Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Alex Maleev
What if Ferris Bueller was a hot redhead with authority issues and a knack for violence? We find out in Scarlet, the new creator-owned title from Daredevil collaborators Bendis and Maleev. At a glance, the whole “hot girl with guns” angle looks very 1990’s, but the execution here takes Scarlet far from the boobs and bullets archetype from which she is seemingly born. Her world is ours. This is no post-apocalyptic tale. It’s the real world and it’s broken. At least that’s what Scarlet thinks.
Scarlet’s world views are easy to glean from the issue because she flat-out tells us. Sure, caption boxes on occasion speak “to” the reader, but Scarlet speaks directly to the readers here in a technique I personally have never seen before. At first, it’s a little unnerving, but it grew on me pretty quickly. It’s an interesting way to present the character, her world, and her mission of anarchy and destruction. For as much as she talks about how broken the world is, it’s clear early on that it’s Scarlet who’s broken. Rather than drag out her “secret origin,” Bendis mercifully shows us right up front how she got broken and why she is the way she is. It’s a sad story and she quite honestly snapped. She’s anarchistic and sociopathic and that’s a dangerous combination.
The art is, of course, a marvel to look at if you’re a Maleev fan. The man’s work continually evolves and this book is no different. It’s two talented creators doing what they do best. It’s talking heads, a beautiful female lead, a gritty environment and more character than you can shake a stick at. It’s easy to give Scarlet #1 5 out of 5 doctored news stories.