Review – Scout’s Honor #1 (AfterShock Comics)

Publisher: AfterShock Comics
Writer: David Pepose
Artist: Luca Casalanguida
Colourist: Matt Milla
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Release Date: 6th January 2020

Scout’s Honour is a post-apocalyptic thriller which focuses in on a cult who have established themselves in the wake of a nuclear disaster using a Boy Scout manual as their sacred text. Okay, so it’s maybe a little deeper than that, but that’s the basic idea, and as elevator pitches go I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a pretty damn good one.

This first issue introduces us to Kit, an Eagle Scout who is rising through the ranks and trying to adhere to each of the seven sacred tenets. Well… most of them anyway. Y’see, Kit has a secret. A secret which took me completely by surprise when it was revealed midway through the issue, and which I’m going to avoid talking about here because I don’t want to spoil it for any first-time readers.

Series writer David Pepose (who penned the fantastic Spencer & Locke, which cracked my Top 5 Comics of the year back in 2017) delivers an ambitious opening issue, throwing a lot of interesting ideas at the wall. There’s definitely enough intrigue and excitement here to ensure that any readers will have more than enough reason to come back for the second issue, but for my tastes there are perhaps a little too many subversions along the way, from the basic premise itself to our lead’s secret to the true nature of the Eagle Scouts themselves.

That said, each of the individual components are handled well, with Kit’s relationship with slightly less-than-stellar fellow Scout Dez providing an inviting backbone to the story. The way the “laws” of the scouts are introduced is also really cleverly done, with Kit going full vigilante and displaying each rule perfectly. The final twisty reveal at the end is once again delivered well, but it feels – and again, this is a personal taste thing – like a bit much to digest on top of everything else.

On the visual side of things, Luca Casalanguida’s artwork fits the tone of the story well, with a heavily-inked style and an impressive knack for action sequences, of which this first issue has several. The character design of Kit is similarly impressive, with a subtle shift following the reveal of their “secret”, and the whole thing is given a muted but solid feel courtesy of Matt Milla’s colours.

Overall, this is an ambitious and cleverly structured start to the series, and knowing Pepose’s track record, I have absolutely no doubt that the onslaught of plot points will sort themselves out into a thoroughly enjoyable series in short order. Packed with action, drama and an undeniably clever premise, this one is definitely worth earning your ‘Read Dangerously’ badge with.

Rating: 4/5.


The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
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