Scalped #23

A comic review article by: Dan Hill

Plot: A day in the life of Dino Poor Bear. One which threatens to change things forever. 

Comments: In Scalped the characters we follow on a month to month basis change. But every issue shows us the harsh realities of life on the bottom of the ladder. This month it's Dino Poor Bear's turn. 

We open on what was probably the beginning of the end for Dino, and it's all downhill from there on in. A few heated minutes and his life is changed forever. Peppered throughout the narrative are Dino's thoughts on how he used to dream of one day getting as far away from the Prairie Rose reservation as possible. 

Gueras inks and pencils give the book its usual grimy look; a reminder to us, the reader, just how far away Dino's former hopes and dreams really were. At one point Dino talks about those who go through life with the cards of fate stacked against them. This echoes throughout the issue. The opening scene shows us a young Dino in the throes of hormonal, teenage lust. Three years and one daughter later and his life is quite clearly in the pits. Halfway through fate rears her head again cruelly causing Dino to witness (and inadvertently cause) a horrific moment of violence. To complete the books spine, at the climax, Dino is a victim of the classic adage "in the wrong place at the wrong time." 

But while art and script are all top notch I can't help but feel we've seen this all before. We've seen Dash get dragged onto a path of self destruction. We've seen Carol go from potential mother to drug addict. Going on the last few pages this issue obviously plays into the bigger arc and story line. But do we need to watch another character get dragged into the darkness? 

These complaints aside, though, Scalped continues to be pure gold month in and month out. Even it's less then stellar issues are a joy to read. 

Final word: Treads familiar ground but still one of the best comics on the stand.


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