REVIEW: ‘Scout’s Honor,’ Issue #5

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Scout's Honor #5Scout’s Honor #5 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. Following the climax of Scout’s Honor #4, Kit storms the Eagle Guard with an army of Highwaymen. While the Highwaymen and the Ranger Scouts do battle, Kit faces off against Dez and Scoutmaster Shepard while attempting to bring some semblance of peace to the ruined world.

From the very beginning of the series, the creative team has shown how toxic masculinity and fanaticism can be a dangerous combination. If it wasn’t clear throughout the first four issues, the point is driven home by revelations about Scoutmaster Shepard that place him in the same category as other cult leaders. Shepard’s twisted views on strength and manhood have strained his own relationship with his son and kept the Scouts and Highwaymen in endless conflict. Pepose notes that he pitched Scout’s Honor to AfterShock in 2019, yet the series feels oddly in tune with current events—particularly how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to separation from friends and family and tested mental health as well as the physical.

Yet the series ends on a rather hopeful note because Kit is genuinely fighting for a better tomorrow. When she faces off against Dez, she doesn’t aim to kill him; she knocks him out after delivering some hard truths and seeks to end the conflict by revealing the video she discovered in the very first issue. I’m a big believer in “earning your happy ending,” and Pepose has definitely scripted a story that earns its happy ending. “The only thing more rewarding than keeping the faith is finding the right people to share it with,” he writes in the series’ afterword; words he lives by in his script, given how Kit and Dez’s friendship is rekindled.

With the final issue, Casalanguida and Milla go all out on the action sequences. The action sequence with Kit and the Highwaymen storming the Eagle Guard kicks things off; the image of Kit riding her giant spider Tenderfoot into battle is pure awesome. As for other fight sequences, Kit uses her archery skills to keep Dez and Shepard at a distance and uses her bow as a weapon in close combat. Dez and Shepard themselves are armed with “Switchblades,” massive swords that mark the honor of becoming an Eagle Scout (and in Shepard’s case, are able to ignite their blades with fire.) Milla’s colors help set the tone, with shades of black and blue giving way to warmer tones. The final image is a thing of beauty and perfectly fits with the image of hope that the creators were going for.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mangual’s lettering, which has been immensely creative. Kit firing her arrows makes an “Fwttt” sound, which is represented as straight white lines by Casalanguida and Milla. Shepard’s flaming sword makes a “Froosh”, surrounding his body and colored the same as the flames that envelop his blade. Even vehicles have their own sound effects that follow in their wake.

Scout’s Honor #5 acts as the perfect conclusion to the series, bringing a message of hope and unity throughout all of its action and post-apocalyptic setting. I highly recommend checking it out, even if you’re burnt out on post-apocalyptic stories; it has a great premise and a top-notch creative team delivering everything I love about comics.

Scout’s Honor #5 is available wherever comics are sold.

Scout’s Honor #5
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TL;DR

Scout’s Honor #5 acts as the perfect conclusion to the series, bringing a message of hope and unity throughout all of its action and post-apocalyptic setting. I highly recommend checking it out, even if you’re burnt out on post-apocalyptic stories; it has a great premise and a top-notch creative team delivering everything I love about comics.