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Scalped vol 2: Casino Boogie

Scalped vol 2: Casino Boogie back

Jason Aaron & R.M. Guera


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Crime and grime on the Prairie Rose Reservation which has really hit its stride now in an immaculately structured series of six stories seen from different perspectives, each of which give different accounts of the opening of the local casino and the events in each individual's life leading up to it. Along the way one secret after another is revealed depending on who's talking to whom, whilst others emerge to tantalise you to the end.

The art's fluid, well lit and riddled with Vince Locke textures. The wizened faces are beautifully sculptured, particularly Granny's, whilst some of the forms, younger faces, and the glint of light on Catcher's green aviators under his wide-brimmed hat, suggest a little mid-John Byrne as inked in different places by Klaus Jansen or Tom Palmer.

The Prairie Rose Casino is the creation of tribal leader and mob boss Red Crow, under investigation by the FBI in the form of former reservation resident and now undercover Agent Dashiell Bad Horse whose mother Gina has for years been a people's rights activist. Working both as a policeman and an employee of Red Crow's, it's Dash's job to find blood on Crow's hands. That's what the FBI want, even if the blood in question is Dash's, for what no one has told Dash is that he isn't the only Agent in town.

As I say, its strength - in addition to the shadow-laden art - is where Aaron chooses to cut away from a scene as events go out of eye-shot or ear-shot of that issue's chief protagonist, only to be resumed dozens of pages later from a different perspective, and the order in which Aaron reveals what. Also, the poverty of opportunity for those without Red Crow's ruthlessness, and the squandering of such opportunities that had been offered to the likes of the former Oxford University graduate, now wandering drunkard/visionary, Catcher
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