Reports of the theft of Scalped Vol.6 from my local library appear to have been exaggerated and my assumption that it would be months before they got a copy of Vol.7 in appears to have been unjustified, as they managed to get me copies of both of these books mere weeks after I finished reading Vol.5. That means that I did not need to buy these two books, as I said I would at the end of my review of Scalped Vol. 5, but I’m going to buy them all anyway because I now think that this is a series I will want to keep and read over and over again. I can’t believe that I was so indifferent about the first two volumes now!
In Scalped Vol.6: The Gnawing, which collects Scalped issues 30 to 34 by series writer Jason Aaron and regular artist R.M. Guéra, reservation chief / crime lord Lincoln Red Crow has to smooth things over with his Asian-American business partners following the events of Scalped Vol.4, but makes things much worse before he makes them better, and our drug-addled ‘hero’, undercover FBI agent Dashiell ‘Dash’ Bad Horse, finally gets his revenge on Diesel Engine. This is a particularly brutal volume, in which Dash goes even further over the line he crossed several volumes ago, but it’s gripping stuff and I loved the explanation for the title on the first story page!
In Scalped Vol.7: Rez Blues, which collects Scalped issues 35 to 42 by Aaron, Guéra and guest artists artists Danijel Zezelj and Davide Furnò, Chief Red Crow’s top enforcer, Shunka, confronts his sexuality, we get to meet Dash’s dad, Wade, who has rather a lot in common with his son, and both Dash and his lover, Red Crow’s estranged daughter Carol, clean up their acts, both for very different reasons. It’s not as brutal as Vol.6 but it’s twice as sleazy, also surprisingly touching, and it follows in the tradition of previous volumes by being even better than the volume that preceded it.
This is a really good series, full of strong characters, and if I owned copies of all seven of the volumes published so far I could quite happily sit down and re-read them all right now. The wait for Vol.8, which doesn’t come out until November, is going to be a long one.
Cost: Scalped Vol.6 has a recommended retail price of £10.99 and Scalped Vol.7 has a recommended retail price of £14.99. I got them both out of my local library and all I paid was a 25p (per book) reservation fee, but, as I said, I will be buying copies of all the available volumes as soon as I see them at the right price (I have already managed to pick up a copy of Vol.1 on eBay for £3.50 but volumes 2 and 3 seem to be out of print and harder to find at the moment, which I hope is just a temporary situation).