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Casino Boogie (2008): Running for the Bright, Where Dark Is Always Light, but There’s No Day

Jason Aaron, Scalped, vol. 2: Casino Boogie (Vertigo, 2008)


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Some nights are more eventful than others.

Jason Aaron got off to an ugly, brutal start in the first volume of Scalped, with a massive twist at the end that felt like a kick to the head. How do you follow something like that? Obviously, you do something entirely different, and Casino Boogie delivers in spades, giving us a handful of stories that take place, with the exception of a few flashbacks, all in the twelve hours surrounding the opening of the Crazy Horse Casino. If you read the first volume of Scalped, you know this is going to be dark, dark, dark, and Aaron delivers, although one of the stories does have what seems to be a little light at the end of the tunnel. (Whether it’s an oncoming train we’ll have to wait for later issues to discover.) Aaron does overreach with another big twist, and one that, while entirely plausible in an atomic sense—I wouldn’t be surprised if it was based on actual FBI actions back in the sixties, truth be told—within the context of this story it’s a heckuva reach. I’ll reserve judgment until I see how Aaron develops this. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, because these two volumes have shown us an author who is both strong of plot and willing to experiment (he reminds me of Azzarello and Vaughan in this way, and that can never be a bad thing). *** ½


About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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