Comic Review – Rumble #1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

This week I read Rumble #1, another new series from Image Comics. The book was written by John Arcudi and illustrated by James Harren, both sharing co-creator credit, with colours from Dave Stewart and letters by Chris Eliopoulos.

Rumble opens in a dive bar, with the bartender Bobby lamenting his romantic woes to an old regular. As the war veteran leaves he pays his long outstanding tab with a note written in a cryptic language. Before Bobby has time to study the note the old man bursts back in, having had his arm cut off by a shadowy assailant. As the one sided bar brawl gets underway, Bobby cracks the mysterious figure, who is carrying a huge blade, in the side of the head with a baseball bat. He is shocked when the head flies straight off, scattering straw around. By the time the police arrive, the old man has fled and the officers either think Bobby is lying to them, or he’s crazy. He sneaks out with the sword, but is faced with two fairly horrific looking demons who demand he hands the sword over to them. Bobby however, has other plans. As does the scarecrow figure from the bar.

This first issue is concerned with setting the tone far more than the story or characters, but it actually works very well. We get a bit of insight into the sort of person Bobby is (i.e. a bit of a loser), but other than that we know nothing of the scarecrow figure who he encounters (apparently called Rathraq, Scarecrow Warrior God, according to solicits) or the demons who want the sword. Arcudi doesn’t create the air of mystery in a sloppy or badly written way however, it is clearly intentional and absolutely works. The dialogue that is present is razor sharp, funny and very realistic despite the circumstances. Harren’s art is dynamic and oppressive, and at times a little grotesque, but works to make this feel like a horror comic more than anything, with the colour work from Stewart bringing out the dank surroundings of the bar, and the dark city streets.

This is a great start to a new series, and I am really looking forward to finding out more about Rathraq and this world. Check this out at your LCS or online.

8.5  Massive Swords out of 10

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