Redlands #1 (Image Comics)
For some reason, mixing supernatural things with the South just works for me. It might be the culture of New Orleans, or the fact that it’s always super hot and swampy, but there’s a good chance that if you set something spooky in the South, I’ll give it a read. Redlands from Jordie Bellaire and Vanessa Del Rey fits into that category soundly. A comic about witches in Florida, Redlands#1 ends up being a really cool and spooky opening issue that promises a pretty awesome series to come.
The entirety of this issue focuses on a Sheriff and his police force held up in their headquarters. Surrounded by an unseen force, things gradually start to go bad for them. The lights go off on their own. Strange chants are heard outside. The prisoners start to go crazy and taunt the police. The Sheriff knows that he took care of the strange women who were haunting their town hours before. But he should’ve been more careful with his victims.
Jordie Bellaire is a name you’ve probably seen countless times in comics. As the go to colorist for seemingly every publisher, she’s got more comic book credits than anyone else in the business. Well, you can now add “writer” to those credits, because she knocks it out of the park with Redlands. Bellaire does a fantastic job of setting up the tension in this opening issue, and I love the fact that she resisted the idea of just giving us the exposition dump that befalls so many debut issues of Image series.
Vanessa Del Rey’s art is a great fit for Bellaire’s script. While it’s a little looser than I typically like, it works really well for the creepy nature of this comic. Del Rey’s art is super cool and moody, and there are definitely some panels that will stick with you for a long time, and probably keep you up at night.
Redlands is a pretty great surprise, and I cannot recommend it enough for horror fans. Longtime readers of these reviews know my love for The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and I really think that Redlands has the potential to fit right in with that series. If you’re looking for a comic to really unsettle you, then look no further than Redlands.