Eversaul.
One of the first things that I think is great about this series is the protagonist, Sheriff Joe Bob Coates. Joe is 70 years old, and has spent most of his life working as a sheriff for Ambrose County, Texas. In that time he has dealt with a number of bizarre and tragic cases, many of which still haunt him to this day. That being said, Joe continues to go out, day after day, and do everything in his power to protect the people of Ambrose, as well as serve as mentor to a new generation of police for the sparsely populated, but strangely dangerous county.
Despite having to deal with some pretty terrible stuff, Joe isn’t bitter or cynical, and still believes in the goodness of people. Even at 70, an age when most people are long since retired, Joe feels like he still can help those in need, and that the people he serves deserve protecting. He’s a flawed hero, and author Condon allows him to fail. Joe isn’t a super cop or Sherlock Holmes, he’s just a good man trying to do right by his community and his heart, and honestly, that the best part. It’s refreshing to have a character like this who isn’t driven by grief or cynicism, but by a genuine sense of duty to his community.
The first arc of That Texas Blood was fantastic, and served as an amazing introduction to the cast of characters that live in Ambrose, but this new arc is where the series really shines.
The story deals with a case Joe had to solve in 1981, and it involved a private investigator named Eversaul who was hot on the trail of a missing girl. The story quickly picks up with a murder mystery, a bizarre California cult, and a young Joe having to resist his impulse of obey orders and learn to trust his instincts and believe in himself.
One of the problems with flashback stories is that sometimes knowing that the main character has to emerge unscathed can reduce any actual tension in the story, but in this tale we’re not worried about Joe, we’re worried about a young girl who has disappeared. We don’t know if she is going to make it out alive, or if Joe was able to save her in time, and that tension, and the fact that this series is not shy about the blood and violence, that keeps the reader interested, and on edge throughout each issue.
Issue 11 is the penultimate issue of this new arc, and it just dropped this week, so if you like crime and drama, and just great story telling, take my advice and read this book. Issue one is free to read on Image Comic’s website, so check it out, and let me know what you think below!
Until next time, stay safe!