Review: Not Your Standard Hero’s Journey In ‘Scout’s Honor’ #1

by Brendan M. Allen

‘Years after a nuclear apocalypse, a new society has risen from the ashes…and their bible is an old Ranger Scout manual.

A young Ranger Scout named Kit has endured the harsh survivalist upbringing needed to conquer the irradiated Colorado Badlands. But after discovering a terrible secret once lost to history, Kit must risk everything on a dangerous quest to uncover the truth behind the Ranger Scouts’ doctrine.

From  writer David Pepose and artist Luca Casalanguida comes a post-apocalyptic coming-of-age tale that proves when all you know is a lie, a Scout’s Honor is the only way to move forward.’

There’s a hell of a lot to unpack in Scout’s Honor #1. Post-apocalyptic societies tend to cling to a chosen relic from the fallen social order. Often, these relics inspire cult-like devotion. In this case, the relic in question is an old Boy Scout Manual. In a recent interview, series author David Pepose told me he was looking for the weirdest thing someone could use as a Bible when the idea hit him. It’s really not that far of a stretch. There’s already an almost religious element within the Scouts organization, with their uniforms, manuals, and bylaws. 

That actually would have been enough, but Pepose didn’t stop there. Kit, who is an up and coming superstar within the exclusively male Ranger Scouts of America, is secretly a woman. While she’s off killing gamma boars and racking up the badges, everything threatens to collapse in on her at any moment if she’s discovered.

Pepose sets this thing up brilliantly. It really is a lot to take in. There’s the whole fall of society, the rise of RSA as the ruling cult faction, Kit and Dez’s nuanced relationship and their competition for the approval of Dez’s Jesus look-alike father, Kit’s secret gender… All very cleverly woven into an anything-but-standard hero’s journey. 

Luca Casalanguida and Matt Milla bring an aesthetic that works incredibly well for this post-apocalyptic high concept piece. The quiet moments (quieter moments?) are really clean and contemplative, balanced against some insanely frenetic action. It’s a hard line to hit, and yet…

 

A slick commentary on flawed and corrupt institutions mashed up with gritty post-apocalyptic action, Scout’s Honor is off to an amazing start. That paradigm-shattering last pop promises we’re headed down a dark and twisted path.

Scout’s Honor #1, AfterShock Comics, 06 January 2021. Written by David Prepose, art by Luca Casalanguida, color by Matt Milla, letters by Carlos M. Mangual.

Summary

A slick commentary on flawed and corrupt institutions mashed up with gritty post-apocalyptic action, Scout’s Honor is off to an amazing start.

Overall
9.5/10
9.5/10

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.

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