Title: Scalped, Vol. 1: Indian Country
Author: Jason Aaron
First published August 1, 2007
124 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9781401213176 (ISBN10: 1401213170)
Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera team up to bring you an intense crime drama that delves into the world of organized crime and Native American culture. After fifteen years of being away, Dashiell “Dash” Bad Horse returns to the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation with nothing but his nunchucks, a fierce attitude, and a dark secret.
Despite the glimmering new casino, the once-proud people are now plagued by drugs and organized crime. Will Dash be able to make a change and set things right, or will he get caught up in the dangerous game?
This collection includes issues #1-5 and features a stunning cover by Jock. Don’t miss out on the gritty and gripping story of Scalped, Vol.
1: Indian Country.
About the Author
Jason Aaron, a comic book writer, was heavily influenced by his cousin Gustav Hasford, the author of The Short-Timers, which was the basis for the film Full Metal Jacket. Aaron grew up in a small town in Alabama and as a child, he dreamed of writing comics.
His mother supported him and took him to drug stores where he would buy books from spinner racks, some of which he still owns today.
In 2001, Aaron won a Marvel Comics talent search contest with an eight-page script for Wolverine. His story was published in Wolverine #175, which gave him the opportunity to pitch subsequent ideas to editors.
He made a blind submission to DC/Vertigo in 2006, which led to his first major work, The Other Side, a Vietnam War story that was nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Miniseries.
After The Other Side, Vertigo asked him to pitch other ideas, which led to the series Scalped, a creator-owned series set on the fictional Prairie Rose Indian Reservation and published by DC/Vertigo. He also wrote Ripclaw: Pilot Season for Top Cow Productions in 2007.
Later that year, Marvel editor Axel Alonso hired Aaron to write issues of Wolverine, Black Panther, and Ghost Rider. He signed an exclusive contract with Marvel in January 2008, but it did not affect his work on Scalped.
Aaron returned to writing Wolverine in 2009 with the ongoing series Wolverine: Weapon X, which was launched to coincide with the release of the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. His current run is on Thor: God of Thunder.
He aims to mix things up in his writing, trying different genres from arc to arc.
Scalped, Vol. 1: Indian Country by Jason Aaron is a gritty and intense graphic novel that explores the complex dynamics of life on a Native American reservation.
First published in August 2007, Scalped is a seminal work in the crime fiction genre that blends elements of noir, westerns, and social commentary. The story is set on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where the Oglala Lakota Native American tribe live in poverty and despair.
The novel’s main character is Dashiel Bad Horse, a young man who left the reservation years ago but has returned as an undercover FBI agent. He’s been tasked with infiltrating the criminal underworld of the reservation, led by a vicious gangster named Lincoln Red Crow, who also happens to be Dash’s estranged father.
As Dash investigates a series of murders and drug deals, he becomes entangled in the violent and corrupt world of the reservation. He must navigate the treacherous alliances and personal conflicts of the residents, including his own troubled past, in order to get to the bottom of the case.
Scalped tackles a wide range of issues that affect Native American communities in the United States, including poverty, addiction, gang violence, and systemic racism. The novel also delves into intergenerational trauma, identity, and the clash between traditional and modern ways of living.
Aaron’s writing is sharp and evocative, with a rhythm and pacing that keep the story moving forward. He creates vivid, multidimensional characters who are flawed and conflicted, yet still sympathetic.
The dialogue is raw and profane, reflecting the characters’ frustration and anger. The artwork, by artist R.
M. Gura, is stunningly detailed and atmospheric.
The drawings capture the grit and despair of life on the reservation, as well as the beauty and spirituality of Lakota culture. The color palette is muted and somber, emphasizing the bleakness of the setting.
While Scalped is undoubtedly a masterpiece of crime fiction, it’s not without its flaws. Some readers may find the violence and profanity excessive, and the plot can be convoluted at times.
Additionally, Aaron’s portrayal of Native American characters has been criticized by some for perpetuating stereotypes. Despite these criticisms, Scalped is a challenging and thought-provoking work that sheds light on the complex realities of life on a Native American reservation.
It’s a must-read for fans of crime fiction, graphic novels, and social commentary alike. Overall, Scalped, Vol.
1: Indian Country deserves a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. It’s a powerful and engaging work that raises important issues and will stick with readers long after they’ve finished.
The characters are unforgettable, the plot is gripping, and the artwork is breathtaking. Highly recommended.