In Between the Panels we take a look at artist Danijel Žeželj, who’s managed to best match Guéra’s style out of any other contributing artist on Scalped.
In Down on the Rez we explore the developments of Volume 7. Shunka’s sexual reveal gets trumped by more extreme violence, while Dash’s daddy — Wade — returns to the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation.
We also ponder the budding relationship between Carol and Granny. The elder sage has taken in the roustabout young woman due to her pregnancy. But can wisdom truly trump addiction? (ANSWER: Abortion.)
Finally, in Smoke Signals we look ahead to the future, asking questions like: Has Dino’s character arc fizzled out? What’s up with Catcher and Falls Down? And is there an inevitable conservative undercurrent in American comic books?
The cliffhanger image from the end of Scalped #32.
We also continue our discussion about Scalped’s treatment of female characters, finding that this story arc does nothing to make up for pasttransgressions. If anything, it makes things worse by ensuring that pretty much every woman in the story safely fits into a “lover, mother, or corpse” role.
As soon as she leaves the Lover Zone, Carol gets put into the Mom Zone!
The story settles into a brisk action-packed pace but it also increases the language and violence to a cartoonish extreme. If the earlier arcs of Scalped seemed to promise a “Native American noir” style of storytelling, then this arc suggests that we’re really reading “Bad Boys on the rez” instead.
Chief Red Crow bought a news copter… because, ummmm, why not?
Nick ponders if Scalped is hateful towards women. Female characters seem to only show up in the story as lovers, mothers, or corpses. We discuss the issue at length, speculating on the intended audience for the story.
And there’s a new addition to the rotating team of Scalped artists — the magnificent Francesco Francavilla, whose work here is a bit looser than usual.
Also… did Catcher actually kill Gina? Hank says yes, while Nick says no.
Furnò’s two-parter, The Boudoir Stomp, feels distinctly different from the stories that Jason Aaron writes for Guéra. It’s a much more direct and introspective tale, with lots of close-ups and character studies.
However, Guéra’s work has established the overall visual tone of Scalped and his approach tends to heavily integrate characters with settings. Also, Guéra’s close character shots are more abstract than Furnò’s direct, emotional images.
Many of our questions from last week’s discussion were promptly addressed by these comics, Scalped #19-24. We get Carol’s backstory, a flashback involving Wade (Dash’s father), and a lot of character development for Dino Poor Bear.
And we speculate on the fate of Lincoln Red Crow. Hank wonders when he’ll die, while Nick wonders if he’ll die at all. Will Red Crow become the hero of Scalped? Or will he remain an anti-villain, redeemed only by a tragic-but-inevitable death?
In this story arc, we’re introduced to Mr. Brass. He’s a torture-happy enforcer that poses a problem for Red Crow’s tenuous balance of crime and justice on the rez. Does Mr. Brass enhance the story by adding complexity? Or does he detract from it with his over-the-top violence?
We also meet Sheriff Karnow, a caricature of crooked country cop (alliteration!). Is Karnow a welcome addition to the rich cast of characters? Or does he alter the emotional tone of the story with his buffoonery?
Finally, we follow up on last week’s discussion of Scalped’s lack of substantial female characterization. We question if Scalped’s constant use of female nudity (albeit realistic nudity) is better or worse than the idealized sexualization of the female body often found in superhero comics.
After we ponder the chronological order of events that led to Gina Bad Horse’s death, we ask ourselves if Chief Red Crow has become more likable after this arc. Then we discuss a new character — Diesel, who Hank sees as Dash’s opposite.
Nick wonders about Agent Nitz’s background, trying to discern if the character’s heritage is important to the story. Meanwhile, Hank has a strong premonition that Dino Poor Bear is gonna do something terrible as things progress, while Nick feels that Granny Poor Bear adds a vital level of humanity to the cast of characters.
Nick compares the differences between the male and female characters in Scalped, and speculates on the significance of the blowjobs seen in this story arc. And after the end theme, Hank shares this week’s Allegheny Teen Center announcements.
Hank is reading Scalped as printed graphic novels while Nick is reading it digitally in single issues, so we’ve got different perspectives on the darkness of Guéra’s art and Lee Loughridge’s colors.
We dig deep into thematic elements and character relationships, leaving us asking a lot of questions. Is this story Native American crime noir or rezsploitation? Is Dash on a hero’s journey or a superhero’s journey? And will Red Crow be a redemptive character by the end of the tale?
Comic-Con is coming. DID YOU BRING YOUR SANITY?! Pick Of The Week goes to Jason Aaron & R.M. Guera for Scalped #59 (Vertigo)! Fast Five picks include Justice League: Dark #10 (DC), B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: Exorcism #1 (Dark Horse), Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation Squared (IDW), American Vampire #28 (Vertigo), and Atomic Robo: The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #1 (Red 5). Spoilers!
Comic book fans, I have returned to you! Pick Of The Week goes to Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez for Locke & Key: Clockworks #6 (IDW)! Fast Five picks include Saga #3 (Image), Fantastic Four #605.1 (Marvel), Hardcore #1 (Top Cow), Scalped #58 (Vertigo), and The Manhattan Projects #3 (Image). Spoilers!
In this special episode I’m joined by Dommy (The House-Dwarf) to discuss some graphic novels. We review Sweet Tooth Vol. 1 (Vertigo), Kill Shakespeare Vol. 1 (IDW), and Scalped Vol. 1 (Vertigo). Spoilers!