Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Classics - Scout #1

Writer / artist Tim Truman first got attention for his gritty, powerful artwork on the Grimjack series, and by 1985 he was ready to tackle his own creation: Scout, a normal man with an extraordinary destiny.

So he dreamed up a Native American warrior in the far-flung future of 1999. He set the series in an America that was falling apart, and pit his hero against mystic monsters.

But Scout (real name Emmanuel Santana) was hardly a typical comic book hero, though Truman cheated a bit by giving him a super-heroish mask / bandana for that first issue. (As I recall, it disappeared after that first issue and was never seen again.)

Mystic menaces aside, Scout was a real-world hero who rode a motorcycle across a blasted landscape, fighting with his brains and an arsenal of weapons.

It's a lean story that showcases Truman's cinematic leanings. The opening sequence, with Scout stopping to gas up and confronting some casual racism and an unexpected attacker, feels just like a spaghetti western (in the best sense of the term) - all menace, dramatic pauses and lightning-fast action scenes.

Even in his earliest efforts, Truman's art crackles with power and a sense of grit and reality. I've always thought his style seemed somewhat similar to Ralph Reese, but he really has an original, tough-as-nails style that's all his own.

Scout enjoyed a long healthy run and managed quite a few surprises along the way. Best of all, it lived up to the promise of this first issue, and established Truman as a top-tier writer and artist, and someone whose work I've been following closely ever since.

Grade: A


1 comment:

Kyle said...

I agree whole heartedly with you on this Chuck (not that I ever disagree with your reviews). I loved just about everything about Scout. Was very sad to see it end, but by having the characters and story evolve and have a definite ending, it was something that you would rarely see in a mainstream comic.