"THAT WAS ANOTHER EPISODE of fucking pothead bicycle thief theatre. Welcome to Portland, Oregon, by the way."

Meet Scarlet, the hero of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev's comic of the same name. She just beat up a guy for trying to steal a bike. A few pages earlier, she killed a cop.

Scarlet is a young woman whose boyfriend was recently killed by a police officer, after an altercation in Pioneer Courthouse Square. When she learns of his death, she finds herself wondering why the world is allowed to be such a terrible place—and what she's going to do about it.

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The first issue of Scarlet lays the groundwork for a comic book actualization of Portland's most violent anarchist fantasies, explaining a backstory that traces Scarlet's blunt arc from teen in love to gun-toting revolutionary. Maleev's cracked-paint close-ups and saturated colors are moody and commanding, a gorgeous rendering of Portland that's punctuated by the bright red of Scarlet's hair, while Bendis takes as his starting point your average Portlander's conviction that the world needs fixing, and pushes it, just a little....

Portland is home to an incredible number of comics creators. Bendis is arguably the biggest: He writes Ultimate Comics Spider-Man and The Avengers, among other things. And now he's writing a comic about a teenager who starts an armed revolution here? Don't miss it.

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