Scalped 1: Indian Country

scalped volume 1 indian country review
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Interesting subject

Doesn't quite grab you

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Scalped

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Jason Aaron

Artist:  R.M. Guerra

# of Issues:  5

Release Date:  2007

scalped #3 cover jock artist

Scalped #3

Reprints Scalped #1-5 (March 2007-July 2007). Dashiell Bad Horse always wanted to get away from the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation.  Running away at a young age, Bad Horse is back and working for the tribe leader Lincoln Red Crow who runs the reservation with an iron (and corrupt) fist.  Bad Horse is facing his former love in Red Crow’s daughter Carol and his mother Gina.  Bad Horse however has a secret…he’s an undercover agent for the FBI and he’s there to bring Red Crow and his organization down once and for all!

Written by Jason Aaron, Scalped Volume 1:  Indian Country kicks off the DC Vertigo title.  The collection is split-up into “Indian Country” (Scalped #1-3) and “Hoka Hey” (Scalped #4-5).  The critically acclaimed series features art by R.M. Guerra.  The issues were also collected in Scalped:  The Deluxe Edition—Volume 1.

I read Scalped when it was new.  I didn’t hate it, but it also didn’t grab me.  I reread this volume to see if I missed anything.  Though the story is compelling, it still doesn’t drive me to want to read the rest in a tear.

The series is smart in that it combines popular genres, but it also gives you one of the “foreign” worlds of the United States.  It shows the inside of a reservation which has its own laws and own government acting within the United States.  It is a strange dynamic that you don’t think about much but it is fun to visit in things like this and Thunderheart…it is kind of an untapped world.

scalped #5 cover jock artist

Scalped #5

The two stories do move the comic forward.  The first story “Indian Country” sets about introducing Bad Horse and the whole set-up with his antagonistic relationship with both his mother and Lincoln Red Crow.  It goes a long way into introducing Bad Horse’s persona and the people in his life.  The second story feels more like set-up for the series as a whole with more backstory and a surprise ending.

The art is good, but it runs the risk of often being too dark and too heavily inked.  It isn’t as bad as a ’90s comic, but I often find “non-superhero” comics sometimes difficult to tell characters apart unless the art is very distinct.

Scalped definitely has potential, but it feels a lot like other “dramatic” comics out there.  It has a niche with its unusual subject, but it runs the risk of being exploitive.  I will see where Scalped leads, but I can’t decide if it will be worth the ride.  Scalped 1:  Indian Country is followed by Scalped 2:  Casino Boogie.

Related Links:

Scalped 2:  Casino Boogie

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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