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Review – That Texas Blood #1 (Image Comics)

That Texas Blood #1 (Image Comics) cover B (detail) by Sean Phillips
That Texas Blood #1
Overall
8/10
8/10
  • Writing - 8/10
    8/10
  • Art - 8/10
    8/10
  • Overall - 8/10
    8/10
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That Texas Blood #1

Writer: Chris Condon
Artist: Jacob Phillips
Maturity Rating: Mature
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: June 24, 2020

A small Texas town, a casserole dish, Sheriff Joe’s 70th birthday: all change life forever.

 

“A Place Down Yonder” That Texas Blood #1

Make a home in the Lone Star State in That Texas Blood #1, an all-new ongoing series from Image Comics. In That Texas Blood #1 we are introduced to Joe on his 70th birthday. Sheriff of a small Texas town, Joe has seen his life’s worth of sights and sounds, the good and the bad, and 70 years ain’t slowing him down too much. His wife wants to throw him a big dinner for his 70th birthday and she needs her casserole dish back from a friend. That casserole dish will be the start of a whirlwind of trouble in That Texas Blood #1.

That Texas Blood #1 (Image Comics) cover A by Jacob Phillips
Cover A by Jacob Phillips

I think the solicit for the series gives a perfect idea of what you are getting into with That Texas Blood #1. “Neo-Western crime series kicks off when the search for a casserole dish leads to a dark and tense confrontation”. It also mentions No Country for Old Men, which I feel it has a direct correlational with in tone and feeling. 

Writing

Chris Condon pens That Texas Blood #1. He does a lot of good things for the start of the issue. I love the “essence” of this series from the start. A lot of that has to do with the art that we will talk about in a few. But Condon does a great job of setting a tone right off the bat. The narration from Joe gives off a tremendous, ominous type feeling to the story. From the dialogue alone you can feel something is going to happen. It is a nice somber tone, as well. Not overly dramatic, but it has that feeling of a man that has been around and seen things telling a story.

Though I do love the tone and the basic story of That Texas Blood #1, the main hooking point of the story is a little bit lost. Not going to spoil anything, but the issue just kind of ends. I am not sure where it goes from here. The essay in the back kind of helps that, though. But a comic shouldn’t rely on a backup essay to explain stuff.

That being said, the character work Condon does on Sheriff Joe is great. He is really the only character we get to “know”. But from the time we get to spend with him, we figure out what he is all about through this first issue pretty easily. He has a great “feel” to him. That older man, trying to hold on. 

Art

Jacob Phillips handles the art duties and That Texas Blood #1 is his first time as a “solo artist”. Most people will know his name as the colorist on Criminal. The colors in That Texas Blood #1 are phenomenal. That sense of “foreboding” that is talked about in the solicit is mainly given off through the dialogue and the excellent coloring work in this issue. Phillips just does a great job of controlling emotions with his color scheme.

The other sequential work by Phillips is all-around solid work. Some great character work and designs. He has a realistic type styling that works perfectly for this more real-world crime type story. Great little character details and scene-setting throughout the issue. He brings this small little Texas town to life. Phillips’ art does a great job of getting you “believing” in this story.

I guess the only minor hiccup is some of the word balloons and lettering. I cannot find a letterer credited, so I am not sure who that goes to. It is nothing major but there are a few scenes where I feel the word bubbles could have been placed differently. And there is one scene with a giant dialogue bubble that I think could have been broken up more for a better visual and storytelling.

Conclusion

If you like No Country for Old Men then That Texas Blood #1 is right up your alley. I am not 100% sold just yet, just because the story just needed a little bit more of “catch”. But it is good enough to keep me coming back for another issue. The art is splendidly well done and a great first look at Jacob Phillips’ sequential work.

I believe the big selling point for That Texas Blood #1 is the tone and feel of the issue. The creators do a tremendous job of immediately setting that ominous, almost eerie vibe. It is certainly a police type drama story, but there is a “feeling” that is wonderfully caught by the creators. I don’t know exactly how to describe that “feeling” but I got it from the first scene and dialogue box. It sucks you in and keeps ahold of your mind until the end.


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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