Finally! Bendis and Maleev have come back to Scarlet! Though it’s been quite the wait between issues for this intense series, it hasn’t lost one bit of momentum. The first bit of dialog from our title character sets the tone for the issue and lets us know that Scarlet is just getting started. Others have heard her call and have joined in her fight against a very fractured and corrupted system. One in particular is Isis, whom Bendis gives a very brief but poignant back story to show us why she’s chosen to join with Scarlet. From here we find that the hunt for her has been heightened, but she has publicly made it known that she isn’t hiding. Calling for a gathering and inviting the ones seeking to bring her to justice.
It seems as if when Bendis and Maleev released Scarlet to the masses they were unaware that the real world’s issues would begin to mirror certain themes in this title. A risk that you take when your story is this grounded in reality and could be something you see in today’s news at any given moment. This, in my opinion, has helped give Scarlet the emotional kick that enhances the already strong writing from Bendis. There’s been a progression in Scarlet’s cause that Bendis does a fine job of laying out without an extended recap of the previous arc. You would think this would be a problems after taking into account the amount of time between issues. However, things continue as if issue five was on shelves last month. The newer characters introduced in this issue are just as engaging as those we’ve already met, while main characters have as strong a voice as ever. Maleev’s artwork continues to do what it does best in bringing out the visual impact needed to move this story. Aside from his solid work as the main plot unfolded, it was the six pages about Isis that really stood out. Using the entire page really effected the tone and intensity of her story.
If you were lucky enough to read the first five issues of Scarlet, you were introduced to one of the stronger creator owned titles to hit the shelf. If you dismiss this as just another revenge tale or mistake Scarlet Rue for a common vigilante, then you have missed the point. It’s going to be one wild ride as Bendis and Maleev tell Scarlet Rue’s story. Each issue is more intense than the last, and seems to just compound things for not only Scarlet but her hometown of Portland. I don’t see a happy ending for our title character, but it’s going to be a powerful one when it’s all said and done.