Saturday, March 3, 2012

Scalped #56

Written by Jason Aaron
Art by RM Guera

With this issue, the final story arc of Scalped begins, leading us to the series finale in issue 60.  Scalped has been just about the best comic I've bought for the last few years, and with this issue, I am already beginning to feel its absence.

The first two pages of this issue follow immediately on the ending of the last - Dash Bad Horse takes Lincoln Red Crow to jail, before the story jumps forward eight months, and Jason Aaron begins to wrap everything up by showing us where these characters are ending up.

We see that those eight months have brought a lot of changes to the Prairie Rose Reservation.  Red Crow's casino is closed, and Agent Nitz is living the good life.  Carol has continued to live cleanly, with the help of Granny Poor Bear.  Dino Poor Bear is still hanging out with his friends (Dino is my favourite character - I hope this isn't the last we see of him before the book ends, and he's the character I feel most deserves a happy ending).  Officer Falls Down is now the Chief of Police, and there are a lot more wild dogs around the reserve than their used to be.

The bulk of the book is given over to Dash and Red Crow, of course.  Dash has quit the FBI and the police force, and has donated money to build a new community centre, named after his mother, on the reservation.  He's with Maggie Rock Medicine, the traditionalist we met back when her father decided to run against Red Crow in elections.  It looks like he's finally got his life in order, and seems to be doing well for himself.

Red Crow is in jail, awaiting trial for murder.  It's been made clear to him that the only way he could get free would be by discrediting Dash on the stand.  That's not going to be hard, given the events of the last 55 issues of this comic, but this comic has always been about Red Crow's redemption as a human being, and Aaron writes him as a man who prizes his soul over his freedom.  Red Crow's scenes in this comic are terrific.

It's too late to suggest anyone jump on to this comic, but I continue to urge anyone and everyone who thinks Jason Aaron's work at Marvel is good to pick up the first volume of Scalped to enjoy some truly incredible writing and art.

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