Reviews, Comics

Scarlett #1 Review: Dressed to Kill

The next phase in Skybound’s Energon Universe starts here with Scarlett, an espionage story created by Kelly Thompson and Marco Ferrari.

Scarlett 1 Review Cover
Image: Skybound
By: Javier ReyesJun 5, 2024, 12:42 PM

Scarlett #1

Scarlett 1 Full Cover

Writer: Kelly Thompson

Artist: Marco Ferrari

Publisher: Skybound

Release Date: June 5, 2024

Page Count: 36

Format: Single-issue

With an issue packed with action, flashbacks, and espionage, Scarlett #1 delivers an incredible start to a thrilling story that long-time G.I. Joe fans and newcomers alike can enjoy.

If there’s one thing to give Skybound’s Energon Universe credit for, it’s how the whole initiative has been wonderfully consistent with releases. Everything from Daniel Warren Johnson’s action-packed Transformers run to Robert Kirkman’s sci-fi epic in Void Rivals have been fun comics for all kinds of readers to hop on easily. But the way they are building up the G.I. Joe side of things is what I find most interesting about this growing universe. Through thrilling miniseries like Joshua Williamson’s Duke and Cobra Commander, the key characters in the G.I. Joe story have gotten the time to shine individually. The latest series to join their ranks is Scarlett by acclaimed writer Kelly Thompson and rising star artist Marco Ferrari. This new comic takes you on a black-ops mission filled with stylish costumes, ninjas, and personal vendettas–and it might be one of my favorites from Skybound yet. Continue reading for my full review of the exciting series debut!


Scarlett embarks on a top-secret mission that involves tracking down missing hostages. She finds herself in a swanky party among the elite of Monaco. The mission goes smoothly until Scarlett sees a familiar face from her past she thought was long gone. What was meant to be a subtle reconnaissance mission quickly turns into a bloody brawl. From there, Scarlett unravels an international conspiracy that could shake up the entire balance of the world. But while she wants to do right by her mission, she’s in it for more personal reasons. 

Scarlett 1 - Scarlett suits up for her missionImage: Skybound


Scarlett sets the tone immediately by opening with an homage to James Bond that has the titular heroine looking dressed to kill after she peels off her diving wetsuit. As an espionage story through and through, this opening issue establishes the intrigue around Scarlett’s mission and its implications for the rest of the Energon Universe. But just like other great spy fiction stories, like the Bourne series or John Wick, Scarlett’s distinct character is what drives the comic’s compelling adventure forward. Writer Kelly Thompson hits a sweet spot in presenting Scarlett as a complete badass action hero with a soft side for the people she cares about. Amidst all the usual spy and espionage business are flashbacks that add unique layers to Scarlett’s character and backstory. So while her mission is ultimately about saving the world, the more personal aspects of Scarlett’s journey help raise the stakes and tension of the narrative even higher. The pacing of this first issue is also incredible, as the story already feels so packed and fleshed out despite only just beginning. Considering the series will run for five issues, I’m excited to see what new twists await Scarlett at the next corner.

As someone who was never too into G.I. Joe growing up, these Skybound series have been great introductions to many of the key characters in the series. Comics like Scarlett emphasize the ethos behind the Energon Universe of rebuilding the beloved franchises from the ground up. Even with little personal attachment to Scarlett beforehand, I still feel at home picking up this comic and diving into a fun and exciting spy story. So while so much of the Energon Universe is fueled by nostalgia for what came before, the beauty of these comics is how they still deliver something new and exciting for the future. 

Scarlett 1 - Scarlett sees jinx at the partyImage: Skybound

Artists Marco Ferrari, Lee Loughridge, and Rus Wooton also do a fantastic job in this debut issue. It was my first time seeing Ferrari’s work, and it blew me away. Fitting with the story’s spy and espionage themes, a unique sense of style makes this comic stand out. It’s a treat seeing Scarlett go to different locales throughout the issue and sport new looks that showcase her personality. Whether she’s taking out thugs at a dinner party or slashing ninjas in half in the snow, Scarlett looks incredible doing it all. 

Scarlett 1 - Scarlett fights off ninjas in the snowImage: Skybound

Final Thoughts

Scarlett #1 delivers a stacked debut issue that establishes her character while bringing in heaps of espionage intrigue and stylish action. Like all of the Energon Universe comics, Scarlett is another great jumping-on point whether you’re a long-time G.I. Joe fan or just looking for something fun and exciting to read. Kelly Thompson is easily among the best writers you can rely on to deliver a well-crafted and emotional character-driven story. Artist Marco Ferrari’s work complements the writing well because his style adds a distinct charm to Scarlett’s badass character. With another promising start to a new series, the hype train of the Energon Universe keeps rolling and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon. 

Why You Should Read Scarlett

  • This issue sets the stage for an intriguing espionage story to unfold.
  • Marco Ferrari’s art is stylish, impactful, and fun. 
  • It continues the trend of solid releases as part of Skybound’s Energon Universe.

TAGGED: Skybound