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Voluminous Vertigo Week: Scalped #14

by  in Comic News Comment
Voluminous Vertigo Week: Scalped #14

DC’s Vertigo line of comics puts out some of the best comics by either Marvel or DC, and this week, a staggering FIVE good Vertigo comic books were released – let’s talk about them – BC.

I know that I speak about it often, but the transformation of Jason Aaron’s Scalped from a fair enough book to one of Vertigo’s strongest titles month in and month out is still one of my favorite “feel good” comic book stories of 2007.

The comic itself, though, is certainly not feel good, but it also continues to be an engaging and intriguing read.

The current storyline is titled Dead Mothers, and that is just what it is about – our star, Dashiell Bad Horse, is trying to solve the murder of a meth addict with a bunch of kids (last issue, there is an absolutely BRUTAL scene where the kids are given a bag full of hamburgers to eat, and the oldest, who takes care of his brothers and sisters, takes the first hamburger and begins to tear it up into smaller pieces for each of his siblings, before he realizes that they are being given a hamburger EACH – such a great scene), while meanwhile also dealing (or attempting to NOT deal) with the murder of his own mother.

Aaron, as usual, does a good job of capturing the sort of awkward interactions that often make up lots of people’s interactions. His flashback scene to Dashiell interacting with his mother as a youth as she attempts to teach him about their heritage is brilliant in how well he captures the effortless cruelty of youth. It reminds me of Skyscrapers of the Midwest (which is one of my all-time favorite comics) in this regards.

Dashiell is a cop working for the reservation where he grew up, but secretly, he is an FBI agent working undercover to bring down the Chief of the reservation. This storyline, Dashiell’s “fake” job conflicts with his “real” job as the murderer of the meth addict is ALSO involved with the FBI, and is therefore protected. As you might imagine, Dashiell takes this news poorly.

Meanwhile, though, I love how Aaron has Dashiell’s mind thinks – his plan to deal with the meth addict’s murderer is designed in a way as to please the FBI, as well, but you know that is not his motivation – he just wishes to come up with a way to have the bad guy killed. It’s subtle stuff by Aaron.

R.M. Guera’s artwork continues to evoke the noirish feel that Aaron is going for in his story. That is helpful.

The mystery of how killed Dashiell’s mother continues, and it appears to be a good one.

Just like this series.

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