Scalped tells the story of Dashiell Bad Horse. After an extended absence, he returns to the Indian reservation he left as a young man. He is taken under the wing of the local tribal strongman/casino boss and he becomes a part of the tribal police department. His estranged mother is still on the reservation and leading a faction of Indians who oppose the casino. The major twist (revealed at the end of the first issue) is that Dashiell is an undercover FBI agent sent in on what is essentially a suicide mission to take down the tribal boss.
The third volume also has what has to be one of the most powerful visual sequences I have ever read in comics. It is at the end of the second chapter of the trade paperback. Dashiell has to tell several children that their mother is dead. If anyone is wondering why thought balloons are no longer needed (a debate I have been active in on Digital Webbing), just look at that.
I hope that Scalped has reached the point (three trades out, 22 issues in the can) where DC can see if the trade sales are good enough to justify continuing the poorly-selling singles. That would be nice. I guess I’ll keep buying the monthlies, just to do my small part keeping it alive. But the trades are quite good, and I urge you to track them down.
Of course, you can't expect any comic that takes 19 issues to reach the "masterpiece" level to be selling well. Next time Jason Aaron writes a Native-themed comic, maybe he'll drop the gratuitous, Sopranos-style sex and violence and get to the real story in an issue or two.
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