04th Aug2015

‘Scarlett Couture #4’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written and Drawn by Des Taylor | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Paperback, 32pp


So here we are, the final issue of what has been both a strong addition to the Titan Comics stable, and an interesting first attempt at writing and drawing comic books by Des Taylor. Before starting this I had two main questions; firstly, how would Des Taylor find the time to tie up all his loose ends in the space of just one more issue. Secondly, are there plans afoot for more regular, or at least semi-regular, adventures of Scarlett down the line. As it turns out, both questions were sort of connected and were indeed answered by the final page.

Although Des Taylor the scripter has been on a steady learning curve these four issues, this is his strongest issue to date for me. His weaker plotting, and some noticeable padding, earlier in the series was possibly to enable him to get exactly to this point and ensure issue 4 was a near non-stop rollercoaster of suspense and action. In a few pages we see Scarlett go from looking super sexy in a bikini under water, to tied to a chair being tortured, to taking out a warehouse full of heavies to a brutal fight on a helicopter. It flows well, the dialogue is great (Scarlett does sassy extremely well) and Taylor doesn’t forget the support cast giving them all a chance to shine in this issue. Great fun, entertaining and full of energy.

The artwork is as strong as it has been throughout the series, if not even better if that is possible. Of course, all of Des Taylor’s heroes and heroines are impossibly attractive, and the villains are sneery and obviously evil looking which gives things a slight pantomime feel, but I’ve grown accustomed to the brightly coloured world of Scarlett Couture, and I rather like it. Another gorgeous cover as well, all 4 issues have had covers that would make fine posters on any wall. Personally, I could have easily taken ten panels out of each issue and blown them up as posters, his art has been that good.

The central plot of the mini, detailing a planned assassination and biological weapon attack, is resolved by the end of the issue, and we have an epilogue where a few loose ends are tied up. Not all, though I noticed…Taylor leaves us with the very James Bond touch of ‘Scarlett Couture shall return in The Munich File’. Very welcome news indeed.

Des Taylor has managed a very impressive feat with this mini-series. Scarlett Couture could have been an endless parade of cheesecake art and phoned in plots, but Taylor worked hard to give Scarlett a strong personality, defined her world and supporting cast, and managed to combine the super sexy spy cliché with enough new wrinkles that it felt fresh.

Ultimately what shines through from these 4 issues for me is the love that Des Taylor brings to all this. Love of the comic book medium, love of his characters and a love of the genre. Let’s hope he’s in for the long haul. I sure am.

***** 5/5

Scarlett Couture #4 is out now from Titan Comics.


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