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THE AWARD WINNING, BEST SELLING POWERHOUSE CREATIVE TEAM BEHIND DAREDEVIL, HALO, AND THE AVENGERS UNLEASH THEIR BOLDEST PROJECT YET! SCARLET! This is the comic experience of the year! The first creator-owned series by one of the most successful teams in all of modern comics. Scarlet is the story of a woman pushed to the edge by all that is wrong with the world...A woman who THE AWARD WINNING, BEST SELLING POWERHOUSE CREATIVE TEAM BEHIND DAREDEVIL, HALO, AND THE AVENGERS UNLEASH THEIR BOLDEST PROJECT YET! SCARLET! This is the comic experience of the year! The first creator-owned series by one of the most successful teams in all of modern comics. Scarlet is the story of a woman pushed to the edge by all that is wrong with the world...A woman who will not back down...A woman who discovers within herself the power to start a modern American revolution!! Collecting: Scarlet 1-5


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THE AWARD WINNING, BEST SELLING POWERHOUSE CREATIVE TEAM BEHIND DAREDEVIL, HALO, AND THE AVENGERS UNLEASH THEIR BOLDEST PROJECT YET! SCARLET! This is the comic experience of the year! The first creator-owned series by one of the most successful teams in all of modern comics. Scarlet is the story of a woman pushed to the edge by all that is wrong with the world...A woman who THE AWARD WINNING, BEST SELLING POWERHOUSE CREATIVE TEAM BEHIND DAREDEVIL, HALO, AND THE AVENGERS UNLEASH THEIR BOLDEST PROJECT YET! SCARLET! This is the comic experience of the year! The first creator-owned series by one of the most successful teams in all of modern comics. Scarlet is the story of a woman pushed to the edge by all that is wrong with the world...A woman who will not back down...A woman who discovers within herself the power to start a modern American revolution!! Collecting: Scarlet 1-5

30 review for Scarlet, Book 1

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    So. I thought this was Bendis' take on Black Widow. I was veryveryvery wrong. <--and have no one to blame but myself for not figuring this out until I had the book in my hands. This is, as the description clearly states, a story about a young woman who decides the system is broken and starts a 'revolution'. And, yes, I did read that part when I grabbed it, but I also thought this was somehow a retelling of Natasha Romanoff's backstory. Why the hell would you think that, Anne? That's a very good q So. I thought this was Bendis' take on Black Widow. I was veryveryvery wrong. <--and have no one to blame but myself for not figuring this out until I had the book in my hands. This is, as the description clearly states, a story about a young woman who decides the system is broken and starts a 'revolution'. And, yes, I did read that part when I grabbed it, but I also thought this was somehow a retelling of Natasha Romanoff's backstory. Why the hell would you think that, Anne? That's a very good question, Random Goodreader. It's because my subconscious is a tad stupid. See, (and I just realized this!) I was looking at a redhead on the cover, putting Bendis with Marvel, and then seeing the actress who plays Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in my head. Ta-da! That's the stupidest reasoning I've ever heard, Anne! Welcome to my life, Random Goodreader. Ok, so how was this? For me, it was alright. Corrupt cops suck. And poor Scarlet found out the hard way that good people get their lives ruined by these sort of assholes every day. Her solution? Kill them. And...yeah. That's fine. I honestly have no problem with that. If somebody killed someone I love on purpose, I would probably kill them right back, too. It wasn't the vigilante stuff that I thought was over the top, it was the 'revolution' stuff that kind of made the story go off the rails for me. Are you really going to accomplish much by getting a mob together? Ehhhhhh. From what I've seen over the course of my life, it's almost never a good idea to rile up a group of folks who are bunched up together protesting something. They're already pissed off at {insert injustice here} and now that they got the 'protection' of like-minded humans around them, all of them feeding off of each other's energy? Shit tends to go sideways and the wrong people get hurt. But then again, sometimes change needs to happen, and change is never something easy or painless. For corruption, though? I would think a different tactic might work better than mob violence. I get the appeal of it, I really do, but I'm not sure how believable it is in this setting. Anyway. I'd like to see where this all goes, but I wasn't quite as blown away as some of my friends by this first book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jan Philipzig

    Revolution Marvel Style According to the back cover, “Scarlet is the story of a woman pushed to the edge by all that is wrong with the world… A woman who will not back down… A woman who discovers within herself the power to start a modern American revolution!!” Wait a minute, a REVOLUTION? Against ALL THAT IS WRONG with the world?? In a MARVEL comic book?!? Yeah right, a politically relevant, socio-critical comic book published by Disney-controlled Marvel: as if… But wait, it’s by Bendis and Male Revolution Marvel Style According to the back cover, “Scarlet is the story of a woman pushed to the edge by all that is wrong with the world… A woman who will not back down… A woman who discovers within herself the power to start a modern American revolution!!” Wait a minute, a REVOLUTION? Against ALL THAT IS WRONG with the world?? In a MARVEL comic book?!? Yeah right, a politically relevant, socio-critical comic book published by Disney-controlled Marvel: as if… But wait, it’s by Bendis and Maleev – hmm, I kinda like those guys... Bendis is a smart guy, writes great dialogue, and he might actually get away with stuff lesser-known writers would not get away with, subversive stuff… And it’s published through the Icon imprint, doesn’t that mean more creative control? Who knows, maybe Bendis and Maleev have actually pulled this off! I mean, maybe even Disney, one of the world’s largest media conglomerates, is finally forced to acknowledge that radical change is desperately needed, maybe the time is ripe for Scarlet… I must read this!! Well, I can be naïve sometimes. I guess the hip, stylish, scantily-clad, sexy, gun-toting chick on the cover should have been a hint – is this really going to be about politics and revolution? But okay, it’s just a cover, let’s open the book and read Scarlet’s analysis of the situation: “Everything is broken. Everything. Good people are victims. Bad people are heroes. Dumb is a virtue. Food is poison. Corruption is a national past time. Rapists rape. The poor are left to rot. Religion is business. No one is safe and everyone thinks it’s funny. Why is the world allowed to be this way? (…) Why is it like this? Why did it happen? And then it hit me. It doesn’t matter why. ‘Why’ is the cloud. The redirect. The shell game. ‘Why’ is the bullshit. (…) The question is… what am I going to do about it? I’m going to stop it. All of it.” Sounds cool, doesn’t it? A little vague, maybe, but some of this rings true, and it certainly sounds ambitious and ready for action. Attagirl, we’ve had enough, it’s time for action, too much thinking is for pussies! The only problem is, how exactly are you going to stop “all of it” if you don’t know anything about the “why”? I mean, what exactly are you gonna do if you have no idea why things are as messed up as they are? Well, apparently the answer is simple: why, you’re gonna kill a few corrupt cops, of course. That should solve it, right? At least that’s what Scarlet decides to do, and Bendis ensures that her victims are despicable enough for us to cheer her on. But is killing corrupt police officers really the answer to the “everything-is-broken” dilemma? There are two contrasting sociological theories about the roots of widespread forms of corruption – the bad apple theory and the iceberg theory. According to the bad apple theory, corruption arises from the flawed personalities of “bad” individuals, and all you need to do in order to get the problem under control is to remove these “bad apples” so they do not spoil the whole barrel. In contrast, the iceberg theory argues that the known cases of corruption are merely the tip of the iceberg, and that the real problem is a system that encourages, and possibly even relies on, corruption. As you can imagine, the bad apple theory is favored by those who do not want the system to be investigated and ultimately changed, and thus have an interest in the creation of scapegoats, while the iceberg theory makes a case for the necessity of actual social change. Despite her observation that “everything is broken,” our sexy self-proclaimed revolutionary decides to embrace the status-quo friendly bad apple theory. At least in this first volume of the series, she devotes herself exclusively to the removal of bad apples, claiming that it would be “bullshit” to investigate the “why,” that is, the bigger picture, the macro-level roots of the sorry state of affairs. Ultimately, then, she is not a revolutionary at all. She does not try to change the status quo but merely takes extreme measures to clean up its ugly excesses, desperate for it to shine in new splendour after the restoration. I guess it was silly to hope for a truly revolutionary Marvel comic book, one that actually provides a critical in-depth analysis of the topics that really do call for a global revolution – environmental degradation and mass poverty. I should have listened more closely to Gil Scott-Heron’s 1970 proto-rap anthem, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” It will not be televised, and it certainly will not find its way into a mainstream comic book. But hopefully, we'll make it happen anyway.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anna (Bananas)

