Welcome back to another week and another comic book review from yours truly! This week we’ll be delving into the most recent issue of a personal favorite series of mine, about a teenage girl whose life was ruined by violence and apathy, before she almost accidentally becomes the leader of a revolution in the streets of her hometown of Portland, Oregon, when she chooses to fight back. So grab your picket signs, your protest slogans, your riot gear, and arm yourself to fight corruption, as we dig into Scarlet #6!
Scarlet #6 is a $3.95 comic book from Marvel’s Icon imprint, for creator owned titles, and was originally released on February 6, 2013. Scarlet #6 was written by Brian Michael Bendis, while the art duties were handled by Alex Maleev. This issue marks the beginning of Book Two of the series; Book One consists of issues #1-5.
The issue opens with a 4th Wall breaking Scarlet monologue, where she explains that while the whole Occupy movement was happening out here in the real world, she’s been off planning in hers. Our story picks up with our heroine, Scarlet Rue, meeting with the mayor, on Friday. We then go back in time to the start of the week, on Monday, to set the stage for that meeting with the mayor. Scarlet goes to see and speak to an unlikely ally, namely the former police officer who was the partner of the corrupt cop who shot and killed Scarlet’s boyfriend way back in Scarlet #1. After her talk with the former Officer Guzman, whom she refuses to stop calling “detective”, we cut to a vignette about Scarlet’s friend and fellow revolutionary, Isis, and her tragic backstory. Next, we skip ahead to Wednesday morning, where Scarlet and her people highjack the local television airwaves, live, right smack in the middle of Good Morning Portland’s muffin making segment! After explaining to the viewers at home what she and her movement are all about, Scarlet then invites everyone to come out to a gathering on Friday at 1:00PM. As the authorities race to the television studio to try and catch Scarlet and her crew in the act, they slip away before the authorities ever arrive. One of the station security guards gives the F.B.I. agent leading the investigation a note that reads, “You are invited too.” After learning about the announcement of the gathering, any doubts about how many people would heed Scarlet’s call to action are put to rest by the final spread of the issue.
Over in the art department, Alex Maleev handles the visuals with beautiful results. His art has a certain depth that draws you in, while still having a sort of less is more approach to detail at times. He uses his colors and shading to add definition over heavier penciling. I really enjoy the moodiness of the color palette. There are a lot of strong blues and grays, and he contrasts that with yellows and especially reds that really pop; Scarlet’s red hair is always the brightest thing on any given panel or page.
To wrap things up, I felt Scarlet #6 was another good entry for this series and a good kickoff for Book Two. The two co-creators and owners of this book, Bendis and Maleev, both flexed their figurative muscles and showed their strengths and why they are both elites in this whole comic book game. Bendis again shows why he, in my opinion, writes arguably the best dialogue in the business. I love Scarlet, the book and the character, for taking a look at the world through the lens of a character not afraid to shake things up in a big way and force people to take notice of how screwed up the world around them actually is, even when the actions she takes can be seen as wrong, as well. This series gives us a chance to see what might happen when corruption, apathy, and inaction run rampant and people reach their breaking point in dealing with it. Scarlet seems to be on a path to become a modern day Che Guevara, and I, for one, will be right there to read all about it. Fight the power!
I rate Scarlet #6 a strong 3 Long-boxes out of four.
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