Redlands Volume One: Sisters By Blood
Jordie Bellaire, writer & color artist; Vanesa Del Ray, artist; Clayton Cowles, letterer & production
Image Comics, 2018
Colorist Jordie Bellaire makes her writing debut with this series about a trio of witches running the town of Redlands, Florida. The story opens in 1977, with a failed lynching of the witches--in front of the police station. This makes it official, so their vengeance on the male power structure seems completely justified. The scene shifts to the present for the second issue. The witches are in charge, and they have a serial killer to deal with.
The rest of the story involves the killer--his identity, and his relationship to the witches. There's also the need for a yearly sacrifice, and a lot of history. In some ways the history is more interesting than the present. There is a large amount of it, all of it surprising.
Despite the complimentary blurbs from other comics creators, this is a story that feels like an exploratory effort. Bellaire may have a future as a writer, but this arc leaves the question undecided. Del Ray's art is effective, but not enough to overcome the limitations of the writing.