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Scalped Vol. 1: Indian Country [Paperback]

Jason Aaron , R.M. Guera , Jock
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 1 2007 Scalped (Book 1)
Jason Aaron, the up-and-coming writer of the criticallyacclaimed series THE OTHER SIDE teams with gritty artist R.M. Gu+ra for anintense crime drama that mixes organized crime with current Native Americanculture. Fifteen years ago, Dashiell "Dash" Bad Horse ran away from a life of abjectpoverty and utter hopelessness on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation inhopes of finding something better. Now he's come back home armed withnothing but a set of nunchucks, a hell-bent-for-leather attitude and onedark secret, to find nothing much has changed on "The Rez" -- short of aglimmering new casino, and a once-proud people overcome by drugs andorganized crime. Is he here to set things right or just get a piece of theaction?

Frequently Bought Together

Scalped Vol. 1: Indian Country + Scalped Vol. 2: Casino Boogie + Scalped Vol. 3: Dead Mothers
Price For All Three: CDN$ 41.13


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From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Aaron's reservation setting, described by a character in the first chapter as a third world nation in the heart of America, is perfect for a story of crime and family. Dash Bad Horse has come back to the reservation he ran away from at age 13. Now he enforces the law in a land where many have given up hope. Bad Horse is also an undercover FBI agent, put back in his home so federal authorities can take down crime boss and casino owner Lincoln Red Crow. Aaron masterfully depicts Bad Horse's tortured split psychology. The character is tough as nails and switches quickly between displaying likable and unlikable behavior. The family dynamics, which includes Bad Horse's activist mother and Red Crow's wild daughter, could come off as soap opera, but Aaron knows how to use personal relationships to explain character and setting. The world of the Prairie Rose Reservation is full of life thanks to the art of Guera, somewhat in the vein of Eduardo Risso's on 100 Bullets. His characters contain a certain amount of grace no matter how ugly the situations get. The second story collected in the book is the flashback-heavy Hoka Hey, which shows that Aaron has a complex history planned for these characters. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Overwhelming is the right word to use for this book. It's a must-buy." - Silver Bullet Comics "Scalped reads like an action movie... punctuated by dollops of violence, splashes of sexuality, and seeds of future storylines planted everywhere you look." - Newsarama.com "Jason Aaron's new creation hits the mark. His latest work might start an avalanche unlike Indian Country has ever seen... If Scalped doesn't leave shivers down your back, read it again." - RezNet News" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a great series full of grit violence and sex June 19 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Scalped is a series that everyone who loves crime novels should read, I know comic books are really hard to understand what with the character who is speaking having a bubble coming out of his mouth and everything but get over it and read Scalped, it's the grittiest look at America in books today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably THE Best Crime Comic Series EVER! April 15 2013
Format:Paperback
Wow. Speechless. I am near perplexed how to describe the impact 'Scalped' has had on me. I started with Vol. 1 and immediately bought the remaining 9 in the series. Took me the weekend to finish them all. '100 Bullets' may still be considered the best Crime series in the last 20 years from the world of comics and graphic novels, but Jason Aaron's 'Scalped' is by far the closest runner up yet. What makes 'Scalped' so different for me, was the resonating presence of ALL the characters, their individual story lines and their intricate relationships together in a scenario and setting such as the Prairie Rose rez - with all its' history, beauty and ugliness. The writing is fast but articulate and captivating with punches of subtle humour. Of all the crime comic series I have read, 'Scalped' is the one that had such a visual impact on me. The art is as near perfect for crime noir comics, that uniquely captures the essence of each and every character, especially as they progress in the story. My only regret is that Vertigo has NOT yet decided to give this most excellent Crime series the deluxe Hardcover treatment, as they have with 100 Bullets. 