July 21, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: Scalped Book One

Dash Bad Horse goes the last place he ever wants to be: back to the reservation he was born in.

Jason Aaron is one of my favorite working comics writers, and I know DC made something of a big deal of his recent work on Superman and Batman.  But this wasn’t his first work for the company as he wrote the series Scalped for Vertigo in the past.

I wanted to see what he could do with that.

Scalped is something that should be right up Aaron’s alley:  a crime story, set among a whole lot of bastards, and not with the sort of characters that are typically depicted as crime lords, in this case, Native Americans on a reservation.  The basic premise is simple enough:  Dashiell “Dash” Bad Horse returns to the reservation of his youth and quickly finds himself working as a tribal police officer for Lincoln Red Crow, a one-time Native Rights activist who has since turned to a life as a crime lord to line his own pockets while ostensibly helping his tribe out as well.  Heck, most of this trade revolves around the fact that Red Crow is opening a casino.

One small wrinkle:  Bad Horse is an undercover FBI agent there at the behest of a racist superior who really wants to bring Red Crow down and doesn’t care how he does it.

As would be expected in a series like this one, there are a collection of colorful characters, many of them with rather questionable morality, and a number of complicated relationships, like how Bad Horse has some kind of physical thing going with Red Crow’s daughter, and both of them seem to have unresolved anger issues with their respective parents.  It’s the sort of work I expect of Aaron.

And yet, this didn’t quite work for me.  I suspect this was an earlier work for Aaron as he was polishing his skills and it isn’t quite as good as I was hoping it would be.  I do know this volume, covering 11 issues, was decent enough, and I can finish off the rest on DC Universe Infinite, but will I?  Eh, maybe.  This book just didn’t grab me as much as I would have hoped it would have.

7.5 out of 10 white guys claiming to be Indians.