    I love this for so many reasons. I will count the ways. 1) Scarlet is a gun-toting, redheaded, vigilante. What's not to love? 2) She demolishes the fourth wall, talking directly to the reader and challenging you to act. 3) The art is amazing and so realistic. Alex Maleev appears to be working from photographs, he must be. I'm hooked on him now. Hunting down Daredevil trades and anything else his golden hand has touched. 4) The pages that show major life events in Scarlet and Gabriel's lives a I love this for so many reasons. I will count the ways. 1) Scarlet is a gun-toting, redheaded, vigilante. What's not to love? 2) She demolishes the fourth wall, talking directly to the reader and challenging you to act. 3) The art is amazing and so realistic. Alex Maleev appears to be working from photographs, he must be. I'm hooked on him now. Hunting down Daredevil trades and anything else his golden hand has touched. 4) The pages that show major life events in Scarlet and Gabriel's lives are some of my favorite images ever in a comic. I also love the similar page showing the progression in Scarlet's appearance after she's shot. 5) It takes place in Portland, OR, possibly my favorite place on Earth. The rain, the music, the greenery, the purple trees, the beavers-I LOVE IT. 6) Fantastic cover art. 7) It's just FUN. Fun, fun, fun. 8) Scarlet has some badass guns. 9) It poses interesting and challenging questions about justice, who should mete it out, and about taking personal responsibility and action against injustice. How often do "normal" people not act because they think someone else will? What I DON'T love? Bendis has stretched himself so thin that we have to wait forever for new issues. Drop those superheros, Brian! Scarlet is much more interesting than any of them. Also, the neglect is hurting her feelings. She's very sad. Downtown Portland Also by Alex Maleev, Daredevil

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    A corrupt cop kills a teen boy over drugs the boy didn't have. The boy's girlfriend is also hit but survives. This is her story. "Scarlet" is a very timely story of a general malaise in most peoples' outlooks on life. They look around and see corruption in institutions which were once sacred, and the apathy that allows this way of life to continue. Recently this took the form of the Occupy movements but in this book writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev take things further with Scarl A corrupt cop kills a teen boy over drugs the boy didn't have. The boy's girlfriend is also hit but survives. This is her story. "Scarlet" is a very timely story of a general malaise in most peoples' outlooks on life. They look around and see corruption in institutions which were once sacred, and the apathy that allows this way of life to continue. Recently this took the form of the Occupy movements but in this book writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev take things further with Scarlet picking up a gun and starting a revolution that will kill the bad guys and show that good people will not take it anymore. That said, don't look at the cover and think you know this book. Yes it's sexy and eye-catching but it's not a one note comic book of a chick with a gun, there is that, but Scarlet as a character is much more interesting than that. Like Rob Gordon in High Fidelity, Scarlet addresses you, the reader, as she explains her worldview, how she came to these conclusions, and asks you to follow her on her journey to change the world. She's not got super powers or martial arts training, or anything really, she's a kid with a mission who wants to make the world better by stamping out evil - a hero rather than a super one. Also it's not pro-anarchy or anti-establishment, rather it's a nuanced look at a complex problem with lots of action thrown in. It's a comic book with brains and heart, the best kind of comic book in fact, that deserves a crossover audience made up of people who read books and shy away from comics, because "Scarlet" is comics at their best. I remember picking this up last night thinking I'd read one or two issues before bed and I wound up reading the whole thing in one go, coming to the end with a screeching halt wishing there was more. And there will be, Book 2 is out soon, and I will be there. For fans of comics who enjoy something more than just fighting or sci-fi and want to read something current and clever and exciting, this book is a must-read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rory Wilding

