Friday, September 30, 2011
Scalped vol 5: High Lonesome TPB
Another trade, another collection of brilliant tragedy from Jason Aaron.
After the fairly frantic pacing of the series until now, Aaron pauses to give us a bit more background on some of Scalped’s supporting characters. The trade opens with a character piece about a grafter about to make Dash Bad Horse’s life even worse. It then spends two issues dealing with longtime foes Diesel and Agent Nitz. I really enjoyed all three features; like always, the story was fascinating yet it made me glad I’m not a part of Dash’s world. The pressure that guy must be under every waking moment!
The quick change from character focused drama to a horrific robbery is jarring for the reader and for Dash. Because of Dash’s… state of mind, I’m not sure he even understands what is happening until the end of the event. And once again, we’re reminded why you don’t mess with Agent Bad Horse.
As always, life is cheap in this comic. A bunch of guards and innocent bystanders get killed throughout the book, reinforcing the dangerous feel of this title. It’s odd, but with the death and the emphasis on character, along with the Western setting, I think I’ve realized what this book reminds me of. This series is basically Deadwood in book format, and that’s about the highest praise I can give. It’s simply brilliant, and as always I’m amazed that Aaron can create such dark stories that remain so fascinating.
A variety of artists work on the different chapters of this trade, but each one is a good match for the subject matter. The editors clearly made careful choices for each of these “fill-in” issues.