Tony Black reviews Sons of Anarchy: Redwood Original #4…
A night of wild partying leads to Opie getting hurt and Jax facing heavy consequences.
The consequences and repercussions continue piling on Jax Teller as Sons of Anarchy: Redwood Original begins heating up in its fourth issue. Ollie Masters continues to do a really excellent job of portraying a Jax whose continued reckless actions plunge him further away from a club where we know his destiny lies, and even knowing that it’s a fascinating story to see unfold. Masters adds stronger levels of plot this time around too which only compounds the trouble Jax finds himself in with Clay, as Masters holds back on their inevitable confrontation until the very end, and it’s worth it. Before then, a dangerous new enemy enters Charming and makes quite the statement.
In a way the actual plot around Redwood Original is fairly thin, more following an attempted move on the drug trade which goes south and leaves SAMCRO in trouble, but the simple strength of the writing and character work mean the comic completely manages to get away with it. Much like the show itself, it’s really all about Jax coming to understand his place in the club and his responsibilities, and here in his attempt to run away from facing what he’s done wrong, he gets himself (and poor Opie) into another world of shit, largely down to his own use of the merchandise SAMCRO are battling against entering Charming.
While to an extent Jax’s actions are intentionally trying to cause the club problems, it’s he not thinking them through which cause greater knock on effects that send Clay to the edge of his tether, and with the scary new bounty hunter enemy who complicates matters (allowing too for a little cameo for Alvarez of the Mexicans) this will only send the club potentially spiralling off into more and more difficulties. You can understand Clay’s reaction here and it means the story Masters tells feels organic and logical in terms of how to develop Jax into the man we know him to be from the show.
With two more issues to go, it’s almost a shame Redwood Original is heading towards its climax, given how consistently impressive it’s turning out to be. Sons of Anarchy in everything from its pulped, stark and drained panels, to the gritty writer and bloody uber-violence, it continues to be the prequel series to the show you never knew you wanted.