    As one of the most prominent writers of Marvel Comics in the last sixteen years, Brian Michael Bendis started out with crime and noir comics prior to the mainstream superhero work. Although there have been a small handful of his titles which blurred the line between crime and superheroes such as Alias and Daredevil, Bendis reunites with artist Alex Maleev with a creator-owned crime comic under Marvel's Icon imprint. Following the sudden death of her first true love and having survived a bullet in As one of the most prominent writers of Marvel Comics in the last sixteen years, Brian Michael Bendis started out with crime and noir comics prior to the mainstream superhero work. Although there have been a small handful of his titles which blurred the line between crime and superheroes such as Alias and Daredevil, Bendis reunites with artist Alex Maleev with a creator-owned crime comic under Marvel's Icon imprint. Following the sudden death of her first true love and having survived a bullet in the head, Scarlet Rue from Portland rebels against a corrupt society and ends up starting a new American revolution in the process. Despite the first issue’s cover of a girl wielding two guns – an image we have seen so many times – Scarlet never feels exploitative as with all of Bendis’ female creations, they always stand on their own, no matter how hard they get hit. As the comic often breaks the fourth wall, Scarlet talks to us, the readers, about her situation which is not to provoke anarchy or anti-establishment, but to make the world a better place by ridding it of police corruption. That’s not to say she represents to the best of us as given the tragedy she endured, revenge is not out of the equation and even her friend says that this proposed revolution is complete lunacy. For myself, Bendis is at his best when he’s not writing the cosmic spectacle, but the street-based intimacy as Scarlet uses the setting of Portland, Oregon to discuss political situations that are common in America i.e. police brutality and the importance of a public figure could lead to riots. Although the politicians and policeman always try to maintain control, rightly or wrongly, Scarlet is trying to be a hero for the mistreated, even if the responsibility of leading a revolution might be too heavy on her shoulders, which will be interesting to see where Book 2 leads to. Having previously collaborated with Bendis on Daredevil, Spider-Woman and Moon Knight, Alex Maleev provides his best work to date. Known for his grainy style of photo-realism, which has never really felt at home in the superhero genre, Maleev applies his strengths to his hard-boiled crime comic with a great emphasis on character close-ups and given Scarlet’s “sexy look”, she and everyone else for that matter don’t look glamorised. Outside of his work on Matt Murdock and Jessica Jones, Scarlet may be Brian Michael Bendis’ best comic and Alex Maleev’s art is gorgeous as always. Given how long we had to wait for this book to get published, I already don’t have the patience to wait for the publication of Book 2.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    Scarlet was timely for me (or anyone) to have read now as it, in the light of recent horrific events about cops as killers and the killing of cops, features a cop killer. . . the titular character, who in the first person makes a case for her acts being justified, since the cop(s) in question are crooked, and nasty, and many of the rest of the cops are aware of the bad cops. And no, this book did not just come out last week, but was a 2010-2011 series collecting issues 1-5. It's my understanding Scarlet was timely for me (or anyone) to have read now as it, in the light of recent horrific events about cops as killers and the killing of cops, features a cop killer. . . the titular character, who in the first person makes a case for her acts being justified, since the cop(s) in question are crooked, and nasty, and many of the rest of the cops are aware of the bad cops. And no, this book did not just come out last week, but was a 2010-2011 series collecting issues 1-5. It's my understanding that a second volume may not be forthcoming, as Bendis has sold this property so it can be made into a tv series). The volume kind of reminded me of Network, with its crazy angry news anchor famously saying "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore," and Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry, a guy who just takes the law into his own hands because the system if just so corrupt. It's interesting and visually really well done, but it's not satisfying, of course, as a way of beginning to enact what Scarlet calls "revolution." How is it she goes from disaffected teen to cop-killing hero, articulately speaking to throngs in the Portland public square? This does tap into her anger over her unjustly killed boyfriend, and taps as well into some present public anger about cops and teens (though this one does not focus on race, Scarlet's white and the cops all seem to be white in Portland), but it doesn't give any answers beyond anger and violent reprisals. And I'm not claiming Bendis thinks cop-killing is really justified. His main character is compelling in telling her own story, if not completely convincing. The portrait we are left with is memorable, through, in spite of anything I have said. It's thought-provoking, nevertheless.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    Originally written in 2010-11 around the time of the Occupy Wallstreet movement. DC is re-releasing all of Bendis's Jinxworld books as part of his move over to DC. Scarlet is the story of a young woman who goes on a revenge spree after a corrupt cop kills her boyfriend and shoots her and then frames him as a drug dealer. The message being sold is that she's tired of a system that overlooks crooked cops and takes vengeance into her own hands murdering shady police officers which sparks a movement Originally written in 2010-11 around the time of the Occupy Wallstreet movement. DC is re-releasing all of Bendis's Jinxworld books as part of his move over to DC. Scarlet is the story of a young woman who goes on a revenge spree after a corrupt cop kills her boyfriend and shoots her and then frames him as a drug dealer. The message being sold is that she's tired of a system that overlooks crooked cops and takes vengeance into her own hands murdering shady police officers which sparks a movement in Portland, OR. It's all told directly to us by Scarlet as she breaks the fourth wall talking directly to the reader like John Cusack in High Fidelity. The problem is that Alex Maleev's art may have been too good. He has this gritty, photo-realism that left me felling greasy and disturbed inside upon seeing Scarlet snipe police officers who we never see being corrupt. It's only inferred by Scarlet. That kind of violence towards police officers, corrupt or not, is just something I don't need to see, especially in that kind of detail. After seeing the mass shooting in a California bar this week, it's just something I wasn't prepared for. It left me with this feeling of "Will this give nut jobs ideas and justifications for their atrocities when we've just seen a former marine kill 12 people because he was bored with life?" It was just a little too true to life for me in our current times. I'll stick with my escapist comic books. Received a review copy from DC and NetGalley. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Although this was done with a certain amount of style the things portrayed were often downright harsh and distasteful, and I just couldn't identify with the main character's 'violence is the answer.' Although this was done with a certain amount of style the things portrayed were often downright harsh and distasteful, and I just couldn't identify with the main character's 'violence is the answer.'

  9. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    It seems that I’m on a wild swing right now when it comes to graphic novels, moving from utterly craptastic books like DC’s Bizarro and Dark Horse’s Red Sonja: The Black Tower to outstanding books like the recent run of Nathan Edmondson’s Black Widow series (Marvel, of course) and the exceptional American Vampire series by Scott Snyder. Scarlet, Book 1 fits firmly into the latter category, coming in at very nearly five stars. The storyline is simple and very timely: a corrupt cop (and his support It seems that I’m on a wild swing right now when it comes to graphic novels, moving from utterly craptastic books like DC’s Bizarro and Dark Horse’s Red Sonja: The Black Tower to outstanding books like the recent run of Nathan Edmondson’s Black Widow series (Marvel, of course) and the exceptional American Vampire series by Scott Snyder. Scarlet, Book 1 fits firmly into the latter category, coming in at very nearly five stars. The storyline is simple and very timely: a corrupt cop (and his supporting system) guns down an innocent teenager and his girlfriend. Girl, Scarlet Rue, survives and sets off a “new” American revolution in the city of Portland, Oregon. In doing so, we see someone actually tackling society’s malaise and slow slide into chaos, fighting headlong into the apathy and setting a tinderbox ablaze. The best thing about the storyline itself is the removal of the fourth wall: the reader is addressed directly by Scarlet, and actually drawn into the drama, invited to take part in the revolution when she asks directly for the readers’ help. Good stuff, and a unique way to suck the reader right into the plot. The artwork by Alex Maleev is perfectly harsh, almost like looking a news report through a hyper-realistic lens. The shadows are what really drive this realism. For example, Scarlet is obviously in direct sunlight in several panels, and while she is squinting, the downward shadows almost make it feel like a grainy photograph. He has captured simply the reality of Portland, along with the intensity of what Scarlet is facing.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Adam M

