Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Jason Latour
This issue opens with a young Euless Boss confronting his estranged father in the woods of Craw County, Alabama. Euless has recently learned that his high school coach has sabotaged any chance he had of playing college football by leaking the truth about Euless’s father to any school showing interest in recruiting him. Euless has been working as a ball boy ever since, but has devised a plan to help him get back to the game he loves, but he needs his father’s help to do so. I’m going to try and keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, so I’m not going to divulge if or how Euless’s plan does or doesn’t come to fruition.
Instead, I’ll spend some time talking about how great this issue is. We were introduced to Coach Boss in the opening arc of this amazing series, and the second arc is offering us a great look into how Euless went from an impoverished, abused kid to the corrupt dictator of Craw County he is today. Aaron does an excellent job of humanizing Euless, and has been able to make readers sympathize with a character they have already grown to hate. This issue is a microcosm of all the things that have made this series outstanding up to this point. It is an honest (if somewhat sensationalized) look at life in the South and does not cower away from tackling the issues that plague the area: broken families, racism, poverty, alcoholism, and crime, and it sets them all against the backdrop of football, which still reigns as king throughout Dixie. Complementing Aaron’s excellent storytelling is Jason Latour’s art, which is perfect for this book. He perfectly captures the haggardness of the people, the destitution of the landscape, and the raw emotion erupting from the characters’ faces.