Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Vertigo Comics (DC Comics)
Aaron & Guera
This issue epitomizes everything that’s great about this title. Aaron tells two parallel tales about two ancillary characters that is surprising, moving and incredibly well crafted. This issue proves that the world of Scalped goes much deeper than Bad Horse, Red Crow and the other players that the main story revolves around. This is a fantastic read.
Officer Falls Down is held captive by the crazy man known as Catcher. Apparently Falls Down figured out that Catcher is the real killer of Gina, Bad Horse’s mother and Red Crow’s former lover. Catcher decides to hold Falls Down hostage and force him through an insane test. The test is an obstacle course, in a cave, riddled with bear traps, rattlesnakes and spears. If Falls Down is a pure man then he’ll walk the path and live – while blindfolded.
The other character focused on in this issue is Lawrence, the man in jail that took the fall for the dead FBI agents all those years ago. Red Crow has been protecting Lawrence. Lawrence asks for his freedom from Red Crow while telling Red Crow that he is fairly certain that it was Catcher who killed Gina. Red Crow has a new target now.
The Red Crow and Lawrence interaction is interesting because through their tie all of the other characters are impacted. Where would Gina be if Catcher or Red Crow went to prison instead of Lawrence? Where would Bad Horse be if Lawrence told him that Catcher was Gina’s murderer? The permutations seem endless. Falls Down is just a pawn in all of this but his involvement in this issue is perhaps the most interesting.
Falls Down finds a spirit to guide him through the gauntlet. It’s not without consequences but it does seem to rub Catcher the wrong way. It’s hard to say if Catcher is really crazy or if he is just that calculated but he’s clearly got more steps to his plan that he’s engaged.
The issue’s artwork is excellent. The scenes in the cave, particularly the part where Catcher is contemplating killing Falls Down are the highlights of the issue. The comic book tells a visually stunning story.
Scalped is consistently one of the best reads each month but this issue raises the bar. Generally the most impressive issues are the game changers – the ones where the main characters change directions or make critical decisions. This issue relies on the supporting cast almost entirely and it’s still an amazing comic. This is a great book.
5 out of 5 Geek Goggles