Character Spotlight: Scarlet Rue (Icon Comics)

by $Rico$

Scarlett-1-198x300 Character Spotlight:  Scarlet Rue (Icon Comics)It seems nowadays we all know about the A-list characters in comics but let us not forget the minor, B-list characters out there in the comic world.  Soon to make that transition to A-list status we all are hoping for.  This article will focus on one such character.  Easily a character that you probably never heard of – no powers or mutant abilities – but a fan favorite to all Brian Michael Bendis fans since his creation in 2010.  With all that being said, there were talks about possibly seeing this character in an HBO or Cinemax series.  The exact details are of course anyone’s guess but what this article is going to focus on is a character that you might want to know.  Let me introduce you to Scarlet Rue.

Origin of Scarlet Rue

Like I mentioned earlier, Scarlet has no mutant powers or flying abilities.  Instead, she is a normal person like you and me who happens to live in Portland, Oregon.  One of those real-life characters we can all relate to in real-life circumstances going through similar situations in society.  Scarlet is a young woman whose life was completely destroyed by the actions of a corrupt police officer in Portland, Oregon.  We’ve all heard of those heart-wrenching stories in the news and that is why fans by the masses were drawn to this series when it premiered in June 2010.  The fact of the matter is, the action of the cop was covered up and Scarlet’s life was ruined, but instead of bowing down, she fought back and became a very powerful counter-cultural media sensation.  Ultimately, she starts a revolution, with many followers, right in the heart of Portland.

Scarlet-2-300x182 Character Spotlight:  Scarlet Rue (Icon Comics)

As you can see, considering what’s going on in today’s world of mass protests and resistance, it’s not hard to imagine a story like Bendis coming to the small screen.  Everybody loves a fictional heroine who’s not necessarily based on anyone in particular but someone who stands for themselves.  Bendis once shared his inspiration for the comic book that is worth noting:

“It takes place here.  And why it takes place here is that in Portland, we care.  People have seen the headlines.  It was the idea that if the new American Revolution ever happened, and we woke up and learned that it started here in Portland, we wouldn’t be surprised”.  – Brian Michael Bendis (2010)

Powers and Abilities    

Scarlet has no extraordinary powers or mutant abilities.

First Appearance

Scarlet-3-187x300 Character Spotlight:  Scarlet Rue (Icon Comics)Scarlet is a creator-owned comic book series written by Brian Michael Bendis with artist Alex Maleev under Marvel Comics’ Icon Comics imprint.  Scarlet first appeared in Scarlet #1 (2010).   If you’re not much of an independent comic publisher fan then you might have missed this series.  It was a short 10-issue series with many of the issues being distributed out sporadically throughout the years not necessarily month after month as we are accustomed to.

The census is extremely small when it comes to this particular comic book.  You can look at it in two different ways – stay away from, not interested, or maybe it’s time to buy since there is no interest – it’s up to you!  Surprisingly, according to the CGC census, there are only 65 graded copies of Scarlet #1 with 32 graded at 9.8.  Very low numbers indeed.  According to GoCollect, the last sale of this comic book graded in 9.8 was for $100 with that sale being in 1/2019!  Wow!  A raw set, issue #1-10, sold on eBay for $30 on 4/2020.

Interesting to note, according to Comichron, Scarlet #1 had a print run of 32,015.  Issue #1 is probably the issue to get if you’re any 1st appearance collector.  If you like a good story, then the full run will do you justice.  There was also a short 5-issue mini-series released in 2018 of Scarlet by Jinxworld, but the volume 1 series is the one to get if you ask me.


Scarlet-4-300x169 Character Spotlight:  Scarlet Rue (Icon Comics)I said it before and I’ll say it again, the thing about comic book collecting is when people collect one comic, it doesn’t mean you have to collect the same thing.  This is a character that no one is talking about but could be in a streaming service or premium channel soon.  But just like with anything else, the slightest hint of something will see those CGC census numbers increase as more and more people will submit and grade what they have.  When people look straight just remember there’s nothing wrong with looking to the left and right too.  Collect what you want to collect but be it known, on this day, you now know who Scarlet Rue is – a female heroine who is tired of playing by the rules and is starting a revolution in an American city no matter the cost!

Please share your thoughts and comments you have about Scarlet.  Are you a fan of comic book characters without the powers?  Does she remind you of another vigilante in comics?  Do you see her appearing on to the big/small screen soon?  Which Scarlet series is your favorite?  Who is another independent character in comics you like a Character Spotlight on?

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Pete May 25, 2020 - 3:42 pm

Hard pass.

Richard Guzman May 28, 2020 - 10:23 pm


Tony C May 26, 2020 - 9:02 am

I had never heard of this character; thanks for the head’s up!

Richard Guzman May 28, 2020 - 10:22 pm

Anytime. The more we know ….

Johnny Woehst June 10, 2020 - 3:47 pm

I own all of these including many variants and have since release. It’s great to see them get some respect. A show would be awesome. Think it may be time for another cgc ship.

Richard Guzman June 13, 2020 - 1:15 pm

I just have the original 1st volume. Definitely an interesting storyline to say the least. I agree, a show would be awesome. Good luck with the CGC submission, think I’ll do the same!


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