By Jason Aaron (writer), R.M. Guera (art), Lee Loughridge (colors)
Scalped #1-3 contains the first story arc of the series. The arc follows an undercover FBI agent named Bad Horse as he returns to his Indian Reservation in Nebraska. Like many reservations, this one is overrun with poverty, lawlessness, and full of drugs and alcohol. Bad Horse is considered an outcast with a less than reputable family name. He starts trouble with the locals and nearly gets himself killed before being spared by the “tribal leader”, Red Crow – a man full of corruption. Red Crow takes a liking to Bad Horse’s attitude. He makes Bad Horse a cop and uses him to to do his bidding. But some higher-ups in town don’t like Bad Horse’s attitude or reputation. That’s when things get crazy.
R.M. Guera’s art reminds me of Frank Miller in a way. It’s messy, very dark, and distinct all at the same time. The colors by Lee Loughridge are very bland and washed out. I’m not sure if he’s trying to capture the spirit of desolation in the midwest, but it sure instills that essence.
This book is hardcore, probably the most hardcover Vertigo book I’ve read since Garth Ennis’ Preacher. It’s full of testosterone, politics, sex, and things you probably see on an episode of Cops. There’s a lot of tension in this book and there’s usually something that hits the fan in each issue. If you can find these back issues at your local comic store, do not hesitate to pick them up. You can also pick up the first trade paperback, “Indian Country” which collects issues #1-5 for $9.99. Consider me on for the ride. If you’re interested giving this book a read, issue #1 is available as a free download from DC Comics. (Grade: A)
– J. Montes