Scarlet #4 Throws Another Two Curveballs At The Reader

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Scarlet chats with the Special Forces operative about what the U.S. has planned for her if she decides to surrender. What she learns isn’t encouraging, but she still goes through with her plan regardless. She has last heartfelt goodbyes with her fellow revolutionaries, and then she turns herself over to the mercy of the United States military. Is this it for the Portland revolution? Or does Scarlet still have one last gambit?

Scarlet #4 cover by Alex Maleev
Scarlet #4 cover by Alex Maleev

Scarlet #4 presents the reader with the unthinkable: Scarlet Rue giving up the fight and turning Portland back over to the government.
The resolution is…a little less straightforward and a little more confusing than that. Scarlet does confront the military, but I won’t spoil anything more than that.
Scarlet’s wit and combativeness is in full gear, which is good, as that is what we’re all here for. She doesn’t confront a military officer without telling him where to shove it.
The goodbye scenes with her friends, especially Ice, are pretty damn emotional and tug at the heartstrings. They’re presented without dialogue, and Alex Maleev is allowed to tell the story more directly.
The paneling and sequencing is quite clever too. Bendis and Maleev deliver panel sequences without dialogue where the subtle and overt movements tell the tale of the scene with swiftness and ease.
Scarlet #4 art by Alex Maleev and letterer Joshua Reed
Scarlet #4 art by Alex Maleev and letterer Joshua Reed

Maleev’s artwork is, as ever, brilliant and half the reason to read the book. The man is an excellent graphic artist, and he plays off the writing of Brian Michael Bendis…well, like someone who is been working with Bendis for years–which he has. The comic is gritty, the characters look haggard, and the color work is cool, grim, and atmospheric as hell.
Scarlet #4 throws another pair of curveballs at the reader while continuing the compelling tale that has attracted readers to this series since the beginning. The dialogue and personality is top-notch, the artwork from Alex Maleev continues to impress, and the book as a whole is a damn solid read. This one earns another recommendation. Check it out.
Scarlet #4 comes to us from writer Brian Michael Bendis, artist and cover Alex Maleev, and letterer Joshua Reed.

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