Scalped, Volume 2: Casino Boogie

Scalped, Volume 2: Casino Boogie

By Jason Aaron & R.M. Guéra (Vertigo)
ISBN: 978-1-84576-840-X

The increasingly impressive writing of Jason Aaron kicks into compellingly high gear in the second collection (issues #6-11) of the dark and nasty crime series from Vertigo. It’s set on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation, a desolate hellhole run by gangsters and housing nothing but damaged and broken people. The biggest boss is Lincoln Red Crow, an Indian Rights activist from the 1970s who runs all the rackets and is now launching his own casino. Everybody thinks they’re going to be rich.

Dashiel Bad Horse ran away when he was fifteen. He was always trouble, even as just the son of Red Crow’s fellow militant Gina, but now he’s back and working as a sheriff and leg-breaker for the big boss. Gina is the last real rebel, and Red Crow is as much an oppressor as the White Man ever was. How would she react if she knew that her son is working for both of the forces she sees as destroying her people? It’s a good thing no one knows Dash Bad Horse is an undercover FBI agent (see Scalped vol.1 Indian Country, ISBN: 1-84576-561-3). But is it still a secret?

Moving beyond gripping Noir drama with the introduction of the shaman called Catcher, the saga moves into even more convoluted plots and schemes. As Red Crow’s plans near fruition he stands to win or lose everything. Is Catcher just another booze-raddled Indian or does he really see Visions? Can Red Crow really accept the White’s way of Sex, Power and Money, or is he as tied to his roots as even the poorest, dumbest dirt-grubber on the Rez?

Complex, atmospheric and disturbingly graphic in execution, this is a thriller with a powerful social message underpinning the action and drama, and simply goes from strength to strength. This is one of the best adult comic series being produced today and one you should see for yourselves.

© 2007 Jason Aaron & Rajko Milosevich. All Rights Reserved.