Scalped is a story about organized crime on an Indian reservation and an anti-hero character with little to live for and a talent for kicking the snot out of people.
The author, Jason Aaron, has a talent for telling a story and for creating cliffhanger endings that leave you wanting more. He also has a large vocabulary of vulgar words (a "four letter word" in nearly every dialogue bubble) and seems to enjoy deeply flawed characters. There are no knights on white horses in this book. Indeed, most of the situations the characters find themselves in are the basest, darkest experiences of human existence. (i.e. drug addiction, prostitution, senseless violence, split families, alcoholism, domestic abuse, racism, etc. etc.) Note: this book is "Suggested for Mature Readers" and published by Vertigo.
The artist, R.M. Guera, has an incredible, gritty, tangible style that puts the reader right into the story. (I would love to see this guy draw "Daredevil" - I'll have to look into that, maybe he has?) Couple this with the above mentioned story details and you're in for a dark tale that takes place mostly in the toilet of human behavior.
With this review I've hesitated to say it's a "bad book" because what does that mean? Was it badly drawn? No. Poorly written? Nope. But in the end, I didn't enjoy it and won't recommend it.
Scalped was simply not my cup of tea. I read it because a friend recommended it to me. I don't usually enjoy books that lack any sense of morality and/or that thrive on the details of human sinfulness. No matter how good the story and art might be, I just don't enjoy filling my time, or my imagination, with junk. Though Scalped has an interesting story, I didn't think it was worth all the nastiness.
But that's just me. Others may really enjoy it. If you do, I'd love to read why. Also, if any Native Americans read it, please tell me what you think. In my mind, Scalped does for Native Americans what "The Sopranos" did for Italian Americans, but maybe you have a different perspective.
Okay, I've said my bit. Despite the talent of it's creators Scalped is not recommended because it's too filthy to enjoy.