Sons of Anarchy is a television show created by Kurt Sutter about a 1% outlaw motorcycle club operating many charters in the United States and a couple charters overseas. The mother charter and main focus of the show, Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original (SAMCRO), runs guns throughout the Western United States, making enemies of rival gangs, politicians, and law enforcement. The show ran for 6 seasons, from 2008-2013.
Jackson “Jax” Teller is first seen on the show as Vice President of SAMCRO, later President. Many of the show storylines focus around Jax trying to reconcile his personal life, the business of the club, and living up to the legacy of his father, John “JT” Teller, who founded the club and served as its first President until he was killed in a “motorcycle accident.” Much of the conflict within the club is between V.P. Jax and President Clay Morrow, who was JT’s best friend and V.P. (also, incidentally, the guy who was sleeping with JT’s old lady and had him murdered so he could marry JT’s wife and take over his club).
Sons Of Anarchy: Redwood Original #1 sets up this series as a prequel to the television show, taking us back to Jax Teller’s youth. Eighteen years old and straight out of high school, Jax has decided to prospect for SAMCRO. Jax’ (Jax’s?) longtime friend Opie has gone the college route, but still hangs out at the SAMCRO clubhouse, where his father, Piney, is one of the First Nine. All the favorite characters from the TV show are present and none will be dying soon. Prequel, remember. The likenesses of Bobby “Elvis” Munson, Chibs, Tig, Clay, Piney and Clay are spot on.
Many of the themes from the show are shown here in their infancy. Jax is torn between honoring the memory of his father and trying desperately to gain the approval of his step-dad, Clay. Opie is conflicted between fulfilling his old man’s legacy, earning with the club, and going legit with a college degree and a 9-5 job. The club’s long-standing policy to strictly run guns and stay away from illicit drugs is also put to the test.
Fans of the show will recognize many of the show’s cast in the background of this issue, which focuses mainly on Jax, but new readers will have no problems following along. Ollie Masters consulted with Kurt Sutter before penning the script and it shows. The overall feel of the club, the clubhouse, the city of Charming, and the interaction between the characters feels very natural and true to the source material.
Kurt Sutter’s prequel television series, The First Nine, won’t debut until at least 2017. Until then, Sons Of Anarchy: Redwood Original is a great place to get your SOA fix.
Sons Of Anarchy: Redwood Original #1, BOOM! Studios, released August 10, 2016, written by Ollie Masters, art by Luca Pizzari, colors by Adam Metcalfe, letters by Ed Dukeshire, cover by Chris Brunner, cover colors by Rico Renzi, variant covers by Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and Brian Level, $3.99
Review by Brendan Allen