Advance Review: `That Texas Blood’ #17 Delivers A Terrific Tale Of Humanity And Suspense
by Tom Smithyman
Chock full of relatable characters just trying to live their lives under difficult circumstance, this series has become a must-read for anyone interested in great storytelling. The creative team understands the power of imagery and wisely chooses silence at the appropriate times to creep out its readers.
No capes. No superpowers. No problem.
Midway through its third story arc, That Texas Blood continues to deliver a nuanced, compelling human drama without the need for larger-than-life heroes. Instead, the reader is given flawed human beings who must contend with the horrors that life can sometimes throw us. In this case, it’s a killer on the loose in rural Texas county in the middle of a once-in-a-century blizzard.
Sheriff Joe Bob Coates is in the middle of a divisive political re-election campaign that is distracting him from catching the killer. Coates, the series’ emotional center, lashed out at his opponent in the last issue. Coates is haunted by the murder of the former sheriff, as well as the local media labeling him a hero. We find Lu, the sheriff’s receptionist coming to the physical and emotional aid of Red, whose daughter was butchered in this arc’s introductory issue.
As that human drama is unfolding, the RQK Killer is breaking into a house, waiting for his next victim to return home. Writer Chris Condon wisely chooses to let artist Jacob Phillips’ imagery tell that part of the story without text.
Each terrifying panel shows the killer calmly prying open a window, making a sandwich from his would-be victim’s refrigerator – even pulling a razor out of the garbage can to shave. (Condon’s terrific main cover spookily reenacts that moment.) The juxtaposition of those panels with the drama of Lu’s and Coates’ stories only adds to the terrific tension.
This consistently strong series has now become a must-read. Frankly, it’s a mystery why a production company hasn’t picked up the streaming rights for it yet. From great character development of relatable characters to edge-of-your-seat storytelling, That Texas Blood has the makings of a modern classic.
That Texas Blood #17 will be available for purchase on Wednesday.