After what was an all too long hiatus, John Arcudi’s barbarian scarecrow comic returns. With new artist, David Rubin and an all-new #1, does Rumble maintain the high bar that the first run set? Read on for the Major Spoilers review!
Writer: John Arcudi
Artist: David Rubin
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously In Rumble: Rathraq, a savage, monster fighting god barbarian resurrected as a scarecrow, took on the queen of monsters in an attempt to get his heart back. Things did not end well and he has disappeared, presumed dead.
A SLOW RETURN
In most respects, Rumble should be a comic that I shouldn’t enjoy. I’m not a fan of the “sword and sorcery” genre and have never, nor cared to, read a comic with barbarians. There was something visually striking about the main character in John Arcudi’s Rumble (helped by James Harren’s incredible artwork) that made me want to pick it up. I’m glad I did because the first fifteen issues were amazing. So it was no surprise that I jumped at the chance to review the new Rumble #1.
Arcudi is taking things slow this time around, and the breakneck action is limited to a few pages. After a cool “pre-scarecrow body” flashback of Rathraq, the issue spends a lot of time catching up with characters and seeing how they are since Rathraq’s death. Bobby and Del miss their friend, both searching for him their own way. While Bobby is just keeping an eye out for Rathraq’s return, Del is taking a more proactive approach. It’s wonderful characterization and Arcudi makes his characters authentic and real. There is also a great section with Cogan, the one-armed monster in disguise, as he catches up with an old friend. Arcudi uses this to get new readers up to speed. It is this section that we see some cool scarecrow action. By the end, we find Rathraq and he is not looking well. It’s a good introductory issue, both for new readers and setting up the coming story for returning ones. While nothing really moved the story forward, I have faith that Arcudi will deliver the goods.
FITTING RIGHT IN
I don’t envy David Rubin. He is following James Harren, whose work was insane! While the styles are quite different, it looks like Rubin will fit right into the world of Rumble. No panel or page space is wasted, as is evident in the two-page splash of Rathraq’s army looking down on the hordes of monsters. I love his take on scarecrow Rathraq, with crazy long, skinny legs that contrast his massive sword. He looks lightweight, flopping in the wind, which is appropriate for a character made out of straw. The Esu (monsters) all look fantastic and the action is kinetic. Rubin’s style reminds me very much of Extremity’s creator/artist, Daniel Warren Johnson. Dave Stewart’s colors continue to pop and mesh with Rubin’s art. It might not be a style for everyone, but Rumble has never been a comic for everyone.
BOTTOM LINE: A NICE SETUP
Rumble #1 is a good return for old readers, setting up characters and story well. It is as new reader friendly as a Rumble comic can be (some may still find Arcudi’s world hard to grasp). David Rubin brings the energy and weirdness needed for Arcudi’s world and fits right in. While I didn’t feel the story progressed much, I realize there were moments during the previous fifteen issues that were similar. Arcudi is sure to pick up the pace soon and there is enough sliced monster parts flying through the air to satiate your inner barbarian. I highly recommend everyone pick this issue up. It looks like it will be another wild, bizarre and fun ride.