Scalped, Volume 7: Rez Blues
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Scalped, Volume 7: Rez Blues (Scalped #7)

4.41 of 5 stars 4.41  ·  rating details  ·  969 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Fifteen years ago, Dashiell "Dash" Bad Horse ran away from a life of poverty and hopelessness on the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation in search of something better.

Now he's come back home armed with nothing but a set of nunchucks, a hell-bent-for-leather attitude and one dark secret.

He finds nothing much has changed on "The Rez" – short of a glimmering new casino run by a...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Vertigo
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How writer Jason Aaron does it, I don't think I'll ever really know, and perhaps that's the most fun about SCALPED.

Like the best serialized television series or the most epic films (and, for the latter, I can't think of a single film that measures up to the storytelling scope of SCALPED), Aaron both catapults his readers into the ongoing conflict of an undercover Native American agent working to uncover crimes on "The Rez," and unflinchingly casts glances into the sordid histories of the series'...more
Jeff Rice
So I started reading the Scalped series about two weeks ago, and have absolutely devoured it. Following double-agent Dasheil Bad Horse as he tries to walk the knife-edge between FBI agent and mafia goon in the setting of a run-down, desolate Indian reservation is absolutely enthralling. Full of badasses, hard cases, drug addicts, two-time losers, hussies, hustlers, cretins, felons, and occasionally the outlier honest person, the story grabs you in a stranglehold and dares you to try to get loose...more
If Scalped were a tv show, Rez Blues would be one of those "filler" episodes that don't progress the main story line. Thankfully, this isn't tv. Even though several of the stories here are either sidetracks or backstories, this is no filler. In Rez Blues, I've finally moved past merely understanding the characters and toward real sympathy, at least for Dash and Carol, and even maybe for Shunka, if only a little bit. Also, the first story in this collection was a wonderful little slice of life. I...more
Visceral, gut-wrenching stories. This volume strays away from the central crime plot elements to focus on characters, some new, some old. Every single entry feels fresh. It's a bleak, harsh landscape, but that doesn't mean it can't have spots of beauty. This is a series unafraid to take risks, and that's always rewarding.
Shunka story? About as awesome as Aaron gets. I did *not* see that coming, and I'm about used to seeing how that boy turns my expectations inside out.

Dash & Carol? Great storytelling here - these are people I totally understand, and even though I'd like to feel like I'm better than them, I'm pretty damned sure if I was in their shoes I'd be doing the same damned things, making the same damned mistakes and compromised choices as they keep making.

It's not easy, looking straight in the eyes of...more
Sam Quixote
The society of the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation is explored further in this book with the short story of an old Indian couple living far from town in a house they built themselves in the middle of nowhere. It's very touching and sweet to see these two people as they talk to each other without talking but the reader can see their thoughts through word panels. Their story is a light in the midst of so much darkness.

Then we get back into the dark and violent world of these characters. One of th...more
Scalped is the best graphic novel I've read. And this volume, #7, is stunning. I don't want to give spoilers, except to say that in this issue almost every cliche' and trope of "noir"--most especially a hypermasculine eye--is exploded and redefined. This was already a hugely ambitious series, mixing present-day life on an Oglala reservation with a creative narrative approach that flashes back through pivotal American Indian Movement moments, and takes myth and spirituality seriously without once...more
The seventh instalment of Scalped ‘Rez Blues’ serves more as a bridge to later volumes as opposed to progressing the core story with each chapter focusing of one of the many unique characters on the reservation. In Rez Blues we gain an insight to Red Crow’s hired gun Shunka – his personal life, beliefs, and tendency to use violence over reason, Wade – Bad Horse’s father makes an appearance and attempts to reconcile with his begotten son, Bad Horse himself battles his demons head on, while Carole...more
Mark Desrosiers
Astonishing, melancholy, gripping, but still lots of fun. Jason Aaron's storytelling instincts get redirected (to awesome effect) when he sees a plot getting too constrained, too teleological and boring. So here, he gives us a couple stand-alone tales, one featuring an elderly reservation couple suffering for food, the other a twisted power-grab of sorts with homophobia and a closeted hit-man taking the convoluted Native American "identity" to the next level... then we're dreamt back and forth f...more
Heath Lowrance
Volume 7, Rez Blues, is a quieter book than previous volumes, a well-timed respite from the violence and madness. It's basically the deep breath before plunging back in-- the stories in it are more introspective, and there's even a little hope.

