Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Alex Maleev
Published by Marvel Comics (under the Icon Imprint)
Why is corruption everywhere? Why do the good guys get killed and jailed, while the bad guys become the heroes? Why isn't anyone doing anything about it? Why?
Those questions get answered in Brian Michael Bendis' bi-monthly comic book series Scarlet, and boy, this is one simple graphic novel that totally hits your brain with a speeding bullet and sends it spinning around like nuts.
As the opening of the comic book says: "This is a story of a girl whose life is destroyed by violence and corruption. And this is the story of how she FIGHTS BACK." Simple as that. Period.
Scarlett is an ordinary girl living in Portland, Oregon, living a normal life, she has a family that cares for her, and a boyfriend that cares for her, but a police frame up shatters her whole life and makes her realize that the world is big piece of trash. Broken. Desolated. Going to hell. And nobody is taking any responsibility for it. Nobody is taking any action to stop the injustice and corruption. Nobody... until her. She is no superhero. No military brat. But she's talking on the world and all its evil with just swagger, courage, guns, and the determination to do what she thinks is right.
Bendis takes us into the reality of our world, where corruption and violence is a national past time - always on the headlines, on our TV sets and on our very own neighborhoods. He doesn't look any further for a great story and instead looks into the outside of each window to tell us a tale of what would happen if one person decides to take matters into his/her hands. He also tackles the dirty world of politics and its hideous conspiracies with drug lords and syndicates, and isn't afraid in showing that through Scarlet's dialog. And with his creation - Bendis accomplishes a thing that would only happen in action movies and comic books: the evil guys get a dose of their own medicine, killed ruthlessly for all the injustice they have done and spread to the world, while getting support from ordinary citizens who are "inspired" by her vigilantism, standing up to end all the crap that we are all blind to see - or rather deliberately playing blind and deaf - in the real world.
And this is all done, by red-haired, smack-talking, Alias meets Punisher chick t who has nothing but revenge and redemption for herself and other victims like her. Some of us may like her methods, some of us may not, but one thing is for sure - Scarlett is asking you to think deeper and ask: not why... but what can you do to change the world.
Alex Maleev brings a realistic kind of noir art that backs up the story as Scarlett takes on her mission to rid the world of the vermin that destroyed her life. This is the first time that I have ever saw Maleev's work and he is the right guy for the job. He captures all the action, violence and drama necessary for this masterpiece.
I have already read 4 issues so far in a span of 2 hours because of the quick-witted and straight to the point story telling..and just to let you know, this bi-monthly series is far from over... but it has already been hailed as one of best graphic novels of 2010 according to ComicBookResources' 100 Best Comic Books countdown last year. That's saying something.
... and Scarlet is just getting started baby.