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On The Throne: Porcelain38 Reviews Vertigo's Scalped: The Gnawing

Written by Steven Harris on Saturday, May 29 2010 and posted in Reviews

Porcelain38 Reviews Vertigo's latest installment in Jason Aaron's crime masterpiece  Scalped!

Comic Review Cover

Credits & Solicit Info:

Written by JASON AARON
 Art by R.M. GUERA
Cover by JOCK

In this new collection featuring issues #30-34 of the monthly series, Red Crow commits a murder in front of witnesses and the FBI thinks they can finally put him away. Meanwhile, Dash's loyalty is tested as his addiction to heroin intensifies.

Vertigo/128pg/ Color/ Softcover /$14.99 US/ Mature Readers



    Folks it's a simple fact of life: Sooner or later....the shit will hit the fan. There's nothing more fun than being a fan and watching it build up to the point where you know sooner or later the shit will hit the fan.  And when the day comes that when said shit hits said fan it's gonna be everywhere and the fans will be the one who reap the benefits of it.

    For quite awhile now Jason Aaron's Vertigo crime epic Scalped has been building to a single confrontation. The Reservation's leader and casino owner  Chief Red Crow has owed money to a local Asian gang who funded the building of the Casino.  With the Hmongs coming after Red Crow, the protagonist , undercover FBI agent Dashiell Bad Horse, struggles with a growing meth addiction and troubled relationship with Red Crow's daughter, Carol.  The FBI are breathing down Bad Horse's neck for evidence and their last agent who was imprisoned, Diesel Engine, is being released from prison. Out in the middle of the Rez is the mysterious Catcher, an old school shaman who talks to Thunder-Beings, who watches over everyone and attempts to help (but fails most of the time). Throw in a free for all scramble for a witness who has seen too much, and you got yourself a perfect storm.  Scalped: The Gnawing  proves to be the best volume to date of the series due to the fact that everything is on the line and up for grabs.

   Jason Aaron who has now gone on to be a fan favorite over at Marvel Comics still manages to bring his "A Game" to Scalped. In the middle of such a story driven arc Aaron manages to develop his characters greatly. Lost within the pages of The Gnawing lies a single scene that speaks so much for not just the character Dashiell Bad Horse but the entire book itself. Bad Horse sets at the border of the reservation and simple stares out at it pondering just leaving before he gets the call to return back to the local police station. All of the characters within Scalped posses the ability to leave forever but for some reason they manage to stay, and it's in their misery that we the readers enjoy greatly. At the end of the volume there's death, and there's a lot of it. For a book like Scalped each death means something important (unlike certain mainstream comics) and seeing so many characters kill and be killed, it leaves the reader wanting to know if anyone in the series is safe from death.  Aaron's partner in crime R.M. Guera uses a unique style that brings a certain gravity to the world of Scalped. Guera's finest feat is being able to convey every emotion of the characters in crystal detail, you almost forget that your reading a comic book. With Aaron saying that he foresees Scalped lasting close to 60 issues in total that means that The Gnawing is the halfway point for the series; and with that much action and development in a single volume it makes you giddy at the thought of what this creative team has in store for the grand finale.

    Every since Vertigo's inception in the early 90's each decade has had a book that has stood head and shoulders above everything else. For the 90's it was Neil Gailman's Sandman series. For the 2000's it was either 100 Bullets or Y:The Last Man depending on who you talk to.  With that being said, Scalped will be the next genre defining book for the entire Vertigo line because it no other book can compete with it's advanced storytelling.  It truly is a crime epic in the making. Go ahead and jump on now so that when the final curtain call comes for the series comes, you can enjoy seeing everything coming to an end and watching the shit hit the fan in a finale that I can guarantee that you do not want to miss.


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