I read a lot of comics. A lot. And unfortunately, due to my stupid fanboy tendencies, I often read comics even when they’ve become bad in the hopes that they get good again. In the 60 issues of Scalped released from 2007 to 2012, I never once had that problem – it was always damn good. Hell, I’d go so far as to say that on many occasions, it was the best. Writer Jason Aaron and R.M. Guerra’s hard boiled crime noir tale of undercover cops, family honour, flawed heroes, and just plain badass asskickery – set on a Native American Reservation gripped by hopelessness and rampant substance abuse – played out like the type of layered, gritty crime dramas you would normally find on HBO or AMC. In fact, I often felt like I was “reading” one of my favourite television shows. And apparently, I wasn’t the only person who felt that way.
THR is reporting that cable network WGN America have begun the process of adapting the universally praised title published under DC’s Vertigo imprint, as part their bid to to start producing their own original content. To that end, they’ve turned to writer-producer Doug Jung, co-creator of the well received but short-lived Dermot Mulroney action/drama series, Dark Blue.
More importantly to his credit, Jung has also penned a couple of episodes of Banshee, a show that features a lot of similar elements to Scalped. Both deal with Native American reservations and tribal politics, as well as featuring – pardon my French – un fils de pute de badass lead character who often straddles both sides of the law.
In Scalped‘s case, this would be Dashiell Bad Horse, an undercover FBI Agent sent to infiltrate the very poverty stricken South Dakota Reservation he ran away from 15 years previously, so as to bring down the organized crime empire that has risen up inside it, as well as to link the head of that organization, the local Tribal Sheriff and casino owner Lincoln Red Crow (who has a history with Dashiell’s mother), to the three decade old murder of two federal agents.
Aaron has previously indicated that Scalped’s is actually partially inspired by the true story of Leonard Peltier, a Native American activist who was arrested for shooting two FBI agents on a reservation in 1975. But Aaron took the story much further, turning into a sprawling drama during which Dashiell encounters tragic characters, tries to come to peace with himself and his downtrodden people, gets caught in a downward spiral of crime, and of course, beats people the hell up. Often with nunchucks.
Scalped has been lauded by many as one of the best comics of the last decade, and one of the greatest crime comics ever, so Jung – who will be penning and executive producing the series – will certainly have his work cut out for him. Scalped‘s creator, Aaron, simply couldn’t have given him a better cast or setting to work with though. Done right, this could be the next Sopranos or Boardwalk Empire, only with much cooler names/hairstyles, and about 100% more nunchucks.
At this point, there’s no word yet on either casting or a schedule.
Last Updated: April 16, 2014