    The first time I saw this book I wasn't sure I was interested just based on the description. I love this artistic team and wanted to have faith, but wasn't sure if I was going to get it for our library. Fortunately, I was able to get an ARC from Netgalley and I had worried needlessly. BMB has some good ideas and an interesting story to tell. He employs a narrative device where Scarlet talks right to the reader, but not like Deadpool might. It's earnest, sincere. I read a special edition with no The first time I saw this book I wasn't sure I was interested just based on the description. I love this artistic team and wanted to have faith, but wasn't sure if I was going to get it for our library. Fortunately, I was able to get an ARC from Netgalley and I had worried needlessly. BMB has some good ideas and an interesting story to tell. He employs a narrative device where Scarlet talks right to the reader, but not like Deadpool might. It's earnest, sincere. I read a special edition with notes from the author and he compared it to the way John Cusak talks to the audience in the movie High Fidelity, which works well here. It pulls you into the story early and indicates that this won't be business as usual. Alex Maleev is in fine form here. Something about his work feels both lived in and frenetic at the same time. Like there is a lot going on in the world, even if there is real weight there. Glad I was surprised by this and looking forward to Vol 2! Received an advance copy from DC and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My thanks to NetGalley and DC Entertainment/Jinxworld for an eARC copy of this book to read and review. The concept of this sounded interesting, but the reality of it was just no. Premise: Dirty, drug addicted cop shakes down teens for their drugs/money so he can feed his habit. His uncle is the police chief and protects him, rather than turn the guy in and get him help for his addiction. This dirty cop ends up shooting Scarlet's BF dead and despite shooting her point blank in the head, she someho My thanks to NetGalley and DC Entertainment/Jinxworld for an eARC copy of this book to read and review. The concept of this sounded interesting, but the reality of it was just no. Premise: Dirty, drug addicted cop shakes down teens for their drugs/money so he can feed his habit. His uncle is the police chief and protects him, rather than turn the guy in and get him help for his addiction. This dirty cop ends up shooting Scarlet's BF dead and despite shooting her point blank in the head, she somehow survives to enact revenge. Timeline is wonky, but when she wakes, all she has is a shaved head, no scars, nothing. And dirty cop has gotten promoted for killing the "horrible drug dealer", aka the innocent teen that was the BF. So she kills him, the uncle who is the chief and some other cop who grabbed her @ss and indicated that she was going to pleasure him to get out of some minor crime. She posted her convo with the uncle before she killed him, basically saying that she and the innocent people being hurt by the corrupt cops weren't going to take it anymore. And she starts violent civil disobedience. And since the cops are ALL corrupt, as is the mayor, no one is actually finding her, because they don't know what she knows and they don't want her tattling and they don't want her dead, cuz martyr. Basically, this book is saying that all cops are dirty and out to hurt and use and abuse innocent people and the only way to fight back is through violence. This is SO DANGEROUS to say, ESPECIALLY nowadays when all cops basically have a target on their backs. Yes, some cops are bad, they are humans and some humans are bad. Yes, they need to police their own better, BUT they are the minority. And it is very dangerous to claim the opposite is true. This book is not balanced. It shows one decent cop who wants to do what is right, so she is going to be the sacrificial goat when someone has to take the fall, because everyone else is dirty. Yes, we have had legit bad policing and shootings in real life. I am sure that the families and friends of the victims from encounters with bad police officers feel as Scarlet does in this book. I am not trying to downplay when bad cops happen to good people. But how about showing healthy and legal ways to deal with it, rather than just more violence? What this book needs is balance, on both sides. How about showing some good cops doing good policing? Show more than just one cop and FBI guy trying to make things right. Show those hurting from actions by bad cops dealing with it in non-violent ways and succeeding. You couldn't pay me enough to be a cop. It's such a thankless job right now. This book is not helping the already thick tension between the police and the public at large. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. 1, horrified and deeply sad star.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    This review can also be found on my blog: https://graphicnovelty2.com/2018/10/2... Scarlet is a vigilante who is determined to fight back against a corrupt system and she uses violence for change. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, who is known for his skill in writing character’s dialogue, Scarlet is a deliberately provocative story meant to push boundaries. Originally released in 2010, it is being re-released for it’s timely story line during this #MeToo, Black Lives Matter and Women’s March era, This review can also be found on my blog: https://graphicnovelty2.com/2018/10/2... Scarlet is a vigilante who is determined to fight back against a corrupt system and she uses violence for change. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, who is known for his skill in writing character’s dialogue, Scarlet is a deliberately provocative story meant to push boundaries. Originally released in 2010, it is being re-released for it’s timely story line during this #MeToo, Black Lives Matter and Women’s March era, and I obtained a copy through NetGalley. Scarlet is living life as a typical Portland teen when she and her boyfriend get targeted by a dirty cop’s drug pat down. When her boyfriend punches the officer and they make a run for it, they are followed and shot at. Her boyfriend dies, and Scarlet is sent to the hospital in a coma. The police cover themselves by painting the couple as drug dealers and the officers are hailed as heroes who saved the community from a drug cartel. When Scarlet awakens, she is furious and decides she wants revenge. The gimmick is that Scarlet breaks the fourth wall and talks to the reader. Thus, the narrative is from her perspective and she is sharing what she wants you to know, so you get her spin on the action. This mostly works, but at times it’s a bit pretentious. Scarlet isn’t always likable, and can definitely be perceived as an anti-hero. Her unsavory ‘violence is the answer’ motto is tempered by the realization that some big changes in our world have only come to fruition through violence. Martin Luther King Jr was able to further the Civil Rights Movement through love and non-violent means, but he was counterbalanced (and helped) by Malcolm X’s methods, as Gandhi was also helped by radicals. This is an uncomfortable truth that should be further delved into. The artwork is stylized with an edgy noir vibe. Mostly drawn in black and white or with a muted earthen color palette, some splashes of color include Scarlet’s red hair, blood and occasional details such as a pride flag. The art is sketchy at times, but also includes photographic type detail. Artist Alex Maleev is fond of closeups of people’s faces, which can be hit or miss at times, but his unique style is a good match to the story. This series is worth looking into further to see if Bendis finesses this culturally relevant story and develops Scarlet into more than a gun-toting cop killing hottie. I look forward to Scarlet moving from vigilante to true revolutionary. (Actual rating 3.5/5)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Well that was a surprising read from creators I thought I knew. Bendis' trademark back-and-forth sassy dialogue is still firmly part of the storyline, but so is a more engaging style and some pretty shocking and in-your-face confrontation of the system (though not too much to be confused with an actual manifesto or call to arms). Mostly I think it's shocking because I see Bendis having attained a level of comfort and privilege in his "chief architect" role, frequent consultant-to-the-movies and a Well that was a surprising read from creators I thought I knew. Bendis' trademark back-and-forth sassy dialogue is still firmly part of the storyline, but so is a more engaging style and some pretty shocking and in-your-face confrontation of the system (though not too much to be confused with an actual manifesto or call to arms). Mostly I think it's shocking because I see Bendis having attained a level of comfort and privilege in his "chief architect" role, frequent consultant-to-the-movies and all-around star of the comics world - and I can't imagine Bendis fraternising or even running across too many of the "no compromises, take no shit from anyone" street protester culture that births itself in our protagonist here. I feel like I can *almost* reach where the character is at, which is a compliment to the writing - but even I (who *do* have contact with former protester types) still don't quite access the world the same way Scarlet does - nor do I have any belief that I'd be able to authentically think or act like her. And I definitely don't understand how Bendis gets here, or figures out how to inhabit her world enough to "play" in it. All my disbelief aside, this is a good story that's noir & gripping in parts, and which leaves me at the end with a distinct sense that I'm going to have to find out how this could possibly play out and end. I am fascinate by the broken & flawed characters that show up, and I'm dying to see how they get what they want. Maleev continues to illustrate the world according to Maleev - nothing less than his usual stellar quality of work, and a great eye for when to focus on the girl's expressive face, and when to pull back to her distant view of the world. And I really appreciate that for a motormouth writer like Bendis, he was willing to show us much of the backstory rather than tell us in overlong dialogue.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Artemy

