That Texas Blood #16 ADVANCE REVIEW: This team makes crime noir thrilling, beautiful, and glorious
Written by: Chris Condon, Art, colours, letters by: Jacob Phillips.
ISSUE RECAP: Joe Bob just went on the radio and declared a state of emergency, putting a curfew in place to keep the residents of Ambrose County safe. This could hurt his election hopes, but the safety of the people comes first. Whilst traveling back, they happen across a big rig that looks to be deserted. The cab is open, so they take a look and discover the name Franklin Brynlauer, with an expired El Paso residency. Now with all the craziness going on this seems like a coincidence, but he’s just become a person of interest for the Sheriff. Good thing they didn’t check the rig thoroughly, cause it looks like someone less than friendly was hiding there, while the whole county now starts panicking about the killer on the loose.
Anyone who has been following my reviews of this glorious book will be aware that I have loved it since its strange beginnings. I compared it to a slow burn detective thriller such as No Country For Old Men (2007, Coen brothers). I have said before how issues do summarise this perfectly and I have to repeat it again for this beautiful issue. Yet again another issue very lacking in action, but that’s the point of this series. Writer Chris Condon can play with our emotions, having us thrilled and on the edge of our seats without actually delivering a combative panel. This for me just cements how masterful he is with the script. Not once am I feeling bored or anything other than fully engaged in the story. I would have been hooked with just the serial killer aspect, yet he decides to up the ante by having this during an election year for the sheriff, just to make it that much more dramatic.
I honestly feel like I’m partly at a loss for words with the art and yet I also have so much to say. Each passing month, I become more engrossed in the artwork. Philips is clearly having a lot of fun with the setting of a snowstorm and by playing with the panels. He is quickly becoming one of my favourite artists around at the moment, and I try to source as much of his work as I can due to the picturesque nature of so many of the panels, be it a stunning landscape or even a cubicle of an office.
This very panel had me starting at it for a good few mins. I pondered what Philips meant with this interesting view of Lu’s desk, no office supplies or walls in sight. I couldn’t help but think that she’s just in a void. The interaction with the killer, the first victim was personally known by her, and then the flooding of calls from concerned residents made her feel isolated and just trapped in a lonely void from which she couldn’t escape. This is perfectly represented by Philips with the choice not to use any bordering around the panel, making it spill out into the comic borders as her anxiety seeps out of her. A truly stunning and yet dramatic panel that needed no words to convey how she felt. It’s exactly moments like this that have me believing that Jacob Philips is one of the most talented artists around today, and I feel a great deal of pleasure being able to see his work as it’s released.
Overall, a stunning book that continues the drama of this third arc, which is by far my favourite yet. I cannot see many faults with this book. Not perfect, but a solid 4 out of 5 POPs.
That Texas Blood issue 16 will be released by Image Comics on 3rd August from your Local Comic Shop or from 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.