Scalped 3: Dead Mothers

scalped volume 3 dead mothers tpb
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 7/10

Series continues to improve

Art sometimes is too inked

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Scalped

Publisher:  DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer:  Jason Aaron

Artist:  R.M. Guera/John Paul Leon

# of Issues:  7

Release Date:  2008

scalped #16 cover review jock art

Scalped #16

Reprints Scalped #12-18 (August 2008-February 2008).  Gina Bad Horse is dead.  Dashiell Bad Horse should care, but his mother has always had enemies including Red Crow who he’s vowed to take down for the FBI.  Plus, Dash has other problems in the form of Diesel who is not only a killer but also an undercover FBI agent as well.  Dash has to make a decision…bring in Diesel for Red Crow and the son of the woman he killed or let him slip away for the FBI.  Meanwhile, Red Crow deals with the arrival of Mr. Brass and his goons as he finds himself the prime suspect in Gina’s murder.

Written by Jason Aaron, Scalped Volume 3:  Dead Mothers is a DC series under the Vertigo imprint.  Following Scalped Volume 2:  Casino Boogie, the series features art by R.M. Guera.

I was really on the fence with Scalped after the first collection.  It wasn’t bad, but it was a gritty crime story that felt like a lot of other gritty crime stories.  Scalped 2:  Casino Boogie roped me in with the non-linear storytelling and this helped keep me reading with a mystery…which is smart for a series to keep juggling the context.

scalped #18 cover review

Scalped #18

While the previous volume was a bit more experiment in its telling, Scalped 3:  Dead Mother is a little more typical and streamlined.  The story deals with two dead mothers (Dash and Shelton).  Gina Bad Horse’s murder has more reaching effect, but Shelton’s mother’s murder is more upfront and forces Dash to face his demons involving his own mother.  This forces the Diesel storyline and wraps back to introduce a new player in Franklin Falls Down who is called in by Red Crow to investigate Gina’s death…setting up the next volume.

The art continues to remain a bit problematic for me.  It often features great covers indicative to DC Vertigo titles, but the interior art is also type of Vertigo in that it is very dark and inky.  Sometimes it is too inky and since it isn’t a superhero book, it can occasionally be challenging to tell the characters apart in the story easily.

The first volume of Scalped was so-so for me, but the series grew on me and is continuing to grow with this volume.  Scalped is gritty and dark (sometimes too dark art-wise), but it is a solid read with every issue.  I look forward to seeing where this series goes.  Scalped 3:  Dead Mothers is followed by Scalped 4:  The Gravel in Your Guts.

Related Links:

Scalped 1:  Indian Country

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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