That Texas Blood #14 ADVANCE REVIEW: Joe Bob has his hands full in this explosive new arc

Written by: Chris Condon, Art, Colours, & Letters by: Jacob Phillips.

ISSUE RECAP: It’s a cold night in January as Patti Doyle curls up to watch The Silence Of The Lambs. A blizzard is coming, so everyone in town is adjusting their heaters. A door is left unlocked, and a masked assailant enters the house. He’s armed with a saw, so it’s clear what his intentions are. Lu wakes up and heads into work to find Joe Bob watching over tapes, as he worries about the sheriff elections. He’s been interim for 3 years, but now it’s time for it to be official or for someone else. That’s when they get the call about Patti, but it seems the killer wants to play a game of cat and mouse, which fits his mask perfectly.

It’s been almost six months since we had the last issue, and wow have the team kicked this arc off with a bang. Gone are the slow openings that set everything up. We get straight into the murder, CSI-style. With such little dialogue, both writer Chris Condon and artist Jacob Philips set up a very eerie and dramatic opening scene that builds to a disturbing and yet satisfying (in way of story not due to the grizzly murder) ending full page.

There was a precursor to this comic released a few months ago that was titled "Press Kit". This had the set- up for this issue in. As it was only 7 pages long and I’ve come across a book like that before from a different publisher, which I wasn’t impressed with. I thought best to leave it. You do find out everything it says within this issue anyway. Condon has set this in a different decade, a brand new case with so much going on that it would be difficult to set it up without so much exposition, but he manages to get everything in without it feeling unnecessary. Just with a simple "Vote For" banner, and Joe Bob worrying it’s clear that it’s a sheriff election coming up. Even without the top of the first page telling us the date, it would have been easy to guess that it’s around the '90s, considering the film being watched. With all this set-up, it’s amazing that we get very little dialogue within the first 10 pages. It’s all there to help build the suspense, which is beautifully crafted by Jacob Phillips.

The art is just as good as it was in the beginning, if not better. It’s clean and crisp with definitive outlines and no grainy look like the first issue had, yet still utilises a lack of colour saturation to evoke real life, which it depicts very well. Phillips also uses the shadows beautifully during the opening scene to give that dramatic atmosphere, which again builds up the suspense.

That Texas Blood really is going from strength to strength, and these two creators (Condon and Phillips) could very well overtake the other current detective thriller noir duo of Brubaker and Phillips. With a series like this, I feel like they are showcasing their talents and for anyone who isn’t reading this that loves the Reckless, or Criminal books, I can only ask: why?

This is a fantastic issue that pushes the team and the characters' boundaries and I cannot wait to follow along the case with Joe Bob.

A very strong 4 out of 5.

That Texas Blood #14 will be released by Image Comics on 8th June from your Local Comic Shop or on comixology


Andrew Carr was blessed to grow up watching the animated series of Batman, X-Men, and his favorite, Spider-Man.This started his dive into the comics world, which resulted in meeting his amazing cosplaying wife Imogen. They live in England with their Sinister Six dogs.

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