Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews

Scalped #36Scalped #36
Vertigo (DC Comics)
Aaron & Furno

Scalped takes a diversion from the main story as we deal with a two part story about Shunka, Red Crow's right hand man. Shunka has been one of the most mysterious characters throughout this series. His most defining quality seems to be that he suspects Dash as being an FBI agent. However, this issue completely changes that notion. It's a good story that shows the strength of the writer because he can take any piece of this universe and make a story that is engaging and compelling. This is a good issue that leads to what is sure to be a fantastic finish next issue and add roots for future stories with Shunka.

Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle ReviewsThe issue starts out with Shunka showing up at a Michigan-based reservation. He's there on Red Crow's orders to push some people around. He re-establishes that he is a force to be reckoned with, both with muscle and with intimidation. He manages to gain some needed support for Red Crow with this neighboring casino and seems to have completed his mission. However, his new found business partner is looking for an extra favor.

Shunka is asked to lean on the former chief of the reservation who has fallen from grace. In a complete shift from the normal storytelling we find out that the shamed chief isn't a drug addict or a murderer, but he is a gay man who has come out of the closet. In the issue we learn about what being gay means in the Indian community, both now and centuries past.

This shift in storytelling was refreshing because it deals with more moderate, but equally as controversial problems, as opposed to the massive poverty, violence and drugs that the series usually focuses on. It's a very good issue because we learn about the culture as well as new characters.

The artwork hits all the right notes. There is a certain style that this series commands that is very consistent as it is a mix of grit and attitude. The artwork adds a lot of drama to the story and helps push across the new character's motives through their actions and reactions. The comic book tells its own story visually.

Scalped turns in another good issue. We learn a lot about Shunka, though it's not an origin story, but a forward development story. Shunka is an interesting character, but someone picking up this issue as their first foray into this series might not fully get the context of his actions in the issue. It's a minor quibble. I would think any regular reader of this series is going to be entertained and maybe even a little shocked (if that's possible) by this issue. I'm looking forward to the next issue and the conclusion of this mini arc.

4 out of 5 Geek Goggles