    Re-read before the last issue of the second arc finally becomes available tomorrow! I can't believe it, after all these years! Scarlet is one of my favorite series ever. It's absolutely the best thing Bendis has ever written, and most likely ever will write. It's just so good. Right from the very first page, the story grabs you and doesn't let go. The book with its revolutionary themes feels even more relevant today — for me, too, living in Russia — but especially with all the recent scandals with Re-read before the last issue of the second arc finally becomes available tomorrow! I can't believe it, after all these years! Scarlet is one of my favorite series ever. It's absolutely the best thing Bendis has ever written, and most likely ever will write. It's just so good. Right from the very first page, the story grabs you and doesn't let go. The book with its revolutionary themes feels even more relevant today — for me, too, living in Russia — but especially with all the recent scandals with police violence in USA. Alex Maleev's artwork is gorgeous, this one is one of his best-looking books. All the characters look and feel like real people, and his visual style is a perfect fit for the tone of the series. Scarlet herself especially, she is such a great character, and the way Maleev draws her — all the emotions, gestures, movements, it's just incredible. It's like she is an actual real person in front of you. The first book of Scarlet is great. I really hope the second one will be, too, although I am a bit wary, because it's been so many years both for readers and creators — Bendis writes nowhere near as good today as he did back then. but hey, let's hope for the best. It's such an awesome series, it deserves a fitting closure.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I have to say, I really like Bendis. Bendis always catches me from page one of his graphics. Now sometimes I've followed Bendis down a path and wasn't quite sure why I continued. Sometimes he's all over the place or too dark or perhaps too abstract. And honestly a book about a cop killing teen shouldn't have kept me up reading. But it did and I consumed it so fast that I know I will anxiously await the next binding. Also it makes me want to dig up my Powers, Alias, Pulse comics and graphics out I have to say, I really like Bendis. Bendis always catches me from page one of his graphics. Now sometimes I've followed Bendis down a path and wasn't quite sure why I continued. Sometimes he's all over the place or too dark or perhaps too abstract. And honestly a book about a cop killing teen shouldn't have kept me up reading. But it did and I consumed it so fast that I know I will anxiously await the next binding. Also it makes me want to dig up my Powers, Alias, Pulse comics and graphics out of my comic boxes, off of my shelves, and call out of work tomorrow as I fall right back down the rabbit hole of Bendis obsession. Let's just leave it at this, I really like a good graphic novel, occasionally I like silly cutesy or perhaps action adventure basic super hero. But when I think page turner graphic novel, I go to grit with lots of sass. Glad this delivered.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Get X Serious

    It's like Bendis wanted to have some real political commentary and it almost gets there, but at the last second it takes a turn for the Hot Topic mall goth anarky. Lots of cop killing fun going on here, but it kind of feels like dirt under my nails with the pseudo-revolution talk. I guess I should reserve judgment until the next volume comes out (soonish, right?). Series has a lot of potential, hope it doesn't fall flat. It's like Bendis wanted to have some real political commentary and it almost gets there, but at the last second it takes a turn for the Hot Topic mall goth anarky. Lots of cop killing fun going on here, but it kind of feels like dirt under my nails with the pseudo-revolution talk. I guess I should reserve judgment until the next volume comes out (soonish, right?). Series has a lot of potential, hope it doesn't fall flat.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Seth T.

    First volumes are tough. Tough to gauge, tough to judge. Even with series that are well on their way and have gone some length toward establishing themselves, talking about first volumes isn't always easy. Some of my favourite books are marred by less-than-stellar, less-than-representative first volumes. Fables ' initial story had me convinced the series was very much not my thing (though it later turned out to be very much my thing). Usagi Yojimbo , for all its storied perfections, boasts First volumes are tough. Tough to gauge, tough to judge. Even with series that are well on their way and have gone some length toward establishing themselves, talking about first volumes isn't always easy. Some of my favourite books are marred by less-than-stellar, less-than-representative first volumes. Fables ' initial story had me convinced the series was very much not my thing (though it later turned out to be very much my thing). Usagi Yojimbo , for all its storied perfections, boasts a first volume that is clearly evidence of a creator trying to figure out just what it is he wants to do with his character (and even shows that he's still learning how to draw his protagonist). Cerebus's first volume is so lackluster that I haven't yet taken the time to explore any of the much-praised later stories in the series. And each of these stories' initial volume can be contextualized within the scope of the rest of the work. And while Neil Gaiman's first volume of Sandman , "Preludes and Nocturnes," ends on a high note, it stumbles substantially in its earliest chapters. It's so much more difficult for books that only yet exist as a single, introductory volume. Take Scarlet for example. Author Brian Michael Bendis almost certainly has some large story planned for his new character, but in the five chapters collected in this single volume, it's impossible to tell whether that story will be any good or not. And it's not even as if this should be any sort of surprise. Most good story-driven manga series (e.g. 20th Century Boys or Death Note ) take a couple volumes to win me over—and American collections of manga typically have ten chapters per volume. Translate that dynamic to the American scene (where collections typically have around six chapters per volume) and I'd perhaps be expected to know whether I'm interested in a story after three or four volumes. And that's pretty rough on these series.1 So when I pick up the first volume of a newer series like Scarlet, it shouldn't surprise you that I really won't know what to make of it. I'm trying to think of a series whose first volume made me sit up and think, Wow, I need to read the next collection from this. I have to see where this is going! Maybe Bride's Story . Maybe Powers back in the day? Stray Bullets, Bone, Yotsuba&! , and probably a small handful of others. In any case, Scarlet is not one of these. I'm curious to see where Bendis goes with it, but not that curious. My hope is that his further work on the book will redeem volume one and that as part of the whole, it will present a seamless and wonderful story. It's not as if it's in any way bad—more just that this first volume of Scarlet doesn't give much of a sense of whether this book will be worthwhile or not. Quite possibly the only way to properly judge the book is to find out how it ends. It's one of those—one of those books that will stand as a kind of political statement in one way or another. Scarlet circles the drain of the question Just what the heck are we supposed to do with all the police corruption that is all over YouTube and Reddit, like, every day? The titular Scarlet, a young twenty-something Portland native, has her own solution and it is violent. And maybe even revolutionary. For reasons this volume lays out pretty early on, Scarlet has taken to executing corrupt cops. Bendis may keep things on that path or—and it seems this might be his tack—take things to other whole levels Tyler Durden–style. We'll just have to wait to see. And that is why it's so hard to figure out what this series is going to be. Good? Bad? Trite? Revolutionary? Cliche? If Bendis goes full-blown political and tries to say something with the book, we'll have to wait for that thing to be said before we can judge how well he said it. It's entirely possible that he's only using the veneer of the political to give a fascinating backdrop to a straightforward story of revenge or psychosis or—who knows?—science fiction. And if he holds the fort down competently, it won't be until everything works out that we'll be able to judge whether his straightforward whatever-this-is completes admirably or otherwise. I guess the point is: whatever Bendis intends to do with the title in the future, he is so far holding down the fort. Scarlet is thus far neither spectacular nor failure. Bendis' writing is about what one might expect from one of his books. Scarlet is written in his signature style, self-referential, somewhat witty, somewhat approximating natural speech patterns, and flipping in and out of linear narrative. Maleev's art is again what fans will expect. In terms of evolution from his tenure working with Bendis on Daredevil (what, ten years ago?), I'm sure there's some growth but it's not obvious at a glance. If you liked him on Daredevil, you very well may like him on Scarlet. The style's pretty much the same use of drawn-over-and-shopped live actors. It doesn't work for every book, but I think it might be fine here. See, the art's cool until you get to everyday things like conversations. These will almost always look uncanny valley kinds of weird. Beyond the probably unhelpful wait-and-see critique, the one thing that bothered me was Scarlet's "costume" on the volume's cover and on several chapter covers. She sports what looks like an impractical leather, zipper-fronted bandeau with a patched X on one breast and a patched O on the other.2 Scarlet never wears any approximation of this outfit throughout the book, so I'm not sure of their prominence on the covers. I will be perfectly happy if Scarlet never adopts a uniform for her business—as the whole idea of a costume in this situation seems a little silly—but it seems as if the creative team may be angling toward this direction. It's a silly kind of costume and I would prefer it remain only on covers—actually, it may serve as some interesting sort of commentary if it only appears on the covers. Notes 1. Actually, it's for this precise reason that I generally wait 'til four or five volumes of a series are released before I begin pursuing it. That gives me a better chance of more accurately judging a book and it gives opportunity for word of mouth to build on whether a series is worthwhile or not. 2. In truth, they may not be patches. Maybe it's that craft-lovers' coloured duct tape? Maybe they're band-aids? Who knows? THE SHADOW KNOWS. ____________________ [Review courtesy of Good Ok Bad.]