'Scalped' most certainly deserves it. Get 'Scalped'. Now.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It just doesn't get any better than this... Dec 13 2007
By HJ Louw - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The protagonist: A hard as nails nunchak-wielding Indian FBI Agent who is a master of Tae Kwon Do and the art of stomping people's brains out. The Villain: A former "Red Power" Indian activist turned Crime Boss and Casino Owner with a penchant for scalping. The Supporting cast: A beautiful drug-addicted alcoholic suffering from nymphomania (the Crime Boss' daughter), and one lone woman standing against the forces of corruption threatening to tear her community apart (the mother of the proverbial hero of the story). Enough to get you interested yet? But wait...there's more! Throw in a mystery surrounding the events that led to Dashiel Bad Horse (our FBI agent) returning to the Prairie Rose Reservation which he escaped from when only 13, and why a certain FBI superior blackmails him into doing the Bureau's bidding, coupled with the relationship between his mother and Boss Lincoln Red Crow as well as the romantic attentions of the enemy's daughter...Isn't this enough to make you want to pick up this book? Trust me, there's still more, but I don't want to ruin it for anyone. I'll finish by saying this: Scalped is the best comic book out there at the moment. Buy it if you like a fast-paced narrative with lots of action and intrigue (meant for mature readers; this is DC's Vertigo imprint after all), as well as some pretty amazing art. I simply can't recommend it highly enough.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing read March 9 2008
By S. Donohue - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Easily one of the best new books out there. Jason Aaron weaves an amazing story that draws the reader instantly and rewards them with every page. The story is split between past and present and builds a rich pantheon of deap characters.
I'll be honest the story didn't appeal to me while reading reviews of it but once I started reading I was hooked.
R.M. Guera's artwork is masterful, he captures the somber mood of the reservation in every page. I find it easy to get detached from the story when the artwork doesn't work well with the writing but in Scalped the two elements merge perfectly.
I strongly suggest giving Scalped a try, I for one can't wait for more.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Welcome to the world of the disenchanted..." April 22 2008
By Pseudobyte - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've just finished a fresh re-read of the five issues collected in this trade specifically for prep in writing this review. Jason Aaron, previous to giving us Scalped, penned a mini-series called The Other Side, also published through Vertigo. Prior to that, Aaron was basically unheard of. The fact that he's hit a bullseye with his very first monthly series is incredible but I assure you, dear pondering reader, that it is a fact. Indian Country introduces us to Dashiell Bad Horse, a native to The Prairie Rose Reservation, South Dakota. The first thing Dash does is get into a fight with fifteen guys in a bar. With nunchaku, no less! He is, to put it mildly, looking for trouble. He's been off the Rez for fifteen years and has just come back for reasons made clear at the end of the first issue (or part I of the Indian Country arc). Right away Jason Aaron assaults the reader with abrasive language and since we're reading a Vertigo book, there are no asterisks, ampersands, question or exclamation marks to cover up the naughty words. It's hardcore, is what I'm saying, and it reads like real talk for real thugs and hoodlums.

