Review: Scarlet #5

Published on April 5th, 2011

Scarlet is a small story that is meant to go very big. So far, we have seen greed and corruption take place in the town of Portland, Oregon. Scarlet was shot and seemed to wake up a changed woman who is hell bent on not only exposing the crooked cops but also the broken system in which they thrived. Scarlet #5 is the last of the first arc written by Brian Micheal Bendis and drawn by Alex Maleev. Did the promises made at last years C2E2 come to fruition, or will we have to send Scarlet after Bendis and Maleev? Read on to find out.

Scarlet has ruffled the laws feathers. She has killed three corrupt police officers in the name of justice. She has shown the world that not only has she seen the corruption, but she intends to do something about it.  However, at the end of the last issue, Scarlet was thought dead and a protest had started in her name. Clearly, things are not going the direction she had originally anticipated which is why she shows up to the protest to speak her mind. She wants to let people know that this isn’t an anarchy message, that she believes in right and wrong and that Police Officers should respect the job they do and not fall into corruption. The crowd quickly joins her in chanting, “No More”, which causes a quick acting Riot officer to toss a grenade into the crowd, quickly putting Scarlet and the crowd into harms way.


The comic then shifts gears for a few minutes and takes us inside the local police station, where the former Detective on the Scarlet case is digging to find out what is going on. She soon finds out though that she is taken off the case and runs into Federal Agent James Daemonakos, who echoes her suspicions about the claims of corruption within the local precinct and start to wonder if maybe, just maybe,  Scarlet is right.

We then cut back to Scarlet recovering in a room were she is realizing that this is it. When she walks out of this room, she sheds who she was completely and has to step up to be the woman that will lead a revolution and that is how the first arc closes.

Bendis and Maleev have something special with Scarlet, something that cannot be rushed. While they made grandiose promises last year at C2E2 about this story starting small and growing into a new American Revolution, they have not delivered it fast. Is this necessarily a bad thing ? Depends on what your time frame was for those expectations. I hope this is a slow, well crafted story and while it may be a slow ride, once it really gets going it should be an unstoppable story. One that hopefully more people with stick with.

Final Verdict: Scarlet may be a slow crafted masterpiece, but will it last long enough for everyone to truly see it? This was the end of the first arc and I understand what it needed to set up. Lets hope that Book Two starts to show the true potential of this story emerge!

Sheldon Lee