Friday, November 1, 2019

Review: SCARLET #1

SCARLET No. 1 (2018)
DC COMICS/Jinxworld – @DCComics

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Brian Michael Bendis
ART/COLORS: Alex Maleev
LETTERS: Joshua Reed
EDITOR: Michael McCalister
COVER: Alex Maleev
VARIANT COVERS: Michael Gaydos
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (October 2018)

Rated “M” for “Mature”

Pearl created by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev

Scarlet is a comic book series created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev.  The series was originally published under Marvel Comics' “Icon” imprint, beginning in 2010 and concluding in 2016 with the eighth issue.  Bendis and Maleev have revived Scarlet at DC Comics, publishing it it under Bendis' “Jinxworld” brand.  Bendis writes Scarlet, and Maleev draws and colors the series.  Joshua Reed is the letterer.

Scarlet follows a young woman named Scarlet Rue whose rebellion against corruption ends up starting a new American revolution.  Scarlet and her boyfriend, Gabriel, have an ugly confrontation with a police officer.  After trying to frame Gabriel, a corrupt detective shoot both Scarlet and Gabriel, who dies.  Scarlet survives and then goes on a campaign against the corrupt Portland Police Department.  She films everything she does and posts it online, and her actions lead to a violent protest that eventually causes the devastation of Portland.

Scarlet #1 opens in Portland where we meet Scarlet Rue.  The city is practically like an American version of foreign cities that have been under siege (like Beirut, Lebanon in the 1980s and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina of the 1990s).  Scarlet still shares her campaign with the world, but now, she is starting to wonder how much it is affecting the people trapped in Portland.  Now, her adversaries are about to make her an offer.

I did not read the original Marvel/Icon issues of Scarlet.  Honestly, I do not remember even hearing about the series.  Scarlet #1 2018 does a good job on catching readers up to speed on what has occurred thus far, so that new readers like myself are not lost in a fog of chapters past.  I like that Bendis has Scarlet narrate the story and even break the fourth wall to speak to readers.

It is not often that I dislike anything Bendis has written.  I am starting to feel that way about artist Alex Maleev.  I really like the bleak world that Maleev creates with his illustrations and colors.  Maleev presents a graphical narrative of a war-torn city that is edgy and stark without going full dystopian.  Maleev's graphics keep the story moving with a mean rhythm that is not slowed even by the sections of the story that are heavy with Bendis' exposition.

Thus far, I have read the first issues of three of Bendis' DC Comcs/Jinxworld titles, Pearl, Cover, and now Scarlet.  [I have yet to read the first issue of another Jinxworld revival, United States vs. Murder Inc.]  I can recommend them all to you, dear readers, as I am eagerly awaiting some second issues.

8 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2018 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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