REVIEW: ‘Scout’s Honor,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Scout's Honor

Scout’s Honor #1 is written by David Pepose, illustrated by Luca Casalanguida, colored by Matt Milla, and lettered by Carlos M. Mangual. It is published by AfterShock Comics. Years after a nuclear war devastated the world, a group of boys called the Ranger Scouts navigate the apocalyptic wasteland. They follow a strict code of rules derived from a most unlikely source: the Boy Scouts handbook. Kit, one of the Ranger Scouts, is hiding a secret from the rest of the Scouts-she’s actually a girl. However, Kit discovers a horrible secret about the origin of the Ranger Scouts that upends everything she’s ever believed in.

Post-apocalypse fiction is a well-worn trope even in the comic book world. Series like Undiscovered Country and The Walking Dead have put their own spin on life after civilization collapsed. Scout’s Honor obviously utilizes the idea of the Boy Scouts being transformed into part cult, part survival experts, and does it well. Pepose’s script fleshes out the world, from the radioactive threats the Ranger Scouts face to the laws they follow (the Boy Scouts’ motto “Always Be Prepared” obviously being the first.) Even the merit badges that Scouts can earn have been upgrading, with gems such as “Tactical Driving” and “Explosives”.

Pepose also populates the comic with dynamic characters, including Kit. Kit is driven to be the best of the Ranger Scouts to keep suspicion off her back, but also to fit in with the other Scouts as she’s found a sense of brotherhood with them. This leads to tension with her father, who thinks she’s taking unnecessary risks, and her friend Dez. Dez is the son of the Ranger Scouts’ Scoutmaster, who seems to treat Kit more like a “son” than his own flesh and blood. Peopse also shows how dangerous ideologies can be, with the “Seven Laws” of the Ranger Scouts treated with biblical reverence.

The artistic team infuses this world with all the dread you’d expect. Casalanguida draws teenagers like actual teenagers; lanky and with yet-to-be-defined muscle mass. The Ranger Scouts also wear uniforms similar to Boy Scouts, complete with tan shirts and pants (and merit badges). The Highwaymen that the Scouts fight look like they walked off the set of a Mad Max movie, with their various masks and weapons. And of course, there’s the massive gamma boar, which is twice the size of a regular boar and flesh scored with sores

Milla uses a varied color palette for different scenes, such as dusty brown for the wreckage of civilization, and dark blue for the vast untamed forests. He also adds to the gamma boar’s menace by giving it glowing green eyes and reddish patches of flesh where its fur and skin have fallen off. Mangual’s lettering literally leaps off the page, including the gamma boar’s feral roars and the Rangers’ Scouts recital of their laws taking on a near-religious fervor.

Scout’s Honor #1 is a unique take on post-apocalyptic fiction and showcases the dangers of ideology being twisted into fanaticism. As a former Boy Scout reading this comic, I appreciate the unique take on the various elements of the Scout lifestyle and I look forward to future issues.


'Scout's Honor,' Issue #1
5

Tl;DR

Scout’s Honor #1 is a unique take on post-apocalyptic fiction and showcases the dangers of ideology being twisted into fanaticism. As a former Boy Scout reading this comic, I appreciate the unique take on the various elements of the Scout lifestyle and I look forward to future issues.