Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Scarlet #1 by Brian Michael Bendis - Comic Book Review

From the publisher: From the creative team that brought you Daredevil and Infamous Iron Man comes the latest explosive chapter in their creator-owned epic, which IGN called one of the best comics on the stands. SCARLET tells the story of a woman whose life has been ripped apart by police corruption. When she pushes back, she starts a chain reaction of events that will bring about the next American Revolution.

In this brand-new, new reader-friendly chapter, fully painted by Eisner Award-winning artist Alex Maleev, SCARLET tells the story of what happens when one young woman is pushed too far—and what one country will do to stop her.

Prior to reading Scarlet #1 by Brian Michael Bendis, I had heard of the original Scarlet series. I remember seeing the collected edition and may have picked it up, but I decided not to read it (I don’t remember why). With Bendis moving to DC and his back catalog of creator-owned series moving with him, the opportunity to revisit and restart some of these series providing readers like me another opportunity to see what they are all about. So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m planning on trying out any of Bendis’s series that seem interesting to me, and that’s how I feel about Scarlet. The idea behind a modern revolution started by one woman fed up with the system is intriguing. Scarlet’s life was irrevocably changed (in the original series) because of police corruption, so she decided to fight back. As a result, she is now both a folk hero and a legitimate hero.

This issue starts with the city of Portland isolated from the rest of the country, with the power cut off and the bridges blown up. We are told the people living in the city are there for one of two reasons: either they support Scarlet or they didn’t get out in time. As Scarlet and her rebels engage the military, she continuously broadcasts what is going on to people around the country (I’m not real sure how she is able to do this). The issue ends with a surprise that sets the stage for a possible change in status quo.

Now that I’ve sampled Scarlet, I’m not sure whether I’ll continue or not. I really think that this is a series where knowing the story from the previous series is important. Bendis tries to catch the new readers up, but I still felt like there was a hole in my knowledge and understanding. It’s also hard to get a good sense of what kind of person Scarlet is when all I’ve got to go on is this first issue. The story is definitely relevant to our times, as many people believe that the government at many levels is corrupt. There is a lot of action packed into this issue, and as I mentioned, the ending could lead to some very interesting story choices.

Overall, I think Scarlet #1 by Brian Michael Bendis was okay. If you’ve read and enjoyed the original series, you’ll definitely want to pick it up. The same goes for fans of Bendis’s work in general. The last group that may enjoy Scarlet are readers that like comics that aren’t focused on powers and super heroics, but more grounded and gritty. Anyway, now is the time to check out all of the new/restarted titles from Bendis.

I received a preview copy of this book from DC Comics in exchange for an honest review.

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