  18. 5 out of 5

    Max's Comic Reviews and Lists

    The Portland Revolution Jinxworld! is more popular than ever now and this is one of Bendis’ flagship titles. And I was suuuuper hyped to read this book. I just recently read Alias and I am always ready to read a mature, political, and realistic story by Bendis. Especially when you have Alex Maleev on art. This first volume is a very entertaining introduction to the world and Scarlet Rue’s character. But the book definitely has problems. Which I am disappointed about, but I could just blame it The Portland Revolution Jinxworld! is more popular than ever now and this is one of Bendis’ flagship titles. And I was suuuuper hyped to read this book. I just recently read Alias and I am always ready to read a mature, political, and realistic story by Bendis. Especially when you have Alex Maleev on art. This first volume is a very entertaining introduction to the world and Scarlet Rue’s character. But the book definitely has problems. Which I am disappointed about, but I could just blame it on my excitement. The concept for Scarlet is one we have heard a lot more than we think we have. But never the less the concept is presented in a realistic way that is just comic booky enough to allow change in tone every now and then. Scarlet breaks the fourth wall throughout the entirety of the series, which oddly enough actually has a feeling of originality to it. Scarlet herself is written like a hardened bad-ass that will do mostly anything accomplish her goal. Kill, steal, manipulate, mutilate ect. The big underlying question for everyone here is: Are Scarlet’s actions justified by the amount of corrupt officials that have wronged the city? This question unfolds in a display of very experienced crime writing. The story feels very fresh. All the dialogue is what you would expect from Bendis. AKA: Amazingness. Every conversation has a bite to it that keeps your interest. NOW Here Is where I start getting into my negatives BUT keep in mind when I’m saying this, that I liked the characters and the way the story unfolded. Okay? I liked it. This is the only time I have ever said this, but I think this book may be read better as singles. I KNOW! I am a collected edition man. Trades, OHC’s, Omnibuses, Absolutes, and so on. But my biggest problem with the series creates every other problem I have and even volume 2. (Cuz I read it last night) This book is rushed. By issue 2 the book’s breakneck pace effectively worsened my reading experienced. I’m not looking a backstory, but just more character defining moments, and her transformation into the more unforgiving revolutionary she becomes. Also rushed is the relationship between Scarlet and Brandon. This also stunted my attachment to the characters which is a biiiiiig problem to me at least. I wanted to feel more empathy for her.....but I just didn’t. When all the crazy political shit goes down it definitely feels like we missed a couple steps. And with volume 3 coming out later this year, I really hope I can forget out this issue when reading the overall continued story. Now I don’t know if Bendis was planning on sexualizing the shit out of Scarlet, because in the very beginning of the book.....eh hem...and the sketches and variants....EEHHH HHEM!!! But I think she was definitely supposed to be a Black Widow type character. Where you know she is a huge treat to the eyes but she has definite substance. That’s how I see it anyway. Alright Alex Maleev. I know I gave you some crap in my review of Daredevil Volume 1 about how sketchy and shallow some of your work is. BUT I shall never speak badly about you again sir. Because you did Scarlet. I cannot even begin to tell how fucking incredible I think Maleev’s art is here. Not only does every panel look like it would’ve taken a week to perfect, but the style is so distinct. It almost looks akin to the sketchy and vibrant colours of graffiti sprayed all over Portland. Not only has Maleev done a beyond incredible job of penciling the characters and locations but each panel has extra details in the background that I couldn’t have even imagined. I honestly will stand by my opinion when I say that each panel is a near masterpiece. Maybe this is just because I would never be able to accomplish an artistic feat like this. Does this art join the ranks of Early Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli, Greg Smallwood, Clay Mann, David Lloyd, and Brian Bolland? Probably. There is one panel where just sun glasses are shown. It could have been a goddamn album or movie cover man honestly. It was masterfully done. In the end, I think Scarlet was very entertaining delve into this broken version of Portland. The big underlying political questions are what carry the book and I think it was very well done. But I cannot get over how rushed this book feels. The characters and impact character’s cause were effected and I cant help but keep thinking of ways this would have been more fleshed out. I don’t think 10 issues was enough. Maleev’s art is heavenly and better than I could have thought. And to me the best part of this book. Letter Grade: (B)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alan Kingsley

    What would happen if someone decided to change things? Not complain, not protest, not write their congressman--actually stand up and hold the people in power accountable for what they do with the only punishment they seem to understand? That's the driving force behind Scarlet, the story of a girl (named Scarlet) whose life is shattered by the arrogant, drug-fueled actions of a crooked cop. When she discovers that not only was the truth covered up but he was granted a promotion, Scarlet snaps. She What would happen if someone decided to change things? Not complain, not protest, not write their congressman--actually stand up and hold the people in power accountable for what they do with the only punishment they seem to understand? That's the driving force behind Scarlet, the story of a girl (named Scarlet) whose life is shattered by the arrogant, drug-fueled actions of a crooked cop. When she discovers that not only was the truth covered up but he was granted a promotion, Scarlet snaps. She realizes she cannot go to the police or the courts. She cannot work within the system to fix her problem because the system IS the problem. Scarlet takes her time, collects evidence, and then murders him in cold blood. Is it wrong? People don't seem to think so. What about the second time she does it? Or the third? What happens when citizens decide that the government doesn't work like it should and that no one will fix it because the people who could are too busy profiting from the way things are. This is a hard, angry book that doesn't give you easy answers (or, indeed, any answers at all since it's only Volume 1). Alex Maleev's art is fierce and full of tension; every panel illustrating the knife-edge society is walking and reinforcing just how quickly Scarlet's actions might push them off. Brian Bendis' writing is top notch; balancing Scarlet's frustration and pain with equal doses of humor and fear. Her narration is heavily noir and slyly conversational, not just winning you to her point of view but actively inviting the you to join in. I think the thing I like best about Scarlet is how firmly it's rooted in the real world. Scarlet isn't Batman, who doesn't take lives and gets his own special night light on top of the police station. She's a girl with a gun. Not all the police are bad guys, but they ARE all angry and upset. Towards the end of the story, the lead investigator on the case remarks, "I'm a complicated and multifaceted enough individual to know that [Scarlet's] point of view of the world is complicated and multifaceted. And I'm also man enough to admit I don't know if she's right. All I know is that after today, I'm kinda ready to kill somebody." These are real characters--INTELLIGENT characters--with morals and values and their own ways of looking at the world. They have drives and ambitions and egos that determine how they act and react. They create a story that has something to say, and I can't wait to find out what's next.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Semi-spoiler review below - SCARLET was one of the first books I picked up from Comixology (digital comics) and what an impulse buy it was! I confess I'd not heard of Brian Michael Bendis prior to reading SCARLET VOL.1 but will make an effort to read more of his stuff. The below is a blow-by-blow review of each issue that comprises volume 1. Issue#1: Love the introspective narrative. The opening chapter establishes Scarlet as a dark yet light and vibrant young woman, one who knows love and falls Semi-spoiler review below - SCARLET was one of the first books I picked up from Comixology (digital comics) and what an impulse buy it was! I confess I'd not heard of Brian Michael Bendis prior to reading SCARLET VOL.1 but will make an effort to read more of his stuff. The below is a blow-by-blow review of each issue that comprises volume 1. Issue#1: Love the introspective narrative. The opening chapter establishes Scarlet as a dark yet light and vibrant young woman, one who knows love and falls for the clichés of romanticism. Cut to the corruption of cops; the addiction that costs her future also spawns her quest for vengeance. Interested to see where Scarlet takes her rage. Issue #2: In the the second chapter/issue, Bendis takes time to evolve his scared protagonist from mourning young woman into a cold calm and calculating femme fatale. There is a distinct cause and effect to Scarlet's actions which also compounds her rationale. Great plotting, character development, and a well executed story from what could've been a common revenge fueled romp. Issue #3: The story of Scarlet, the young red haired punk woman, victim of violence, circumstance and police corruption continues her quest to fight back. In the third issue/chapter she literally takes aim at the cops, specifically the Chief of Police. Cut off the snakes head and the rest slither and die. Great pacing, writing. Brian Michael Bendis has really established a strong sense of character. Issue #4: A change of pace from killing and dodging bullets sees the nice touch of 'scarlet law' introduced via a public front at a flash mob. good bridging chapter. I also like the added realism of Scarlet's mother showing up. Final Issue: Despite being a pretty decent graphic novel I think the last chapter lost momentum in order to generate grounding for the next installment. Ok but lacking a conclusion. Review first appeared on my blog: http://justaguythatlikes2read.blogspo...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    A solid start to the series, but not without it's flaws. I purchased the first two volumes together in a sale so i'll be reading on, though. A solid start to the series, but not without it's flaws. I purchased the first two volumes together in a sale so i'll be reading on, though.

