Acclaimed Comic Series Scalped Being Developed For TV By WGN America

As a comic book fan with only a general interest in superhero stories, I enjoy the media one-upping between DC Comics and Marvel Comics in as much as I know each company’s continued success means more non-superhero projects will be considered. As a part of DC's impending television takeover, WGN America is now the potential home to one of the most stellar modern series out there as it begins development on the dark crime drama Scalped, written by Jason Aaron (Avengers vs. X-men) with art from R.M. Guéra. This is the part where I’d excitedly run around whooping while clapping my hand on my mouth, but that seems a bit insensitive.

As THR reports, Dark Blue creator Doug Jung will be writing the first script as well as executive producing. (It’s strange how the word “pilot” isn’t used in the story, which makes me wonder how much of a commitment this is for WGN America.) Jung most recently wrote episodes of Cinemax’s Banshee, another series about criminal activities in a unique community.

The widely acclaimed Scalped was first published by Vertigo in March 2007 and ended its 60-issue run in October 2012, while making many a reader want to punch, kick and shoot things in the process. The story centers on Dashiell Bad Horse, who returns to the Prairie Rose Indian Reservation in South Dakota around 15 years after his mother sent him away. He is soon taken under the wing of Chief Lincoln Red Crow, the hardass Reservation elder who is not only the President of the Tribal Council and the brains behind the controversial Crazy Horse casino project, but he’s also at the top of the local “sex, guns and drugs” crime scene.

Little does Red Crow know that Dash’s return is not just a random occurrence; he is actually an undercover FBI agent trying to link Red Crow to the death of two FBI agents in the 1970s. And both of these characters, not to mention the large supporting cast, will make fabulous TV adversaries. Dash is not a man afraid to do the wrong thing in order to serve up justice, and it’ll be interesting to see who gets hired for the part.

In fact, this entire casting process will be wholly interesting, as nearly all of these characters are of Native American descent. I’m already expecting a huge amount of controversy whenever non-Native Americans start getting added left and right. Put on your Hey Dude T-shirt and sing with me now “The Ballad of Danny Lightfoot.”


WGN America will debut its first original scripted series, the witchy drama Salem, on Sunday, April 20. A cable force to be reckoned with, they’re also developing the post-apocalyptic thriller Radiant Doors from Justin Lin, the atomic bomb drama Manhattan, the 1820s drama Shadow Land and a 10 Commandments miniseries. Scalped is the latest in a long line of proposed DC adaptations as well, with AMC’s Preacher, The CW’s Flash and Fox’s Gotham as the most exciting of that bunch.

Do you guys think this project will actually make it to air, or will it just fizzle out like so many comic adaptations (Locke & Key, The Sixth Gun) of the last few years?

scalped cover

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.