by Angela Cainen
Written by: David Pepose
Art by: Luca Casalanguida
Colouring by: Matt Milla
Lettering by: Carlos M. Mangual
If you have read my Twitter at all (which is probably none of you) you will know that I am a big fan of the comic Scout’s Honor. We also covered it in our January round-up back in… January and all agreed it was the best book, and it is pretty rare for the four of us to agree on anything like that. That gives you some idea of how good this book is.
I’ve been an avid fan since then eagerly reading the two subsequent issues and finding it just keeps getting better, which considering how great the first issue was is a high bar but one I am delighted the creative team have cleared.
The pacing in Scout’s Honor is wonderful. A lot happens in each issue and yet it never feels rushed, events are allowed to play out in full. If you have read David Pepose’s previous work (and if you haven’t you should really go do that) you will know this is a real strength of his writing. There’s loads of plot and character development packed in but it doesn’t feel too dense or too much. It’s a really lovely balance. Enough gets resolved to be satisfying, but there are enough new developments and continuing plot threads to make you want to read the next issue.
The characters are well written and grow and develop. Kit is a really sympathetic protagonist you want to see succeed. The issue of gender too is sensitively dealt with. The central fact Kit has to pretend to be a boy to be a scout is secondary in a way to all of the things going on with the nature of the scouts, their cult-like hold and the truth behind them (the answers Kit seeks). Kit’s gender and secret is an important point to be sure but not the sole defining characteristic of who Kit is. Dev is also interesting as the friend turned enemy, with complicated feelings toward Kit. But Dev is also sympathetic even as he battles against Kit; you can empathise with his struggles as much as Kit’s desire to find the truth.
The art is also really great. Luca Casalanguida is ably assisted with his art by the colouring of Matt Milla. The world is really well realised through the art from the detail of the scouts’ uniforms to the wastelands and forests it all helps add to the experience of the world Kit lives in. There’s also a foreboding feel to it. It’s really atmospheric. Detail can be found in the landscape but also down to the merit badges. Plus the blood and guts violence is brutal but never overly gory. One particular aspect of the art I love is the way Kit is drawn. Once you’ve had the reveal of Kit’s gender you can see that the way Kit is drawn really plays with that. It’s both clever and sympathetic.
Overall this is one of those books that reminds me why I read comics.
For me Scout’s Honor is one of the best books of 2021 (and yes I know we’re only in April but honestly I think it’s true). I cannot stress how much I love this book. Also there’s a real joy in reading it in single issues, it’s fun and satisfying in a way few books are in singles these days and I recommend it.
5 out of 5 merit badges. READ.