So, Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera have been doing a book for Vertigo for a few months now called Scalped. It's an interesting enough "high concept," an FBI agent going back to do undercover work at the reservation that he grew up on, but for the first three issues, the book really faltered. It faltered so much that I was not all that looking forward to issue #4. But suddenly, out of nowhere, #4 was quite good, and now, the last issue #5 was also very good. Suddenly, Scalped has become a good book! In fact, the two-parter in #4 and 5 was so good, I really do not understand why THEY weren't the first issues of the series. I think Scalped is a great case for renumbering, because if #4 was the first issue of this series, I think you'd be hearing a lot about the quality of Scalped, but since it came around after three pretty lackluster (not BAD, mind you) issues, I fear that people have already made up their minds about the book.
Well, let me tell you, if you HAD written the book off, give it another shot with #4, I don't think you'll regret it.
The first three issues focused on the book's star, Dashiell Bad Horse, a character out of the John McClane/Jack Burton character mold, and the rest of the characters were basically ciphers.
In #4 and 5, though, we get the spotlight taken OFF of Dashiell and placed upon the many supporting characters in the book, and the result is quite illuminating (to carry the spotlight analogy farther than I should). We get the back story of the older characters, and it is by far the most interesting thing that we have learned so far in the book. The flashbacks are excellent, and I think if we OPENED with them, we'd be more drawn to the storyline as it develops. Lord knows that I am more interested in the characters after having read #4 and 5.
Even the art, by R.M. Guera, seems to have improved a bit. He appears to work better with the more moody, character-driven stories of #4 and 5, as opposed to the slightly more action-oriented stories of the first three issues (in the first few issues, when the scenes WERE character-driven ones, he did well).
So yeah, Scalped #4 and 5 are good comics that I would recommend.
Give this book another shot!
By the way, the Jock covers are always awesome, though!
EDITED TO ADD: It's not just me who thinks this! Blog pal Ryan Day had the exact same thought about Scalped #4 and 5 (and, I'll admit, he did a better job articulating his point). Check his piece out here. Here is a link to his review of the first three issues.