It isn't long before the main "villain" is introduced, Lincoln Red Crow. Red Crow is the Council Tribal President and essentially runs the reservation. His introduction leaves no question as to how ruthless a character he is but I don't like to use the label of villain to sum him up, hence the quotation marks above. Again, putting it mildly, he's complicated. In describing these two characters, I do hope I'm implying the excellence in Aaron's writing and characterization. All the characters in this book are, at best, morally grey. They're whole humans, not caricatures.

Without spoiling too much, we learn very quickly that Dash is back on the Rez for a reason, even if he knows he's in over his head. He's an undercover FBI agent who's been sicced on Red Crow by probably the most miserable and hateful FBI minder ever to "grace" South Dakota with his presence: Special Agent Nitz. Nitz has an axe to grind with Red Crow that goes back twenty some years to the murder of two FBI agents on the Prairie Rose Reservation. All of this is deftly explained over the course of this five part collection. Meanwhile we get to see Dash kick some teeth and break some heads as he's quickly hired on as Tribal Police under Red Crow. Through this, the character becomes re-initiated into life on the Rez and the reader gets a glimpse of what life might be like there.

This is a crime story but it's told in a way that's as unique as it's setting; an American Indian reservation. Aaron uses some slick time displacement gimmicks to trade back and forth between past, immediate past and present as he brings us along on a ride through this poverty stricken wasteland. When we meet Dash's mother, Gina Bad Horse, all question about the tone of the book should be laid to rest. Gina's first reaction to Dash is to slap him and call him a fascist. Later on, Red Crow uses eloquent phrasing toward his own daughter, Carol. These are HARD people with no illusions and to go back to the title (a quote from Red Crow in part I) of this review, supremely disenchanted.

Jason Aaron masterfully captures this cast off world and sucks the reader in and after reading the first five issues again, I'm craving more even though I've read up through issue sixteen already! Another thing I like is Aaron's use of Lakota dialogue (sans subtitles). It's little touches like that, especially without translating it for us, that lend to the authenticity of the book. But is it good? Yes! There's shootings, there's meth lab busts, there's rampant sex(!), there's organized crime intrigue, there's betrayal, there's scalping(!!), and there's plenty of meat on each perspective of each of the characters to satisfy all your crime/noir needs. R.M. Guéra (Heavy Metal) handles the art and his style totally fits the book. The facial expressions are perfect and the action scenes flow cinematically. Plus, he has a way of depicting the residents of Prairie Rose Reservation that clearly divides them as two tribes: young and old. It's interesting to note all the little touches he puts in and oh! His women look ridiculously sexy too. It's hard to compare him stylistically to other artists but if I had to do it, to save my life, I'd say he's very reminiscent of Eduardo Risso from 100 Bullets except less polished (not a knock).
If you're looking for a new venue in crime fiction, this book is it. Buy it!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply the best Graphic Novel you'll ever read. June 12 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It's too bad that people aren't giving "Scalped" the same attention as "Watchmen", "Sandman", or "The Killing Joke", because frankly, Scalped better than any of them. If people could just move past the unconventional art and the lack of zombies/superheroes, they'd find the most deeply layered, intriguing, and flat-out entertaining Graphic Novel ever produced. THIS is what Graphic Novels are all about. Do yourself a favor and buy it. If you can't bring yourself to fork out the money, find the free first issue that's available online. I DARE you not to buy it after reading Issue #1, and believe me, it only gets better after that.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Series Nov. 13 2013
By DG - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am actually going to use this space to write a review of the entire Scalped series, which actually includes ten trade paperbacks. The reasons for this are: (1) At the time I write this DC/Vertigo has not published an Omnibus edition collecting the entire Scalped series; (2) the quality of the ten TPBs is constant - they are all written by Jason Aaron and, mostly, illustrated by RM Guera; and (3) obviously if you are going to read all of Scalped, you are going to start by buying Volume 1.

If Amazon allowed half-star reviews, I would give Scalped a 4.5. It is definitely a work for adults that should be kept away from impressionable children. The series contains lots of very violent scenes or torture and murder, hardcore drug abuse, domestic violence and sex. Reading Scalped feels like watching a particular compelling crime-drama. Comparisons could certainly be made to the Sopranos. I thinking about other comic-series, Azzarello's 100 Bullets comes to mind, although Scalped is much more compelling and plausible. It could be compared to Ed Brubaker's Criminal, but with a single narrative plot.

RM Guera draws approximately 80-85% of the issues. His artwork is dark and gritty and provides great ambiance for a very dark story. The story has a great plot with twists that, unfortunately, I felt were somewhat predictable. The most impressive part of Aaron's plot is how tight it is. The ending ties up and is dependent upon every single story detail, no matter how minor it seemed at the time, that was developed throughout the entire volume. I imagine Aaron plotted the entire thing before even scripting the first issue.

Where Scalped really shines is the characterization. Throughout the series Aaron takes the characters to places that seemed impossible after reading issue 1, but make sense after we get the backstory. A number of the characters go through awe-inspiring moments of redemption, whereas others fall to corruption and murder. Surprisingly, its the main character (Dashiel Bad Horse) who ends up being the least interesting by the end. The story ends and it seems like Dashiel is the only character who hasn't changed or learned anything. Overall, I highly recommend Scalped.
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