That Texas Blood #18 ADVANCE REVIEW: a masterful issue of art, thrills, action, and a bit of horror.
Written by: Chris Condon, Art, colours, letters by: Jacob Phillips.
As Lu and Red (the local mechanic) stumble into her house, unaware that the killer is waiting for them, Joe Bob struggles to come to terms with the evidence that things don’t add up. Will he figure it out in time before Lu and Red become the next victims?
It’s been less than a month and I’m delighted to have another issue of this amazing series to check out. This arc as I have said before is the best one yet. I’m still amazed at how Condon and Phillips are reaching new heights and are able to better the previous arc each time.
Again is this a rather simple issue, but it works incredibly well. We saw from the last that the RQK is waiting for Lu at her house, so when we see her and Red walking into the house, for the first few panels we know this is going to be an explosive issue. The pacing is perfect for this one, even though this is a thriller series, this issue plays out like a horror book. Knowing what we know and the characters are casually going about their lives. This slow build at the start helps build the tension as we creep to this action-packed last few panels. Again it’s an issue short on dialogue, as it doesn’t need to be word heavy. That in itself increases the anxiety of the audience as there’s multiple gaps of silences. This let's the artwork speak for itself as it has done throughout the entire series.
From the moment you open this book, you get fantastic artwork. This has been the standard for this series and it continues in issue #18. It’s strong opening on Lu and Red going up to her house was a beautiful start. It looks so peaceful and picturesque in the snow, and yet we know what’s about to unfold. Jacob Phillips uses his trademark around 6 times, where the background is blank, which really accentuates the moment in question, be that an action taken by a character or a simple question from Joe Bob that’s answered in a very suspicious way.
Another thing that’s very striking was the t-shirt that Lu wears out of the shower. It depicts the final moments of the film Thelma and Louise. It’s an interesting choice by Phillips to choose that as the t-shirt as it’s the moment when both the titular characters decide to take fate into their own hands and ride it out together. The difference is, Lu takes a similar approach but with different outcome (or does she?). Despite being terrified through the whole ordeal of the RQK, it’s that moment that she stands up to him. I also find it interesting from an aesthetic point, as it might just be me, but the image on the shirt looks more like an internet picture rather than something drawn so it stands out. Was this a way for Phillips to draw out the comparison between the film and Lu, or did he just really like that image? I guess no one but Phillips can know that; either way it’s causing us to talk about it, so maybe that was the point.
Overall, another truly masterful issue by the team and I’m both excited for the next issue and also concerned as I really want to know what happens in the arc finale but I also don’t want this to end as it’s been so good.
An easy 4 POPs out of 5 (I still can’t give out a 5 unless it’s perfect, but this is getting very close to that).
That Texas Blood issue 18 will be released by Image Comics on 5th October from your Local Comic Shop and online.
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.