The Boy Scouts of America have been around since 1910. During that time, some renowned individuals have filled their ranks. From former members of NASA like Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Jim Lovell, to athletes like Hank Aaron, Michael Jordan, and Steve Young. The Boy Scouts have helped many young men to mold their belief structures and set them on the path to greatness. The Scout Law sets the guidelines for all who join. A Scout is: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind,
Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. It sounds like rules to live by.
Now imagine a post apocalyptic world where some survivors have decided to base their new world on that iconic handbook. At least a facsimile of it. That is the scenario that writer David Pepose and Artist Luca Casalanguida paints in their new series Scouts Honor. In their first issue, they lay the groundwork of the story. After what appears to be nuclear devastation, a group of people known as the Ranger Scouts have found a way to bunker in place and survive. Now, after finally coming out of their safe haven, they survey what is left, and relying on the “Good Book” (The Ranger Scouts Manual), they will apply all they have learned to survive the outside world.
The Ranger Scouts
Fast forward two hundred and sixty years later. The Ranger Scouts are still living by the tenants that were outlined in the “good book.” That apparently includes the exclusion of females in their ranks. Which is too bad since one of their best members whose name is Kit, is in actuality, a girl. She has gone to great lengths to hide this fact from the rest of the troop. The fact that Kit is so good at his (her) job makes it difficult to keep a low profile. Much to the chagrin of her father. The recent killing of a gamma boar earned Kit the merit badge of valor, one step away from the highest honor a Ranger Scout can achieve: The Eagle’s Guard. Hardly hiding in the shadows. But she can’t help it if she’s good at her job.
The Ranger Scout Laws
All Kit has ever wanted to do was to live up to the laws that their beloved founder Doctor Jefferson Hancock had established:
1. A Scout must always be prepared. 2. A Scout’s Duty is to Protect Others. 3. A Scout is forged by brotherhood (this one might be tested with Kit’s situation). 4. A Scout Must Obey his ScoutMaster. 5. A Scout Always Shows Mercy. 6. A Scout Shall Not be a Burden. 7. A Scout’s Honor Must NEVER be in Question (This one also may be a grey area in Kit’s scenario). But for now, Kit is a Ranger Scout in good standing. A member of the brotherhood as Doctor Hancock had envisioned. At least it seemed.
As one might expect, the Ranger Scouts are not the only people left on the planet. There are other groups who do not hold to the high beliefs of the Scouts. One such group is called the HighwayMen. They have been attacking scattered colonies in recent weeks and it’s up to the Ranger Scouts to put an end to them. But they first need some reconnaissance to see their numbers and gauge their strength. Of course, Kit volunteers. As does “his” friend and son of the Scoutmaster, Dez. Their job was only to observe and report back. And the news wasn’t good.
Not Good News
Their adversaries were large in number and they had found a pre-war bunker. Once they had opened it, there was no telling how much weaponry they might obtain. Kit knew they needed to get some backup. There was no way Dez and Kit would be able to do anything against those numbers. One of them would need to bring the Calvary. For Kit, there was only one choice. Dez was one of the fastest SandVulture pilots around. He needed to bring the Ranger Scouts as fast as he could. As he took off, he told Kit to try not to die while he was gone. Good Advice.
After Dez had left, Kit was just observing the Highwaymen. She had not intended to do anything else. But in moments her position was soon over run. And it was not the Highwaymen. At least not initially. A number of robotic drones had detected her presence and chased her right in front of the Highwaymen. That was not in the plan. Of course, the mysterious drones were not being picky who they targeted. The Highwaymen were just as viable a target…as they quickly found out.
In the chaos Kit was dragged down and pinned to the floor. She was scanned and her Merit badges were revealed. Upon scanning them, she was recognized as a “superior officer.” (And that was without making Eagles Guard. You go, Kit!) Upon her identification, a hologram of Dr. Hancock appeared. He then proceeded to show her some information that may shake her beliefs to their core. The question will be, what will Kit do now?
Writer David Pepose has described Scouts Honor as a mix of Fallout meets Mulan, with a hint of The Hunger Games, The Last of Us, and The Handmaid’s Tale for good measure. That is about an accurate description of the story as you could apply. Kit is trying her/his best to fit in the hyper masculine world that is the Ranger Scouts. And if her secret were to be discovered, she would no doubt run afoul of a few of their established laws. Apparently, women are assumed to have their place in society, but it is NOT in the Ranger Scouts. Which should not be too surprising as girls were only recently allowed into the actual Scouts as of 2019.
In Scouts Honor, Pepose has done a masterful job of using the Scout mythos, turning it inside out and seeing what would happen if their established laws were revised slightly. An apocalyptic hells scape might cause that. I also like that he kept the Scout’s desires to obtain as many merit badges as they could. Espousing the possibilities even while in mortal danger.
Of course, to make this story sing, you need an artist to bring your vision to life. That is where artist Luca Casalanguida took the reins. And as one might expect from an artist who has done James Bond, Luca excels at an action tale mixed with intrigue. High energy lines and explosive panels done with an almost theatrical flair. When combined with colorist Matt Milla and letterer Carlos M. Mangual you get an enthralling beginning to what looks to be an exciting series.
If all this sounds like something you would be interested in, AfterShock’s Scouts Honor will be available soon where all great Comics are sold. Also, look for our interview with writer David Pepose, coming soon to GeekVibesNation.🖖🏻
Senior Writer at GeekVibesNation – I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 17 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.