Review: Scarlet #3 (of 5)

Scarlet has fought back against the corruption that destroyed her life-and now the next American revolution is underway! The city of Portland has been shut down-or, in the eyes of some, taken hostage-and Scarlet must decide how far she is willing to take her crusade. Enter Kit, the woman who will reduce Portland to rubble.

It’s weird to read and review a comic about revolutionaries (or terrorists depending on your side) on a day when some is sending bombs to likely political opponents in real life. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Scarlet #3 describes itself as telling the “story of a generation pushed too far in an alternative world we may soon find ourselves in.” Except, it doesn’t feel all that alternative at all and that we’re in the beginning stages of the world Bendis created so many years ago.

When Scarlet began, it was a response to the situation of the time which gave rise to the Occupy Movement. It was Occupy gone to the extreme of militancy. Since then, while the book slumbered awaiting a return, Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock, the Women’s March, March for Science, and so many more movements have risen up and mostly simmered down. Scarlet is what happens when that spark finally happens and it questions what comes after the revolution?

And this is specifically looks at that spark, the first gunshot, the moment that takes things to the next level. And again asks, what’s next?

It’s an interesting issue that explores how this, all of this comic and the real world movements, are born out of abuse by those in power, those with privilege. And it shows that some just won’t stand for it anymore and whether consciously or unconsciously, we’ll fight back.

The art by Alex Maleev, with lettering by Joshua Reed, is amazing as always. There’s a reality to it all despite the destroyed American city. We, the reader, can still connect and relate to everything. This doesn’t feel like a foreign future but a reality we can experience now. Reed’s lettering too is key as Scarlet has a habit of talking directly to the reader and with subtle switching of the speech bubbles, a different tone and experience is had.

There’s something surreal about this issue’s release today of all days and it feels as though it’s as pertinent to today’s political situation as it was when the series debuted 8 years ago. It’s the rage many of us feeling and a reality many of us would like to see happen. All it’ll take is a spark and some inspiration. But for now, we can imagine that revolution kicking off and experience that possible reality on the printed page.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Alex Maleev
Lettering: Joshua Reed Design: Curtis King, Jr.
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review