  22. 4 out of 5

    RG

    I've always loved Maleevs artwork. The grainy style really compliments any noir story. Bendis is doing an old school Bendis noir crime type story. Has a standard revenge type plot with a political edge to it. I didnt feel like it was his best work. The concept was great but i didnt feel like the story really was large enough dor the surroundings. It was a little bit too safe. I've always loved Maleevs artwork. The grainy style really compliments any noir story. Bendis is doing an old school Bendis noir crime type story. Has a standard revenge type plot with a political edge to it. I didnt feel like it was his best work. The concept was great but i didnt feel like the story really was large enough dor the surroundings. It was a little bit too safe.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Zedsdead

    Scarlet is about a highly trained badass assassin who preys on corrupt cops. No wait, it's about a victimized young woman with a message of revolution and anti-corruption. Fight the system! In the first panel, she skillfully and remorselessly kills a man. And beats the shit out of a bike thief for good measure. Scarlet then speaks directly to the reader while recounting her story, why she is what she is and does what she does. And it turns out that (view spoiler)[she has no training. She's just Scarlet is about a highly trained badass assassin who preys on corrupt cops. No wait, it's about a victimized young woman with a message of revolution and anti-corruption. Fight the system! In the first panel, she skillfully and remorselessly kills a man. And beats the shit out of a bike thief for good measure. Scarlet then speaks directly to the reader while recounting her story, why she is what she is and does what she does. And it turns out that (view spoiler)[she has no training. She's just a kid whose boyfriend was murdered by a corrupt cop looking for a convenient patsy. She's pissed and starts attacking corrupt authority figures with an absurd level of success. (hide spoiler)] It's kind of a strange message. It shoots for "Give up your apathy!" but lands on "What could go wrong with serial vigilante murders? Give it a try!" Bendis uses some nifty framing: 12-panel spreads that sum up someone's life, Scarlet describing events out of order and as they happen to her... It has an interesting look, lots of muted grays and browns except for her bright orange hair, which pops. I think Scarlet uses that photo-conversion process from Ex Machina, or something similar.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mindy

    I picked this up at the library because of the artwork. The artwork was easily the coolest thing about it. I was expecting an urban fantasy type story from the cover but it dealt with way more reality than I was in the mood for. The story deals with corrupt cops killing innocent people and the female mc's subsequent revenge. This was written in 2011, but could of been taken straight from today's headlines. I'm new to graphic novels. This is the first one I have read that wasn't The Walking Dead. I picked this up at the library because of the artwork. The artwork was easily the coolest thing about it. I was expecting an urban fantasy type story from the cover but it dealt with way more reality than I was in the mood for. The story deals with corrupt cops killing innocent people and the female mc's subsequent revenge. This was written in 2011, but could of been taken straight from today's headlines. I'm new to graphic novels. This is the first one I have read that wasn't The Walking Dead. So maybe it's just me, but I wanted more story. Anyway, here's an example of the cool artwork...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anthony

    I actually really enjoyed this, but I can see it not being for everybody. I think some of the film influences behind it are also pretty obvious (Kill Bill, Fight Club), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Bendis is a big consumer of good film and Tv, so it's only right that'd he'd bring it into some of his creator owned work. I must admit, how it ended as 'Book One' of what seems will be a series, was slightly off putting. I'd have liked a more rounded off ending, especially since we'll prob I actually really enjoyed this, but I can see it not being for everybody. I think some of the film influences behind it are also pretty obvious (Kill Bill, Fight Club), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Bendis is a big consumer of good film and Tv, so it's only right that'd he'd bring it into some of his creator owned work. I must admit, how it ended as 'Book One' of what seems will be a series, was slightly off putting. I'd have liked a more rounded off ending, especially since we'll probably be waiting awhile for Book Two.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julio Bonilla

    You got the Army to fuck themselves over?👩🏻‍🦰 Redhead-Scarlet Rue is protesting against the United States Army… 🔫🇺🇸 •I like the artwork.

  27. 5 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    Funny enough this seems more relevant now than ever. Scarlet is a broken person. Want to know why? One day when she was spending the day with the love of her life, a corrupt police officer decided to shoot both her and her boyfriend, leaving them for dead. That's the start of her revenge tale, but it becomes a revolution. One filled with hatred for the system that is supposed to protect us but instead hurt us. It's a pretty solid story actually. I enjoy the main character as she talks to us as i Funny enough this seems more relevant now than ever. Scarlet is a broken person. Want to know why? One day when she was spending the day with the love of her life, a corrupt police officer decided to shoot both her and her boyfriend, leaving them for dead. That's the start of her revenge tale, but it becomes a revolution. One filled with hatred for the system that is supposed to protect us but instead hurt us. It's a pretty solid story actually. I enjoy the main character as she talks to us as if we're there. Very dead-pool like but without less shitty jokes. On top of that the art is really solid, different, and well done. I think the pacing works well though the ending comes out of nowhere and just ends. Overall, while not amazing, it's solid, and well worth reading. A 3.5 out of 5.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emmett Spain

