Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review - Rumble #1


"What color of darkness that makes blind the eyes of a caring God?"

Heroes come in all shapes sizes, which is something that can also be said of demons. The conflict between the two is often storied and epic, with few instances of either side relenting easily. That might not true when it comes to Bobby in Rumble #1 from Image Comics; a bartended with a brand new weapon and a lot of people after it. The issue is written by John Arcudi, illustrated by James Harren, colored by Dave Stewart and lettered by Chris Eliopoulos.

Rathrag is the Scarecrow Warrior God and he's back. Not only that, but he's also unhappy. It's bad news for his enemies, but even worse for everyone else. Bobby falls into the "everyone else" category, as he somewhat unwittingly stumbles upon Scarecrow and his massive sword. Turns out there are others out there who also want a piece of Rathrag and his weaponry, pitting Bobby against a lot of unknowns.

Off the bat, Rumble #1 presents a very desolate world. The world Bobby lives in is rundown and dismal, with Arcudi and Harren infusing it with just about as much deterioration as possible. It works exceptionally well in establishing the setting and making it a character that could be just as deadly as Rathrag himself. Bobby is presented as a perfect foil for him as well, providing a great glimpse of innocence and general dumb luck about the events that contrasts perfectly with Rathrag's combat prowess. Arcudi and Harren plow through the book at a breakneck pace as well, really giving the reader the same frenetic sense that the events unfolding have.

There's a very distinct art style to the work. Harren packs the panels densely with visual pollutants that reflect the aforementioned decay. His characters boast dysmorphic appearances that remind the reader the world of Rumble #1 is outlandish in many regards. There's a cartoonish quality to the characters that almost undercuts the presumed drama of the work, but Harren presents them in a way that works and gives them the capability of emoting effectively. And the action scenes boast a ton of kinetic energy to them that makes them feel alive. Stewart's colors also impact the book by furthering the caricature appearance; boasting an abundance of vibrant colors throughout.

Rumble #1 is a fantastic first issue that nails everything from pacing to tone. There's clearly a direction in mind that Arcudi and Harren want to take the series and a very strong foundation is laid out in the first issue. Arcudi's script is equal parts intriguing and outlandish, moving along at a blistering pace and offering up an unlikely hero in Bobby. Harren's art is very moody and the perfect match for the story itself, relying on slightly zany appearances to imbue the book with subtle humor. Rumble #1 is a great first issue that is an even better read which promises to be the start of a fantastic series.

Rumble #1 is in stores now with interiors below.






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