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Comic Review: Scalped No. 43 

The Deal: It's the latest issue of Vertigo's Native American crime comic — chronicling the ongoing machinations of mobsters, gangsters and crooked cops on an Indian reservation. This issue is a stand-alone, done-in-one tale that throws the spotlight on scumbag Sheriff Wooster T. Karnow.

The Good: I haven't picked up an issue of Scalped in a good long while, so I really have no idea what's going on in the comic these days. But based on the recommendation of this comic's artist — Charlotte's own Jason Latour — I snagged a copy ... and I'm glad I did. Firstly, the book looks amazing. The last time I checked out Latour's work, he drew a backup feature in the new Wolverine series. This time around, it seems as if he totally changed his style — which is equal parts gritty and cartoony. His drawings are highly stylized, but all of his characters have distinct looks and he lets their emotions shine through distorted, yet realistic, facial expressions. I expect Latour's star to rise exponentially in 2011. Now when it comes to the writing, Jason Aaron successfully walks a fine line between sappy and poignant. I mean, Aaron's story could have easily turned into a cliché change-of-heart type tale, but the writer smartly restrains himself and lets the character development happen organically.

The Bad: Nothing to see here. Move along.

The Verdict: I enjoyed this issue so much, I will actually start checking out Scalped again on a regular basis; I'm interested to see where the story goes next.

Quick Hits

Firebreather: Holmgang No. 1: Just in time for Firebreather's debut as an animated film on the Cartoon Network, writer Phil Hester and artist Andy Kuhn bring the half-human/half-dragon back for a new limited series. And, even though I've never really followed this series on a regular basis, it was easy to get up to speed on the story so far. The Verdict: Great story and great art — what more could you ask for? Pick it up.

Reviewed materials provided by Heroes Aren't Hard to Find: www.heroesonline.com.

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