Non-Spoiler Review – That Texas Blood #11
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Chris Condon
Artwork: Jacob Phillips
Colours: Jacob Philips
Release Date: 27 October 2021
Cover Artist: Jacob Philips
Publication Design: Sean Phillips
I’m back once again to review the penultimate issue of That Texas Blood’s “EVERSAUL, 1981,” arc. Part five as the promotional copy says has “A freak thunderstorm descends on West Texas as Joe Bob and Eversaul confront the Cult of Night”. We were left on a knife-edge last month as the duo went out on a limb to investigate the Wellman Ranch in the hopes of rescuing Laila Freeman. I was chomping at the bit to get back to Ambrose County.
The issue starts off in silence with another choice time jump to reveal a mystery set up at the start of the arc. Christopher Condon plays with the temporal settings of That Texas Blood in a masterful fashion. Just when you think you’re going one way, you’re going another. We jump back to the present day to check in with Joe Bob and Deputy Flores for a page before continuing where we left off in 1981, the night of the bloodbath. The mood is set by the late-night thunderstorm and the downpour of rain. Our heroes are vulnerable and it’s a situation where pluckiness is all they have going for them.
Tonight’s the big night and tension is the star of the show. It rises out of the shadows and attacks on multiple fronts. There’s really not much else to say on the plot points without spoiling anything. We’ve grown accustomed to the characters throughout the arc. Well, we got to know Joe before it but as Condon said in the letter pages of the last issue, this is the night that’s haunted Joe his entire life, his “ball and chain”. He doesn’t talk about it to anyone like he is in modern-day with Deputy Flores, we’re privy to the big scoop. Condon has crafted the importance of this over the anthology, he’s spent the time building it up, glimpses here, a tease there. The smaller, quieter moments have added up and everything’s at the boil.
Jacob Phillips continues handling the covers for That Texas Blood and I’m all the happier for it. His range just like in the interiors is on full display. I didn’t recognise it as his work at all this time around and had to double-check when filling in the credits above.
I mentioned last month how I look forward to the innovations and layers he adds inside the issue and #11 is no different. Reds have a new role to play in this issue, colouring memories and popping out against the nighttime darkness. For a book that I first assumed was a vampire book going by the title, “EVERSAUL, 1981” Part Five is the most gothic-looking issue of That Texas Blood we’ve got yet. This is of course in no small part to the setting. Ambrose County has never looked more occult than it does inside the Wellman Ranch, quite timely for Halloween.
The acting is as always top-notch. And just in general, the visual telling of the story bleeds into Condon’s path of building tension. The lettering again fills the soundscape to aid in this pursuit.
I find myself in the same position I’m always in at the end of reviewing an issue of That Texas Blood, satisfied and wanting more. You can picture that gif of Chris Hemsworth from Thor, smashing the cup and proclaiming ‘ANOTHER!’.
If you enjoyed our Review of That Texas Blood #11 then please leave a comment or your own rating below.
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