Friday, January 14, 2011

Scalped v6: The Gnawing TPB

Jason Aaron's Native American noir is still brilliant. No other word can describe the riveting story that's been going strong for six trades now. I didn't re-read the older trades when I picked up this one, and I was amazed at how quickly I was pulled back in to the awful, fascinating life of Dash Bad-Horse. I picked this book up meaning to read one issue and ended up staying up late to read the entire trade. I love that there are still comics this good.

There is a ton of payoff here. Chief Red Crow is an awfully likeable villain. After standing up to the Hmong enforcer Mr. Brass, he proceeds to do the right thing when dealing with the entire Hmong crime family. Red Crow reminds me of Swearengen on Deadwood; he's a bad guy, but he's OUR bad guy now, so he's preferable to all others. Dash is still in trouble with Red Crow and the law, but things do finally start to sort themselves out thanks to the meth-head Diesel. A lot of innocent people (or as innocent as anyone is in this comic) get hurt or killed along the way, but perhaps things are evening out for Dash. Maybe he can finally relax for a few issues.

Yeah, I don't think so, either.

R.M. Guera's art is fantastic. Dash's emotions are hidden in public, but you can see him crumble every time he's alone with the reader. Red Crow's daughter Carol is the weirdest mix of sad, gross, and hot I've ever seen in a comic. You almost have to read it to believe how well Guera handles the balance.


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