Sunday, January 1, 2012

Graphic Novel Review - Scarlet by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev (4/5 stars)

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Graphic Novel/Superhero
Size: 184 pages
Publisher: Marvel
Release Date: July 20, 2011
ISBN: 978-0785152514
Stand Alone or Series: 1st in a series
Source: Gift for Xmas
Rating: 4/5 stars

I got a copy of this graphic novel for Christmas. It was a good read, it is dark and gritty. Full of lots of action with a great anti-hero type of heroine that you can't help but root for.

Scarlet fell in love once; then her boyfriend was brutally murdered by a cop gone wrong. Now Scarlet has a eliminate all of the dirty cops in the Portland and to destroy the system that lets them get away with their evil deeds. All she needs is a huge ass sniper rifle and a little support in the form of a flash mob...

This was an interesting read. The illustration is very dark with muted colors and a sketched out look to it. It matches the tone of the story perfectly; dark, gritty, and a bit rough looking. I enjoyed it.

I also enjoyed that Scarlet talks directly to the reader at a number of points; this was creative and was very well done. Scarlet as a character has a great background and draws the reader into the story. Parts of the book, for instance where you get Scarlet's whole life history in a series of still pictures with minimal caption, were incredibly well done and told a lot of story in a unique way.

The story itself was pretty typical of superhero stories in general. Scarlet has been hurt by the evil authority and has nothing to lose and will take them all out. I did like that a woman is featured as the butt-kicker in this series and I enjoyed her sniper skills as well as how ballsy she was.

I am curious to see where this series goes. Basically Scarlet is able to get support from the general populace but is going against authority in general. This opening collection didn't have anything super creative and super out of the box. The story was generally well done as was the artwork, so I do see a lot of potential for something amazing here.

Overall a great read with great illustration. This is a well done story and it is unique to have Scarlet talk directly to the reader. I enjoyed it overall, although the plot doesn't seem to be anything all that special. Still, there is a lot of potential here and I am interested to see where the next installment in this graphic novel series takes us.

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