Of course, the hope doesn't come with any of our central characters. Jason Aaron instead chooses to take the readers to the home of an old Indian couple on the Rez whom we've never met before and most likely won't see again. Their story, in one chapter, is...more
Corto Maltese
The Collection starts off with a touching story of an old love (can't write more without spoiling) but we also find an element that is just a little too far-fetched for me to actually enjoy.
(view spoiler)...more
Of the three volumes of Scalped I've read so far, "Rez Blues" is my favorite. It starts out with a story about Mance and Hazel, an elderly couple eeking out an existence a long drive away outside of town in the Prairie Rose Reservation. It is the only story I've read so far in the series that doesn't have a grift, a blazing gun, a bloody nose, or some hardboiled type drama. Mance and Hazel are simple ordinary everyday people, with commonplace woes and familiar personal fears. Jason Aaron does an...more
Volume seven of Aaron and Guera's Vertigo series about crime and degradation on an Indian Reservation. There's a hint of redemption here as well, more so than in any of the previous volumes, and hard-won, high-cost, painfully vulnerable redemption at that.

Coming right out of nowhere is the heart-rending opening story about an old couple facing up to some grim realities, living in an isoated spot far from town. This is followed by a two-parter about Shunka, Red Crow's right-hand man, and that tak...more
Scalped as a series has been powerful, but this book blows the rest away. From the quiet one-shot about a long-married couple to the two-issue arc exploring the 'rabid dog' Schunka and gender identities in the Native American populace, to the story of Dashiel's father in Vietnam, these shorter stories deepen the relationship to the characters and are fascinating. But then the last issue features a six-page scene between Carol and Dashiel on a snowy road at night that is gut-wrenching - showing w...more
Eric England
Scalped is an amazing comic book series. It is the Breaking Bad of the genre. A gritty, dark, realistic, and unpredictable crime story filled with fascinating but extremely flawed characters. This volume is one of the strongest in the series so far because it dials down some of the excesses found in previous installments. It emphasizes looking into the blemished and wounded souls of its large ensemble cast as well as potentially finding a road to hope or peace. I also continue to love how Scalpe...more
A fantastic series about some incredibly damaged people trying to find their way. Set against the backdrop of a reservation, this book is filled with every piece of action and drama you can think of. From the outside, the story is about the FBI coming in to take down Red Crow - chief of the Lakota - using one of their own as an agent. Now throw on all the tragedy, pain, and pride of a native american tribe all but ruined by time and despair.
Incredible art by R.M. Guera and the gritty, abrasive...more
Oh I am crying for Dash and Carol!!! So many dark paths opened with all leading to the darkest conclusion imaginable. Waiting on pins and needles.
Chad de Lisle
Four instead of five stars because of Shunka's chapter- the rest of the book is brilliant. Haunting meditations of abortion and addiction.
I was blown away by the first (standalone) story in this volume (Listening to the Earth Turn) - extraordinarily moving - and delighted by the second (A Fine Action of an Honorable and Catholic Spaniard) which strayed into unexpected but very rewarding territory. A good look at Shunka was well overdue - and what an enjoyable and gratifyingly surprising one it is. The mainline stories (Family Tradition and Unwanted) muddy the wider story waters very nicely, focusing unsparingly and without pity on...more
Just when I think this series can't get better, it fucking does. I had multiple "yell out loud at my book" moments.
Oh, this one was very cool. Residents of an American Indian reservation battle poverty, bigotry, drug addiction and domestic violence in these multi-hued stories. The first story, about a proud elderly couple who must accept government assistance for the first time, is absolutely fantastic in its affecting realism. The other two stories aren't quite as strong, but they do give voice to unique individuals. I was also very pleased to see the message that a woman's self-worth, accomplishment, and p...more
Certainly the best trade in the whole series till now. Now that the characters and their back stories were told, Aaron is pulling all the stops to punch our guts from the inside. After dead mothers, this is the best character work done by him and I guess after slightly misdirected RedCrow-centric story arcs the series rightly shifts the spotlight to its best characters, Carol and Dashielle.

