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Royal Reviews: Scarlet #1

Written by Royal Nonesuch on Monday, July 12 2010 and posted in Reviews

Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev get post-modern on us, and Royal Nonesuch is here to talk all about it!

Comic Review Cover

Credits & Solicit Info:

Art & Cover by ALEX MALEEV
Variant Cover by DAVID LAFUENTE
Variant Cover by MIKE DEODATO JR.
THE AWARD WINNING, BEST SELLING, POWERHOUSE CREATIVE TEAM BEHIND DAREDEVIL, HALO, AND THE AVENGERS UNLEASH THIR BOLDEST PROJECT YET! SCARLET! This is the comic experience of the year! The first creator owned series by one of the most successful teams in all of modern comics. Scarlet is the story of a woman pushed to the edge by all that is wrong with the world...A woman who decides to stand up and fight back...A woman who will not back down...A woman who discovers within herself the power to start a modern American revolution!! In the vein of Alias, Powers, and Jinx, Scarlet debuts a fascinating new comics character that, with every issue, reveals new things about herself against a completely original backdrop of intrigue and drama. Get in on the ground floor of the first creator owned series by Bendis since Powers, and the first creator owned series by Maleev...ever. (and, yes, the trademark obnoxious Bendis letter column will be here too)
40 PGS./Mature...$3.95
COPYRIGHT: jinxworld Inc, 2010. All right reserved


People fucking suck, and all the bullshit that happens in the world happens because of fucking assholes going around fucking things up.

That's basically the launch point of SCARLET #1, the intriguing new creator-owned series byscarlet1.jpg Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev.  Bendis and Maleev, having collaborated on a landmark Daredevil run for Marvel, as well as an unfortunately truncated Spider-Woman series, always do fantastic work when they come together.  They seem to enjoy a symbiotic working relationship that allows them to merge their styles in such a way that a singular vision comes forth.  They are one of the preeminent creative pairings in comics. 

Bendis is at his best when he is focusing on a character or a small collection of characters who have some axe to grind, or who are in search of some measure of personal resolution.  Case is point: Scarlet.  She is smart, tragic, and feels completely up against the wall.  She is that quintessential Bendis character, and her story is told with a great sense of rhythm and sensitive flair.  However, the  most interesting ideas in SCARLET #1 come not from the narrative, but in the formal approach to the storytelling.  Bendis brings a post-modern sensibility here by not only having the lead character address the audience directly, but by actively bringing them into the storyline itself.  It's thrilling, and Bendis' execution, if this issue is anything to go by, could lead to some bravely explored terrain. 

Alex Maleev's textured, scratchy artwork has always lent a sense of grounded immediacy to whatever he is working on, but in SCARLET #1, his lighting creates odd shadows that almost bring in an otherworldy effect.  It's not completely organic, but combined with the story, it's still very naturalistic and is a real pleasure to look at.  There are places when he renders the moments with a painterly feel that brings to mind a tortured dream.  It's a dirty, corrupt world, and all of us living in it are going through hell.  It's unsettling, but immediately eye-catching. 

SCARLET #1 is at once an introspective character study and a bombastic call to action.  It's a story about revolution and changing the way the world works, and it does so in the most intimate, human way.  Grant Morrison had The Invisibles, and now Brian Michael Bendis has SCARLET. 


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About the Author - Royal Nonesuch

As Senior Media Correspondent (which may be a made-up title), Royal Nonesuch tends to spearhead a lot of film and television content on The Outhouse. He's still a very active participant in the comic book section of the site, though. Nonesuch writes reviews of film, television, and comics, and conducts interviews for the site as well.  You can reach out to him on Twitter or with Email.


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