After reading the first four issues of “Scarlet”, one can expect to be in for the long haul. (see my reviews for issue one, two, three and four by clicking on the links) The series’ main premise is simple, style is original and the way it engages the reader is through its very realistic touch. I knew upon reading the series’ fifth issue that it would be another one of those transitional issues set to introduce the possible last act of this superb maxi-series by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev. This issue also marks the end of the first part and gears up for the next issues. As promised I will cover the entire “Scarlet” maxi-series for "Beyond the Printed Page" and "Cafe Libri" communities at the lunch network. (cheap plug)
As with my other reviews, I usually allow the characters give the summary of this series (to mimic the breaking of the fourth wall). Following the events of issue 4, Scarlet Rue now stands before a huge crowd of protestors that have gathered in her support.
“…and I will not let the word compromise be part of this equation! If you are in a position of authority, you are not in a position to compromise!! And if you are a witness to corruption or abuse and you turn your eyes away…you forfeit your position. I stand here and I say: NO MORE!!”
This issue further confirms that Scarlet is anything but an anti-hero. She stands for something, she is willing to risk her life to awaken the public to the injustices that have been hidden from them and at the same time promote the fact that authority figures answer to the public. I admit to a certain degree, that this issue may have fallen to the clichés of such themes; but then, remember, it is not how the story reveals the ‘revolution’ but rather how it manages to capture the drama and the impact on its narrative. The language as established remains true and solid, the series contains a lot of profanity and has been rated “M” for mature.
Issue five also plants ideas that one man or woman can indeed make a difference. Scarlet has been courageous that people have taken her side at their own risk. It also displays the lengths that anyone would go to protect their reputation and their way of life. Not only has Scarlet affected the general public, but now even authority figures may have woken up. She may had gained allies and even made her enemies to run scared.
“If they arrest her…if they shoot her…if she kills herself….all this reflects badly….”
This time around, Detective Going and a Federal Agent seems to have taken an interest to Scarlet’s goals. Their motives seem noble, and yet, they are shown stucked in a possible cross-fire of very delicate political issues. Politics play a huge part in this narrative, and Brian Michael Bendis knows what he is going for. He shows both sides of the political arena and Scarlet may indeed be playing ‘chicken’ with politics. It is a game like chess, where each move needs to be calculated and thought-out. Can Scarlet's sheer guts win the day?
Issue five seems to be a little lighter in violence, and yet it feels more chaotic. This is close to the end game and I am very curious as to how Bendis and Maleev are going to wrap this up. I rated this slightly lower than the other issues because it feels to be the issue that introduces the final act. Still a good issue, but you can just tell that things are about to get worst before it gets better for our characters.
Issue Five seems to have slowed down in regards to violence and attitude, and becomes more of a political stand-off. Bendis has crafted a tale that seems to be the calm before the storm. I cannot wait!