HOLD THE KNIGHT!
It’s probably pretty safe to say that Frank Miller’s classic, The Dark Knight Returns, is a revered classic among fans of the medium. It established a gritty world, post-Batman and overrun by a gang called The Mutants. Enter the latest series from Brian Michael Bendis, Scarlet.
Scarlet tells the story of a police force who wrongfully hospitalizes a woman into a coma and kills her boyfriend. After her coma, she seeks revenge and ultimately sparks a revolution against the corrupt police department that killed her beloved.
The look and feel of this book feel enormously like Gotham in Returns series. The storytelling gives readers a glimpse at what could have happen from a civilian’s point of view had Batman never returned. Bendis’ version of a divided Portland creates and interesting lore to discover what comes next for these characters.
A good portion of this book is simply set-up. We don’t really get to explore a great deal of this world. Roughly two-thirds of the book is the titular character setting up for an attack. Honestly, I understand this is necessary. When you start off a book with a strong attack at ground level of this world, it makes you a bit hungry to see more than just dialogue.
IS THERE CHARM IN WAR?
That’s not to say that the book isn’t without its beauty or charm. Given the book’s setting, it’s rare to find beauty in war. However, Scarlet, carries that wonderfully thanks to art from Alex Maleev. The balance of grit and watercolors marry in a unique, visual way that helps establish the book from others.
Overall, Scarlet #1, presents an intriguing world and premise. Carrying with it an overload of potential. However for its first outing it’s bound to leave readers hungry for more of the book’s action sequences rather just mere dialogue. The art of Alex Maleev elevates the book into a marriage of the gritty reality of war with beautiful watercolors.
FINAL SCORE: 7.5/10
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