Review: Scarlet #1

Published on July 11th, 2010

Alone, broken and out for justice no matter how big or small the crime is…that is how Scarlet, written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Alex Maleev starts and it promises big, BIG things! I first heard about Scarlet when every one else did around C2E2. The idea as I remember it was promised to start out small and very personal and then get VERY BIG fast, kicking off a new American Revolutionary War ofsorts.


Before I get to far into the review please know that this is not a statement on my political views but more of my practical and ethical views on the way things should be and not the way they are. Scarlet explores these grey areas and she talks to you, the reader ,right from the start breaking that wall you usually get  and you become part of the book yourself. I know Bendis wants to explore things in this book like ethics and the way in which we adhere to them and I applaud him 100% for it. I too feel like there is something wrong with the way companies, and even the government,to a degree,itself have been handling the people and situations that made them great to begin with not  in all situations mind you but just the things like fairness and feeling like “Well what can you do.” I feel like that tends to happen more and more these days and I know this country has always been a place where the ordinary person would look at that and say “Well what can you do” and then make a difference and change or right that which was once wrong to make for a more fair or ethical and practical treatment of whatever the situation was and that is just what Scarlet aims to do…but in a more kicking, biting, and punching way. I guess that brings new meaning to the phrase “Deed’s Not Words.”

The Book itself ,as mentioned above, opens with Scarlet explaining to you that life itself isn’t fair. That she was never told that people don’t always do the right thing or the thing they should do. She breaks the 4th wall and talks directly to the reader and explains her plight  as she takes out a few people doing wrong. She is already struggling with her choices to hurt or kill which shows she is pretty conflicted already.She is almost like an angry child lashing out with extremes in order to get her point across. I think this willchange as will her methods to which she gets things done or at least I hope it will a little if not then she is in danger of being to like The Punisher.

Scarlet then goes on to explain the sorted details as to how she got to this point in her life. She tells us she was happy ,then had some heart break and then was truly happy again right before everything went downhill. I usually give a more detailed explanation of a book but I am not doing that this time to purposely make you want to find out what happens, the whens and make you want to pick up this book because it is worth it! The art work in Scarlet is done by Alex Maleev and it suites it perfectly! Maleev did a long run on Daredevil with Bendis so having these two work together again is like a dream come true.Maleev also captures Portland pretty flawlessly, so much so that the part where Scarlet was downtown and gets arrested by the crooked cops IS actually in downtown Portland, Oregon. I know this because I have been there and walked in that exact same area so for me Maleev did a beautiful job on the art for this book!

Scarlet does not end with any sort of resolution. It just gives us a lot of negative. It shows us what her current head space is like and allows us to see how she got in the position she is. I would say that is normal for any first issue but this just does it with such style and promise that it can not and should not be overlooked.

Final Verdict:Buy this book!! Now!Go! You will not read a more poignant and well crafted comic this year or even the next five years.

Sheldon Lee