Current Reviews


Scalped #17

Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2008
By: Erik Norris

Jason Aaron
R.M.Guera, Ginlia Brusco (c)
Vertigo / DC
The first page of this issue will punch you in the gut. I figure I should give you fair warning to prepare yourself, so you don’t open the cover and almost weep a tear. Absolutely no words, just images, and the message is as sharp as a razor blade.

Man, I love Scalped!

Issue #17 wraps up the “Dead Mothers” arc, and by its conclusion, a lot of progress has been made towards grounding our lead protagonist, Dashiell. By no means a cutout hero, Dashiell finally shows a side of humility lacking from the previous sixteen issues, and I for one am ecstatic. What is even better is these defining pages aren’t littered with dialogue or monologue boxes, telling reader’s Dashiell emotions. Instead R.M. Guera shows his magic and delivers two pages of silent that pack all the emotional weight a single person can bare.

When I first started reading Scalped I was a little put off. This book has no characters that are worth liking. I was raised not to like assholes, so why should I read a series filled to the brim with them? However, I now understand the draw. The fun is in watching the jackasses crumble, showing how weak and frail they actually are once the dust settles. So seeing Jason Aaron write so strongly as to actually make me like the jerks, most impressive. Aaron is turning in fantastic crime fiction each month with Scalped, and it’s a shame a lot of crime novel lovers will be missing this due to it being a “funny book.”

As I mentioned before, R.M. Guera delivers a great looking book this month. Is it just me or have the shadows been toned down a tad? When catching up on the series in trades, I noticed that a lot of pencils were hard to decipher (most noticeable in action sequences) because of how heavy the shadows were. It was fitting for the tone of the book, but since I started picking up the monthlies, I have noticed that Guera’s pencils show a lot more detail instead of being completely drown out by blackness. It has truly made me appreciate Guera’s talent a whole lot more.

Scalped is a series that shouldn’t be missed by anyone. It would take a lot of convincing to prove Scalped isn’t the best series being published at Vertigo, and that’s quite an honor. Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera are delivering month in and out and issue #17 is quite possibly the strongest issue yet. And as for the “epilogue” in the issue, I don’t really know what is going on, but I’m excited to find out. Next month can’t come fast enough.

What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!