Granpa’s Brutal Origin Story Revealed: Reviewing Redneck #26

by Brendan M. Allen

“Tall Tales” continues as we unravel the secrets of the first vampire, Demus! Plus, the origin of the one we know as Granpa!

In the last chapter of Redneck, Demus’ original identity was revealed. Demus, turns out, is the biblical Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedron. Demus was a rich and powerful dude, who ended up helping embalm Jesus after his crucifixion. In the process, he ended up with a vessel of Jesus’ claret, which he then consumed, as you do. Apparently, when you take communion straight from the source, there are side effects.
In Redneck #26, Donny Cates dives deeper into Demus’ backstory, but also blows this story wide open with a huge reveal about Granpa, who is NOT dead, incidentally. 

If you remember way, way back when this thing kicked off, we were just looking in on a tiny little peaceful family of vampires tucked away in East Texas. Each successive arc has widened the shot, showing just how influential these Bowmans really are, and how much impact they’ve had over the course of human history. Granpa’s story is a big one, and one you’ve probably heard once or twice. 
I mean, you kind of had to know Granpa was a badass, from his appearance, the way he talked to JV and the boys, and his violent and bloody last stand at the Bowman homestead. This dude had seen some things. Also, if you’ve been reading Red-Blooded Mail at the back of every chapter, Cates has hinted, oh, I don’t know, about a hundred times that Granpa was headed back into the story, one way or another.

This is an interesting chapter for the art team. Lisandro Estherren’s loose, gritty pencils and Dee Cunnife’s muted palette have always brought an aesthetic that is simultaneously beautiful and appalling. In Chapter 26, we get a dose of historical gore. Granpa’s origin story is one of the most horrific campaigns in European history. Death, dismemberment, and mutilation. Right in these fellas’ wheelhouse.
In an interview I did a few years ago when Redneck #1 dropped, Donny Cates told me he already had Redneck already mapped out for years to come. The way each successive arc has built off the previous, and how beautifully each piece has fallen into place, I believe him. Redneck has not lost any of its initial momentum, and somehow, that momentum keeps growing. Every chapter has been consistently brutal and shocking, with insane reveals and twists, without sacrificing storytelling for cheap pops.

Redneck #26, Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment, 26 February 2020. Written by Donny Cates, art by Lisandro Estherren, color by Dee Cunniffe, letters by Joe Sabino, edited by Jon Moisan, logo/production design by Andres Juarez, produced by Carina Taylor.

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