Rating if the Book Were a Movie: PG-13
Writer/Creator: David Pepose
Artist: Luca Casalanguida
Colors: Matt Milla
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover: Andy Clarke with Jose Villarrrubia
Editor: Christina Harrington
Growing up I was never in scouts. I wanted to be but between the cost and time commitment Dad wasn’t able to make it happen. To this day I wonder how much was covered in scouts that would have had real-life applications as an adult. Fittingly I was wondering about that in the middle of a six-day power outage we had. Due to a wind storm blowing a tree into the pole that had the transformer for our neighborhood on it my family took up residence at my in-laws’ home for a bit. That’s about the time that Scout’s Honor made its way to the top of the ever-growing reading stack.
Scout’s Honor begins approximately in the not too distant future in Fort Collins, Colorado. We see a group of people coming out of a bunker after equipment finally says it is safe to do so. After 9562 days in a bunker, the people are back on the surface of planet Earth. Everywhere they look they see the results of a nuclear Armageddon. With so much destruction what will they do? The apparent leader says, “Survive.” They’re Ranger Scouts of America. As long as they follow the good book they’ll always be prepared. The good book they refer to is the Ranger Scout Survival Handbook.
We then jump forward 260 years. Some younger scouts are in the Colorado Badlands foraging for food and hoping for the opportunity to earn merit badges when a gamma boar attacks. Imagine a boar…. make it about the size of a small car. Give it more intelligence and a nasty attitude. I present to you: the gamma boar. With a combination of skill and luck two scouts, Kit and Dez, are able to kill the boar.
Upon returning to base from the successful hunt we get a glimpse of the social and political structure of our group of survivors. We also see some of the unfair expectations placed on Dez. What’s of even more interest is the hint of a secret that Kit is keeping from the other scouts. We don’t get to delve into that very much at this time because the issue wraps up with a group of bandits trying to break into the armory.
The cover on this one is very striking to me. It’s very Moses on Mount Sinai with the 10 Commandments, which I believe was the desired effect. Well done. It has enough detail to catch the reader’s eye without being too busy.
The interior artwork goes stride for stride with the cover. The artwork is very solid. Mr. Casalanguida did a fine job balancing between vivid and too graphic for the scene with the boar. The use of colors on the pages with the boar makes it even more ferocious.
For a first issue, this book has a lot of intrigue. Mr. Pepose already has done a lot of the heavy lifting. We have a setting that is easy to envision. The characters are likable, and even more importantly believable. The premise of the story doesn’t leave a reader thinking, “There’s no way this could happen”. All of the important bases have been covered.
There is so much crucial information to this story in the dialogue. That is how we learn how long the original survivors were in the bunker. The dialogue also fills us in on a lot of the dynamics between the scouts and their parents. Most importantly it’s how we learn so much about Kit and Dez.
The lettering in “Scout’s Honor” #1 is fantastic. Everything is done in fonts that are easy to read. Being a first issue, this book gets a pass on if it follows canon.
“Scout’s Honor” reads at a good pace. It’s easy to fall into the story. I didn’t see anything that made me pause to try to figure out what happened and taking me out of the moment as a byproduct.
I love apocalypse stories. Hunger Games, 12 Monkeys, and the newest Planet of the Apes movies were all well done. This is the challenge facing “Scout’s Honor”. With the gauntlet already having been thrown down can “Scout’s Honor” rise up to the challenge? After round one I am saying it can contend. Before giving more of a commitment I would like to see more of where this story is going.
It’s definitely worth looking into. Scout’s Honor.