SPOILERS ARE AHOY!
Dude. This book looks so damn epic. The minute I picked up Image Comic, Redlands #1, I knew I was in for a great ride. First, let me get this out of the way before we really dive into this. If you are not a fan of mature reads, you might want to steer away from this one because it is going to be a very bumpy ride for you.
Alright, now that we got that out of the way, the story is set in Redlands, Florida in 1977 and it just cuts right into the meat. There is a glorious full page of a tree engulfed in flames outside of a police station. Inside the station, one cop asks, “where did them bitches go?”. We are already off to a great start. I had the feeling that this might be a story about witches, at the very least bitches, so this is already going to be great in my book. We see a closer view of the tree in flames with nooses hanging from the branches. We find out that whoever they were trying to hang, escaped and their necks are intact. I have a feeling these cops are not long for this world as there are obviously some supernatural things happening already.
Inside the police station, we see the cops huddled inside looking out into the flames trying to figure out what just happened. There’s an exchange with the Sheriff and his son where you get the feeling that this big hoss doesn’t give a fuck about his son, or really anyone but himself. The other cops have barricaded themselves in the police station and they see a little girl wandering the streets by the lynching tree. Now, any fan of horror knows, you do not go get that child because it’s the damn devil! But of course, one gullible cop falls for it and makes a run for it to grab the little girl into safety. As you are right to assume, it doesn’t go well and the cop looses his head. Literally. Which is shown in glorious color along with the gold/amber glow from the burning tree.
After a whole shit ton of f-bombs, the remaining cops grab the little girl and barricade the door in a panic. Meanwhile, down in the holding cell, we see the son, Skip, who is getting a little taunting from the prisoners. We also see why these prisoners have a really strong dislike for Skip because he continues to talk about these women who they were going to kill and drop a few n-bombs while he does it. As the power is shut off, the drama and dread continue to build as the little girl from the street comes down to the holding cells. She tells the cop that she wanted to look at the ‘bad men’. As the cop tried to get the little lady out of the area, she creepily tells the guy that she is sure that they would like to play with him. Ah crap, this guy is dead.
The little girl from the street transforms into her true form as a demon and causes the scared boy cop to start firing his weapon all over the holding cell. Blood is splattering everywhere and his father tries to run to the rescue. He is stopped by the other cops to be told that his son is outside kneeling in front of the burning tree with a man that the police force chased out of town named Casey. As the Sheriff makes his way outside, armed with a shotgun, to get his son, Casey tells him that the ladies gave him instructions to kill his son. In a flurry of activity and obviously hot tempered reaction, the Sheriff fires at Casey right in the gut to save his son. Casey is not really there. He disappears laughing into thin air while the bullets rain down upon his son, Skip.
The Sheriff crumples to the ground realizing that he just killed his son. While the Sheriff is ugly crying over his son, three ladies appear. The Sheriff asks these ladies what they want? They have already taken everything from him. The ‘bitches’, as he refers to them, explain that they chose this town because it needs to be made new. While they explain their plans, you see a smattering of townspeople being slaughtered. The Sheriff, in an act of big talk, tells them that Redlands doesn’t want devils and that they will be buried here because it’s his town. In an extremely dramatic turn, the ladies string up the Sheriff and creepily exclaim that Redlands is theirs.
Holy. Shit. I absolutely love Redlands. Wait, since it is a very mature and swear word laced story, let me try that again. *Clears throat* I FUCKING LOVE REDLANDS! This book kept me guessing what was going to happen next and on the hook to see what fresh hell these townspeople had gotten themselves into. I look forward to seeing the next issue. You have caught me, Redlands. I’ll see you in #2.