#934 in 1001 Comics To Read Before You Die
#192 in CBH Best Comics of all Time
I am absolutely shocked that this is it as far as I can find rewards wise.
From the publisher, “It is gravel Jason Aaron, the up-and-coming writer of the critically acclaimed series THE OTHER SIDE teams with gritty artist R.M. Guera for an intense crime drama that mixes organized crime with current Native American culture.
Fifteen years ago, Dashiell “Dash” Bad Horse ran away from a life of abject poverty and utter hopelessness on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation in hopes of finding something better. Now he’s come back home armed with nothing but a set of nunchucks, a hell-bent-for-leather attitude and one dark secret, to find nothing much has changed on “The Rez” — short of a glimmering new casino, and a once-proud people overcome by drugs and organized crime. Is he here to set things right or just get a piece of the action?”
Imagine if The Wire and the third season of Breaking Bad had a love child then throw in Native American culture and you have the first volume of the Scalped series. Geez, I feel like the inside of my skull needs a handful of rock candy, and maybe some Teletubbies after reading this. Jason Aaron explores desire, power, intrigue, and mystery all within the guise of a modern-day crime story.
What sets this series apart, is how well it is written and the totality that each character is messed up. So much so, that is it easily believable. Which is a sad commentary… Dashiel is not a “bad guy with a heart of gold” trope. He is just not a nice guy, who has a hard past that he has overcome. And is now thrown back into a blender of crap that is his hometown by the higher-ups in the federal agency. He hates it and pretty much hates everyone he encounters, including his mom, his boss, and ex-girlfriend. Expertly written, it conveys the ennui of the main character Dashel Bad Horse as he is forced to reconcile with parts of his past that he never planned to deal with again. I hope in future books that we may see some glimmer of hope somewhere. I am not sure I can take ten volumes of angst, and hatred.
I’ll give it to you straight, this series is not for the easily offended. There is graphic sex, murder, drugs, alcoholism, and mayhem.
All of the imaging is gritty and shown baking in the sun by the superb artwork of R.M Guera. This series is unforgiving like black asphalt when it is 110 outside. It hurts, it smells, and it is necessary for the story. There is a rawness, and ruthlessness to these characters that reminds me very much of the Preacher series and I look forward to seeing what it brings.