    ***SECOND READING*** Revisiting this story of modern American revolution during a time of social upheaval felt relevant and worth doing. So, I did. And it changed the book for me. The anger that permeates the book felt real, felt earned, in a way that it didn't in the first reading. Even the idea of someone killing a police officer as an act of revenge for killing someone they loved was even more uncomfortable, because it felt more real. But the idea that everyone just gets on board with a sudden n ***SECOND READING*** Revisiting this story of modern American revolution during a time of social upheaval felt relevant and worth doing. So, I did. And it changed the book for me. The anger that permeates the book felt real, felt earned, in a way that it didn't in the first reading. Even the idea of someone killing a police officer as an act of revenge for killing someone they loved was even more uncomfortable, because it felt more real. But the idea that everyone just gets on board with a sudden need to revolt after witnessing cops being murdered felt less real, though. Perhaps this is a reflection of the times, when we look at Black Lives Matter and the riots in the USA, and we can trace the institutional racism and distress back hundreds of years ... but in Scarlet, we see her get angry at a cop for killing her lover and then when she murders him and a couple of others cops besides, the people rise up to revolt and shout her name like she's a folk hero. It just didn't feel earned when read against the current context of social upheaval. Perhaps it's unfair of me to bring that to my reading of the work. But considering where we are now, what's happening, and what it all means, how could I not? Rated down to 3 stars from the original 4. The art, I am pleased to say, remains beautiful. ***ORIGINAL REVIEW*** Revolution. That's the theme of Bendis's latest creator-owned effort, starring the amazing art work of his long-time collaborator Alex Maleev (Daredevil, Spider-woman, Moon Knight). Scarlet is a woman pushed too far by all that's wrong with the world, and from a tragic beginning is set to inspire a modern American revolution. The main device of the book is that Scarlet talks right to us, breaking the fourth wall throughout. In fact, there's more fourth wall breaking than actual dialogue, which is a device you'll either enjoy, or it will turn you off the book completely. Anyone familiar with Bendis's work will see all the trademarks here--smart dialogue that sounds true to the ear, sharply-designed characters, great pacing. But Bendis is also stretching himself here by using new methods of telling the story, such as recapping some characters' total life experiences over 3 pages in a series of panels with titles like "First Kiss", "First Orgasm", "First betrayal" etc. It's storytelling designed to appeal to modern audiences--it's a very immediate device. Again, this may prove to be an acquired taste for some. What cannot be argued is the quality fo Alex Maleev's art. He has proven himself an excellent artist in the past, but he takes it to the next level here. His works are crisp, detailed, and very striking. He makes Scarlet iconic. If you bought this for the art alone, you would be satisfied. Overall Scarlet is a book with much potential - and this story is more about setting the scene for something bigger than providing a satisfying self-enclosed tale. It is, however, a solid launchpad for an interesting series, which is enough to hook you in for trade number two, so long as the fourth wall thing doesn't drive you nuts.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Eh, 2 stars but maybe bumped up to 3 for Maleev's art and Bendis's attempt at tackling moral complexity and social issues? On one hand, I don't want to be too harsh, because I'm trying to b remind myself that every piece of art/media, especially those with female characters and/or about injustice can't be everything to everyone. And yet, this just felt like too little, too late, like it might have seemed more profound had it come out around the time of Jessica Jones and Bendis/Maleev's Daredevil. Eh, 2 stars but maybe bumped up to 3 for Maleev's art and Bendis's attempt at tackling moral complexity and social issues? On one hand, I don't want to be too harsh, because I'm trying to b remind myself that every piece of art/media, especially those with female characters and/or about injustice can't be everything to everyone. And yet, this just felt like too little, too late, like it might have seemed more profound had it come out around the time of Jessica Jones and Bendis/Maleev's Daredevil. Released now, it comes off as the team not only not growing since then, when they showed readers the potential for darker, thought-provoking comics, but being slightly tone-deaf in the current sociopolitical situation of police corruption and brutality. In some ways, I find Bendis's choices of an upper-middle class white girl to start a "revolution" and the setting of Portland, to be interesting ones. In other ways, it was just irritating. Instead of coming off as brooding and angsty, à la Frank Castle/The Punisher, Scarlet reads like a petulant child acting out because she realized the the world is unjust ("sucks") and no one is doing anything about it. In the current sociopolitical climate, I want to smack her and point out that one of the reasons why the victims of injustice don't "do anything," is because, unlike her, they didn't have the privilege of growing up believing that they were entitled to everything nice in the world, and have been dealing with injustice their entire lives in less extreme ways. That's not necessarily a reason not to endeavor to change the world for the better, but I would've enjoyed a more nuanced treatment of what it means to be complicit with injustice and corruption. It felt like a bone thrown preemptively at the criticism of Scarlet as a white girl to have a natural hair black girl speaking into the megaphone at the protest. Since this wasn't a slam dunk as far as adept portrayal of complex characters and situations, I was left wondering if Bendis built Scarlet mostly around the idea that everyone loves hot, gun-toting (where did she get her guns and learn how to snipe, anyway?) girls, especially if they're redheads. (P.S. When girls "go bad," they also decide their shirts need to frequently be midriff-bearing?) There's potential here, to explore the intricacies of Scarlet becoming a figurehead for a social movement/revolution, including why or takes a white upper middle class face to finally galvanize the public, and what the role of violence should be. However, I don't know if Bendis is going there, or if Scarlet (the character and series) will merely continue to look great but sound mildly dissonant. P.P.S. I'm much more interested in the stories of the FBI agent and the female detective (who is reminiscent in appearance to Maleev's Milla or Netflix's Hogarth) on the case of catching Scarlet.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    I'm kind of into this! I know, what a ringing endorsement. "Kind of." But, honestly, everything I've read from Bendis over the past few years has felt so utterly phoned-in that I'm excited to read something by him that crackles with the same energy as his earlier work. Also, there's something so visceral and relevant about this book now, moreso even than when it debuted in 2011. This isn't a superhero story, or even a typical vigilante tale. This is a story about a woman who's had enough of polic I'm kind of into this! I know, what a ringing endorsement. "Kind of." But, honestly, everything I've read from Bendis over the past few years has felt so utterly phoned-in that I'm excited to read something by him that crackles with the same energy as his earlier work. Also, there's something so visceral and relevant about this book now, moreso even than when it debuted in 2011. This isn't a superhero story, or even a typical vigilante tale. This is a story about a woman who's had enough of police brutality and a system that sweeps it under the rug, so she starts fighting back. By killing bad cops. It's intense, thanks largely to the fact that Bendis doesn't approach this like a high-concept, over-the-top action comic. It feels much more grounded than that, with the stakes feeling more real, and Scarlet presented as a kind of everywoman with a dash of anarchy. I will say, this story feels wildly implausible overall. Despite its grounded, character-driven nature, there are just big leaps the story takes to move things forward that kind of zip past important details. Like, I truly don't understand how Scarlet is hiding from the cops. It seems like everyone on earth knows who she is, she hasn't taken many precautions to hide herself, and therefore she should be caught/arrested/attacked, I don't know, constantly. And yet she isn't, and I guess I just have to suspend disbelief and go with it. It feels a little far-fetched, though. Also, everything escalates so fast. She seemingly starts a "revolution" with a one-minute YouTube video that doesn't even explain her motives. People just instantly get on board with her cause. It feels... lacking, somehow. That said, I'm mostly fine filling in these missing details myself and just assuming, if Bendis had more time, he would've done the work to explain them. It's not impossible. So, I'm intrigued to see how this wraps up, despite my various problems with it. The premise alone is bold enough to keep me on board. Hopefully the second volume keeps it up.

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