S for Scarlet
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: August 29, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99
Brian Michael Bendis brings Scarlet to the DC Universe and I’m excited to get to know this character and get wrapped up in the world. So does this first issue get me excited for what’s to come?
The story opens up with the introduction of a woman named Ice with two Male Resistance Fighters sneaking to a possible supply box marked in a red "S" insignia for Scarlet. Things don’t go as planned as it looks like it was a trap and one of the male resistance fighters bites the dust. Maybe he should have been a bike mechanic or a humane society worker before Portland went to hell. Perhaps those skills could have helped him live a little longer. Yeah, we get some back and forth dialogue between Ice and the surviving male resistance member about past occupations before Ice eliminates the attacking vehicle.
One of the highlights of this book is the city of Portland. I have never been there but if this is what the future holds for this city, I’ll stay here on the east coast. The city itself is a character oozing with detail that I hope gets explored more. From the full page aerial spread of the beautiful pastel colored city, you can see the divide and textures of this war fought metropolitan. The city is without technology, without government aid, and without laws.
We then get introduced to Scarlet. She gives a monologue that briefly introduces herself and her surroundings. We also see one of the most interesting elements that the book presents which is the different people living in Portland. We find out that not everyone had a chance to pick a side in the fight. Some stayed after the bridge was destroyed during the Final Curfew and now are stuck on the side of Scarlet where they are forced to live life on this side of the city. I hope they explore more of the effects the war has had on the people of Portland.
Scarlet runs into an eager, Kit and she along with some other resistance fighters are ready to advance with guns blazing on the government. Scarlet is a woman with a plan and insists that they wait until Intel arrives before making a move. Kit and Scarlet seem to disagree on a strategy which hints at a possible power struggle within the resistance.
Our story concludes with a random but foreshadowed drone attack destroying an apartment building and out of nowhere a special forces officer parachutes in from the sky with a cellphone and an important message from the White House.
Bits and Pieces:
Scarlet isn’t a likable person and this first issue doesn’t show why she is a hero or a savior. She comes off uninspiring and apathetic. She lectures more than she does anything. An apartment building gets destroyed by a drone and she shows little compassion. Portland and the people are the most compelling and interesting things from this first issue and I am more interested in them. The watercolor artwork is very nice and it has a clean look that works well for the story. We also don't get much of a timeline of events or much backstory. I hope this book intends to cover why she is the hero of this movement because so far she comes off as a boring protagonist.