Monday 24th November 2014,
Comic Booked

Comic Polity: Scarlet

Comic Booked Guest Writer 02/08/2011 Reviews 6 Comments

A hardy “in the morning” to all you comic fans out there.  That’s right, it’s morning here where I am…too morningish if you know what I mean.  But deadlines and all that.  Welcome to Comic Polity, the column that ties together the psuedo-political issues ofthe day and your favorite comics.  Who came up with this cockamamie idea…it’s important not to point fingers and name names here, so we’re going to leave it at that.  *cough, cough* Marvel 616 Politics *cough, cough*

Today we’re hitting the topic of the relatively new book by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev Scarlet.

Scarlet

Revolution is Brewing

I was hesitant to pick up a book that was not my standard 616 Marvel U, but I thought I would get in early on this Bendis series.  In the past I had missed the jumping on points of Powers, so I thought I would pick up this work early.  The series is currently on issue four.

As I read this book it became increasingly clear to me that the work was developed to make a statement.  Whether that be anti-establishment or revolution or simply a “what if” scenario I’m still not certain.  Yet, the work of fiction is important enough to warrant more than just a cursory glance.

Wikipedia defines the work as a “series is about a young woman named Scarlet Rue from Portland who rebels against a corrupt society and ends up starting a new American revolution in the process.”  Although the book has not taken itself in this direction completely, the summary seems accurate enough.

The truly interesting thing about the book to me is current political climate, not the book itself.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a fine work of fiction; however, the arrow comes a bit too close to the mark for my taste.  In the book Scarlet takes revenge on a dirty cop that killed her friend.  She then works her way up the chain making violent statements to those that either turned a blind eye or empowered the corrupt system.   Soon the rebel gathers public support.

It’s interesting to note that the book takes place in a time where States Rights are a hot topic as well as the “Tea Party‘s” age-old call against taxation without representation.  Now most of my interactions with the Marvel writers, artists, and editors lead me to believe that as a whole the crowd can be labeled as Liberal on the right/left wing scale that we all live and die by.  And if Bendis fits that mold, then that would explain the “power to the people” feel of the book.  However, most Liberals are supporters of the government’s provisions for the people, which would fly counter to revolution.

Scarlet

That’s How It Ends

What to take away here is not the political views of the creators of the book, but rather ideas that the book gives the reader.  (You all saw Inception, right?)  What are we being told, besides a good story?

Scarlet is not about large scale revolution (yet), but about revolt.  It is about standing up for what is right even if it means crossing the line of the law.  But this can only end badly.  As the supporting characters tell her in the latest issue, this will only end with her being shot, as all revolts do.

The deeper question here is “when?”  There will always be corruption; there will always be injustice.  There will always be wrongs that need to be righted, regardless of your political views.  The question is when will you stand up against the flow of power?  When will it be needed?  And when will it be too late?

Bendis and Maleev explore the adversity and support of a character taking such a stand.

I don’t know how it will end for Scarlet, but I do know that the political message in this book could be controversial, if it is paid attention to.  What do you think?  Where do you stand?  Are we doing fine?  Does this apply to only local government?  Is this story only about a police-state or is it about all government?

Chime in, and get Comic Booked!

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6 Comments

  1. Skott of Fables 02/08/2011 at 7:18 am

    I prefer as little to no politics in my comics as possible. Mostly because when it's forced into them I don't agree with it. For example: I completely loathe all these comics forcing Obama into them. He's no hero. To much of that going on.

    I have heard a lot about this series and a few weeks ago did look at an issue at my LCS but while I loved seeing familiar spots in my old home of Portland, Maleev does this photo tracing thing for the characters and that keeps me from getting into the story and world of this series.

    Good article though, it does give a little more explanation of the series than I've seen and if the characters weren't phototraced, as they appear to be, I would at least pick up the trades for it.

    • Andy Kirby 02/08/2011 at 10:51 am

      Skott, you kill me, bro! I get the biggest kick out of your political posts.

      Thanks for reading!

      • Skott of Fables 02/08/2011 at 2:30 pm

        I've actually stop doing them as much as I used to. Seems I don't actually belong on either side (good) and my…opinions and the way I verbalize them have become something of a trademark on some of my friends pages. One person even coined the phrase "this topic has been Skotted"

        Makes me feel like I'm giving back to humanity sometimes.

  2. Robb Orr 02/08/2011 at 12:58 pm

    I love this type of analysis! Really good article Andy. I mean that sincerely. If this becomes a regular column it is sure to be a personal favorite.

  3. Comic Booked 02/08/2011 at 6:30 pm

    Well done! Thanks Andy. I've been reading Scarlet since day one, and it has been an impressive run. Good times!

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