cover image Scalped: Dead Mothers

Scalped: Dead Mothers

Jason Aaron, . . DC/Vertigo, $17.99 (168pp) ISBN 978-1-4012-1919-2

A fantastic combination of art and story, this book is a nasty noir story that could exist as a stand-alone (albeit a very mysterious and existential one). Scalped follows ex-con and war vet Dashiell Bad Horse as he goes undercover at his tribal reservation for the FBI. Being a cop is his cover as he seeks to bust Red Crow, the tribe's chief and the local crime boss—and former boyfriend of Dashiell's mom. As this book, the third collection of the ongoing comic begins, a major character has been brutally murdered, but Dashiell is more obsessed with searching for the killer of a local prostitute and caring for her revenge-obsessed preteen son. Several story lines are juggled, but Aaron provides a tight, twisting script, with sparse, effective dialogue. With the beautiful and deranged artwork, we are treated to a kick-ass mystery, like the movie Seven set on an evil Indian reservation. Giulia Brusco's coloring is indispensable to the story and helps mesh the three contributing artists without wiping out their individual stylistic flourishes. (Oct.)