Sons of Anarchy Redwood Original # 1
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Ollie Masters
Artist: Luca Pizzari
Cover Artists: Chris Brunner and Rico Renzi
Colorist: Adam Metcalfe
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Review by Anelise Farris
The popular FX show Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014), of which a spinoff is supposedly in the works, is no stranger to the world of comics. BOOM! Studios has given us six fantastic volumes of Sons of Anarchy comics—the sixth of which will be released October of this year. And, they’re at it again with an all new prequel series that presents readers with much younger versions of all of the SOA characters that we have come to love.
Here, in Sons of Anarchy Redwood Original #1, we meet eighteen-year-old Jax Teller processing his father’s death, dealing with his stepfather Clay, Tara leaving town, and trying to find his place in his father’s motorcycle club, Sons of Anarchy. Although all of this hangs over Jax in the television series, it is here in the prequel story that we get more of the backstory we have been wanting.
Overall, the issue flows extremely well, and the pairing of the writing and the art made me feel like I was re-watching an episode. Those who are familiar with the characters from the show will feel immense satisfaction at seeing all of their favorite characters depicted so well. Chibs and Bobby bear an uncanny resemblance to their actors in the show, and seeing Gemma again brought to surface all of those feelings of love/hate I have for this warrior of a mother. And we also have Opie, the college boy, who is (as in the show) unsure of how he fits into SAMCRO.
There is great emotional weight carried throughout the issue: all of the insecurity, anxiety, and fierce devotion that characterizes SAMCRO is communicated through the art—the shadows, smoke, and coloring. Even from just the first issue, we have a series of characters who are trying to prove themselves and gain some self-acceptance.
So, how do Ollie Masters and the crew behind the comic manage to give us everything we already love about SOA: colorful characters, biker gang life, and the usual mayhem and disorder? Well, the creator behind the FX series, Kurt Sutter, supervised the comic, so this feels like an extra-special treat for fans of the series. You can also check out an interview with writer Ollie Masters and artist Luca Pizzari to read more about their process in approaching the comic—all guaranteed to make you respect and enjoy the comic even more.
Buy it! For fans of Sons of Anarchy, this is definitely worth the read—especially since we have been two years now without the television show. For people unfamiliar with the television series, you will still enjoy the comic; however, you might not feel the same satisfaction and emotional response that those already familiar with the characters will. Either way, a great read, and I’m looking forward to the next issue.