Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera’s Scalped is the best crime drama out there, in any medium, period. The first page of Scalped #17 (July, 2008, Vertigo/DC Comics)–the aftermath of a tragic occurrence in a trailer park in the small Nebraska town of White Haven–is a disturbing jolt to the heart.
It was a possible plot scenario I had already played out in my head going into this issue, but I didn’t expect it so suddenly, and so off-panel; it had already occurred between Scalped #16 and #17. The aftermath is also realistic, gripping, and pulls no punches.
From there, the final installment of the five-part “Dead Mothers,” which includes the funeral of the murdered political activist Gina Bad Horse, only gets better–concluding on an aching emotional note at the boyhood home of tribal policeman/undercover FBI agent Dashiell Bad Horse. The surprise epilogue is a bloody tease, and I mean that literally.
Less than ten thousand people read Scalped, a book compassionate to the day-by-day struggles of the Native American Indian yet firmly intent on telling an intense, intriguing crime story. Meanwhile, there are thousands who know what they’re missing, as many of us Scalped fans have been telling them, pleading with them, but they’re not sold yet. Millions more simply do not know Scalped exists.
Those of us in-the-know must continue trumpeting this book to the masses. I know we all demand quality in a comic book we’re paying $2.99 for, and Scalped IS that quality book that delivers the engrossing goods, issue after issue. This book is a modern western, tough-as-nails, drenched in grime, baked in humanity, and comparable to No Country For Old Men.
Read it for yourself, buy it for someone else, spread the good word, and let’s keep Scalped alive.