Scalped is a great book without Guera's pencils. But with him on it, it storms to a whole new level. His w...more
This series just gets better and better. Lots of character background and we find out that Dash wasn't the first FBI agent sent to get dirt on Red Crow. Both Dash and Carol have to face up to their drug addictions as well. Good stuff.
In this volume, there's a short piece on what the Rez life is like for one old, very isolated couple. And a longer one on the hidden love life of one of the scarier dudes in Red Crow's employ and the lengths he'll go to keep it secret. Another on an FBI mole recruited by those two FBI agents who ended up getting killed. Another one on how an unplanned pregnancy, though terminated, straightens out a woman's life. Yet another in which Red Crow gets turned down, and finally, Dash comes "clean."

Bill Williams
Life on the reservation has never been so grim. Abandoned kids, heroin and murder decorate the bleak landscape of this series. It's also the best crime comic on the market eleven months of the year. (The PARKER adaptations by Darwyn Cooke take the top slot annually.)

A minor quibble or two, Dash Bad Horse is a minor player in the trade being reduced to a feverish wandering man in the last half of the book. Also, the artist and writer seem to have autographed every sixth page. It's a distracting...more
I wanted to read these in order but have been having a heck of a time finding them at the library in spite of the fact that they're listed as not checked out. I saw this on the shelf and grabbed it.

The structures of the stories are excellent. One of my favorite devices Aaron uses is the parallel conversations where the reader can see what the characters are saying but also a second level of unspoken conversation.

The illustration have a mix of deep shadows and hard lines that works well with th...more
Dana *
Heartbreaking issue. Seeing possiblities lost for our major characters was a killer.
Here we find some backstory on Shunka that still, doesn't really make him anymore clear to us.
Carol breaks our hearts as well as Dash's. Dash breaks our heart and we see the anguish of parents lost and found.

The vignette about the NA couple is touching and sweet, and echoed later in Dash and Carol's unspoken conversation.

This series just gets better every volume.
The best comic book I read in a long long time.

The stand alone "Listen to the Earth Turn" was one reason.

Add "The unwanted" to it and the dichotomy of lovers who want nothing more than to live with each other even if it means slowly rotting away and dying vs practical, self obsessed lovers of today hits you like a ton of bricks.

The third party narrative of Shunka's story is the icing on the cake.

Jason Aaron - You have made yourself a fan for life.
Dave Glorioso
Several new stories told here. The stories are told well but for the first time I felt they interfered with the continuity.
We finally are told about Shunka and his secret. This was a surprise and engaging.
We learn more about Dashiel's father. Felt repetitive. Yet, like father like son.
The opening story about a loving couple feels out of place and had a poor ending.
Carol and Dashiel continue to struggle with their demons.
Shannon Appelcline
The short stories that head off the book are note perfect. After a few more surprising revelations (which once again make me want to go back and read previous volumes of the book), the main story in this volume, which continues the story of Dash, is a very good bit of storytelling heavy on the characterization. I was also impressed by the "directing" several times in this book, with really great imagery.
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Jason Aaron grew up in a small town in Alabama. His cousin, Gustav Hasford, who wrote the semi-autobiographical novel The Short-Timers, on which the feature film Full Metal Jacket was based, was a large influence on Aaron. Aaron decided he wanted to write comics as a child, and though his father was skeptical when Aaron informed him of this aspiration, his mother took Aaron to drug stores, where h...more
More about Jason Aaron...
Scalped, Volume 1: Indian Country Scalped, Volume 3: Dead Mothers Scalped, Volume 2: Casino Boogie Thor: God of Thunder, Vol. 1: The God Butcher Scalped, Volume 4: The Gravel in Your Guts

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