Thursday, 29 November 2012

Book of the Month Club - November 2012 - SCALPED Vol 1 - INDIAN COUNTRY

Since March of 2009, myself and a group of like minded comic enthusiasts have been meeting each month to discuss a book that has been picked by a member of the club to be read that month. We have read and discussed a variety of titles including; Watchmen, Preacher, Daredevil - Guardian Devil, Superman - Red Son, Judge Death - Boyhood of a Superfiend, Bakuman, A Right to be Hostile, GI Joe vol 1 and Neverwhere.
I would like to invite you all to join us, either physically each month if you live in the Kettering area and can attend the meetings, or virtually via this blog by reading the chosen book and voicing your opinions in our comments section. Each month I will post our thoughts on the pick as well as posting the name of the next months book.

This months pick...

SCALPED Vol 1 - INDIAN COUNTRY - (w) Jason Aaron (a) R.M. Guéra

In typical VERTIGO fashion, Scalped is anything but a typical comic book. It is the story of Dashiell Bad Horse, a Native American undercover FBI Special Agent sent home to the reservation he grew up in to uncover the corruption behind Chief Red Crow and his brand new hundred million dollar casino that is about to open. Dashiell joins Red Crows Police force and follows the Chiefs orders whilst reporting to his Federal superiors. But there is more to this story than is seen at first as we uncover pieces of Red Crows past with Dash's mother and peel away layers of his psyche as we discover his Mummy issues and his hang up on a childhood sweetheart. That is when he isn't busting up meth labs and beating the crap out of people. It is also a look at modern Native American culture.

Our thoughts on the book...

Mario - I used to love discovering new Vertigo books and devouring them. Some of the best series of comics I have ever read have come from the Vertigo imprint, Y the Last Man, Sandman, Swamp Thing and Preacher to name a few. This book seems set to fall in line with those too, though may or may not reach the level of greatness, has intrigued me enough to want to continue reading.
Jason Aaron has a knack for dialogue that makes this book very easy to read. His characters in this book are extremely well fleshed out and "real". Not much actually happens in this first volume, but the development of Dash, his mother, Red Crow and Carol all make for a very well written opening chapter to what will hopefully be another great Vertigo story. R.M. Guéra's artwork reminds me of Eduardo Risso's simplistic pencils, but with a bit more grit to it that gave the book the Noir/Western style that I think they were aiming for.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the sequel, but not enough happened for me to rave about it too much yet. 7/10

Alex - Generally enjoyed it, book has an unusual and interesting setting and characters to match. At this point the characters are fairly loosely defined, but you have a strong enough idea of who everyone is and there is the implication of greater nuance to be found later. I liked the art on a panel by panel basis, it's got quite a striking visual, but it's not always a clear style so characters aren't always immediately recognisable which can be a little confusing. I liked it and I would be interested in finding out where it goes, but I'm not entirely sure I was interested enough to carry on reading. 7/10

Amy - Scalped was an interesting read that combined unfamiliar settings and characters that are never what they first appear to be to create a story that is multi-layered and fascinating. The art stly suits the book well, though at times it is not always easy to see what is happening in the panels. Overall it is an entertaining read that sets up neatly for the next volume. 7/10

Stephen - I thought it would be a good book for book club as it is different from what we have read before. I am into Jason Aaron's work, reading Wolverine and the X-Men and Incredible Hulk and I met Guéra at the NICE convention. I was recommended this book at my local comic shop by lots of people, including the store owner. The art is gritty and amazing. All in all, the book is really good, a really good opening which kept me riveted throughout. 7/10

Cape Boy - I found it to be an ok book. I found that I was more interested in Red Crow and Nitz than the main character. I found Bad Horse to be too angsty, like batman in the 90's. Otherwise, it was fine, though there was too much t'n'a that was not really needed for story. It was alright. 6/10

Martin - I thought it was very bland. The characters were uninteresting and I thought the main character to be generic and angry for the sake of being angry, violent for the sake of it. Nothing gripped me about him. I found the setting interesting, an Indian reservation with massive alcoholism and unemployment, it was gripping and interesting and kept me with the story as I wondered what was going to happen to the place rather than characters. The art was ok, though it needs more t'n'a because everything else seemed bland and boring. was expecting more violence, sex and action. 5/10

Elaine - I enjoyed it as a read overall, though I didn't think it was particularly well written. It needed finishing to make it make more sense. I didn't like the flashbacks that much. Who was the thunder guy? I would have liked more focus on him, or maybe for him to be a narrator to hold it together. It was good and I want to see where it is going. 6/10

Lee - From the cover I was wondering what it was going to be about, a Native American with nunchucks. Very intriguing cover art. I found getting into it hard and the art jarring, I couldn't make out who was who. I liked the revenge aspect. I will probably pick up the next book. The main character is quite plain. He seems more like a henchman than a main character. I was more interested in FBI agent and guy with horse. All in all a good read. 7/10

So there you go. This is what our club members thought of SCALPED vol 1. Please leave your comments in the box below to give us your two cents or if you live in the Kettering area, why not pop along to our next meeting (message me for more details). Next months pick is GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY vol 1 - Legacy, by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Paul Pelletier, so why not dig out a copy and give us your thoughts!


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