Being from the south I will forever have a soft spot for stories from there. It’s an area that is often the butt of the joke and rarely is taken seriously amongst the rest of the country. Sure, the music that comes out of there is awful (my hatred for modern country is so thick I almost choke on it…) and it’s leading export is meth, but the south has so much more to offer than forcing Ned Beatty to sequel like a pig. Case in point: Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Jonas Scharf’s Warlords of Appalachia. A dystopian tale set smack dab in the middle of Kentucky.
America has gone to war with Kentucky and after losing, Kentucky has seceded from the nation. Ran like a giant prison, Kentucky is now under military order. Citizens are free to live throughout the state, but have zero contact with the outside world. Kade Mercer is the areas local badass. He keeps to himself and all the locals know it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep it that way. So of course when a new military captain is transferred to Mercer’s territory (and make no bones about it, this is Mercer land!) he pushes a little too hard and Kade has no choice but to push back!
Warlords of Appalachia is one tough motherfucker of a comic book. Johnson has created a world that doesn’t feel too far off from the one we live in now. Not saying I’ve gone all YouTube government conspiracy nut and am now stockpiling guns, but the idea of us turning on one and another is more plausible as the days go on and the more Trump keeps speaking. Speaking of the Trump, the framing device used in issue one is a right winged radio host that helps “set the table” on this world and also gives us the only viewpoint on the world outside of the bluegrass state. He feels like a mix between Limbaugh and Trump, if this demon hybrid was created by Alan Moore. Come to think of it the entire book is a southern fried V for Vendetta. Only Moore has never written anything this badass.
Kade Mercer has the potential to go down as one of the all time most badass characters in comic book history. He keeps to his own and only care is that for his son Chess. Every fictional badass has a soft spot and Kade doesn’t even try to hide his. He lets it be known that he will protect his son and do whatever it takes to ensure his safety. This is the first issue, so we know that Chess is going to be put into some danger. What we don’t know is just how Kade is going to retaliate and from what we see in the last panel, Kade is hitting back hard!
Warlords of Appalachia has made it to my pull list. An excellent story by Johnson with beautiful art by Scharf. I couldn’t recommended this title anymore.