By Ollie Masters, Lucas Werneck, Joana Lafuente, Ed Dukeshire, Luca Pizzari
SAMCRO is desperately searching for Jax, even reaching out to a former enemy for help. Jax is in the hands of men ready to kill him for the trouble of holding him captive, and the man who put him there is having second thoughts.
Not a lot happens in this issue, which is something of a problem. The most emotional payoff that comes here is Clay telling Gemma that even though he’s the head of patriarchal organization that values women more as sexual objects than equal persons, she’s the real leader even if no one ever says it. This is ridiculous for any number of reasons to those who followed the show, but I’ll pick out the simplest one: Gemma Teller doesn’t need affirmation to her role in anything. She’s loyal to her family, and does what she wants nearly always without hesitation. Almost everything Clay says is true, (as president of SAMCRO he actually is the leader, not Gemma) but the fact that it needs to be said at all in a past setting where this sort of thing likely wouldn’t be considered, even in rural California, just seems like the writer’s wishful thinking.
That wouldn’t stick out so much if there was anything substantive that occurred in the pages, but really, its a middle chapter in a story quickly losing steam. We know Jax will survive this, and there’s a lack of tension over his imprisonment. Likewise, the emotional toll on his friends and family seems pretty lacking. It may be unfair to expect the same exhilaration from a twenty-two page comic as a forty minute Shakespearean-inspired drama, but its impossible when one attempts to be the other and comes up short.
Sons of Anarchy Redwood Original has a wide range of material it could cover, as a prequel to one of FX’s best dramas. However, it seems to struggle to beat even the previous Sons of Anarchy comic, which itself offered many mixed individual stories that failed to do the characters justice. Ollie Masters and company need to dig a bit deeper to find something to do with the cast and unique histories they have, or I can see it being cut very soon.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent