Writer: David Pepose
Artist: Luca Casalanguida
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Scout’s Honor is the newest work from writer David Pepose who you may know from his work on Spencer & Locke or The O.Z. Pepose describes this story as “Fallout meets Mulan meets The Handmaid’s Tale” and says that this story was inspired in part by watching his younger brothers participate in Scouting as they grew up.
9,562 days after nuclear bombs fell on the world, a group of survivors emerge from their bunker in Fort Collins, Colorado because conditions have finally stabilized enough for them to return to the surface. Their leader is Jefferson Hancock and in his hand he holds the Ranger Scout Survival Guide. As they look over the remains of civilization and the battle that sent them underground, he says that “as long as we have the good book, we’ll always be prepared”.
Scout’s Honor starts 260 years after that first group of survivors re-emerged onto the surface. In that time, the Ranger Scout Survival Guide has become the core text and guiding principle for this civilization. We see Kit, Dez, and Eddie, three junior Scouts that are tracking a Gamma Bear just outside of town, and they are hoping to earn some merit badges. It quickly becomes clear that the world that the Ranger Scouts inhabit is a different, much more dangerous place than the world that we know.
In this first issue, we meet these main characters, and get a sense of what life is now like in the Ranger Scout’s civilization. As we meet Kit, we learn that as perilous and difficult as it can be just living in this post-apocalyptic world, his challenge is even greater because he has a secret that he must keep to survive. And by the end of this first issue, we discover that there are even more challenges that are moving towards the Ranger Scouts, and things are much more complicated than they seemed at the beginning.
The first that I heard about this book was in the interview that Steve Seigh did with David Pepose this past November. In that conversation, they spoke in what seemed at the time to be great depth about this book, and I was definitely interested to read Scout’s Honor after hearing about it. After reading issue #1 though, I would say that all that Pepose did was to offer a guide through this first issue. The amount of character development that we see and the amount of story that is told here is really impressive for what is just a first issue. This is just the beginning of what I suspect will be some masterful story telling from David Pepose.
The art of Luca Casalanguida and colors of Matt Milla perfectly capture the desolation of this new world, as well as all of the action and emotion in this first part of the story.
By the end of this first issue, I am hooked. I need to know what Kit is going to do, and there are so many questions that I now have about this world, I really want to see where this goes.
If you are at all on the fence about picking this book up, I would encourage you to listen to the interview that Steve did with Pepose here.
And if you would like to hear the first thoughts about this book on the Talking Comic Books podcast, you can find that here.
Lastly, full disclosure, I actually lived in Fort Collins, Colorado for a few years, and went to Fort Collins High School. It is an interesting setting for a post-apocalyptic story to unfold to say the least.