For the most part, I don’t like writing a review about something based on only one issue, unless it’s a one-shot story. Writing a review of something that is ongoing, and has been around for a while is much easier, because if you are unfamiliar with the material, there is a lot that you can look at to help you make a good solid opinion on the story. When a new ongoing series comes out, it might take a couple of issues to get it up and running before you can give it a fair assessment. So when I started reading Rumble from Image Comics, I waited until issue three before I decided to throw out my opinion on it, even though I wanted to write about it after I had read the first issue.
When I give a review, I’m not big on just filling up space with needless descriptions of what’s going on, and I do that for a number of reasons, but mostly because I don’t want to ruin it for you, even if I don’t give it a solid review. To sum up Rumble‘s story, I’ll say this; a warrior long imprisoned comes back looking for a little payback. It has to do with godlike beings and immortals and all kinds of demons, and other types of stereotypes that we would expect from a fantasy or urban fantasy story, but man, is it fun. You see a lot in comics, TV, and movies these days, where they mix these types of characters in the modern world with varying degrees of success. The archetypes we find in Rumble are nothing earth-shattering, or even new, but it’s the slant writer John Arcudi takes on them that makes this such an enjoyable read. I find that most of these types of stories tend to take themselves too seriously, and try to give us a doom-and-gloom tale of apocalyptic events. Rumble doesn’t take that approach. Instead, you get a straightforward story that’s fun and has humor. The humor is not silly in its delivery, but the type of stuff that you would expect out of the characters, proving that you can write a smart and funny book, that isn’t insulting to a serious reader.
The character Rathraq is a straight-up badass who finds himself in a situation that’s not what you would expect, and ends up playing the straight man in much of the book’s humor. There are no rippling muscles here, but we do get a twist that is different from any that I’ve experienced before. Rathraq is an immortal god-type character interacting with the other main character in the story, Bobby, and to a lesser degree, Bobby’s best friend Del. The dialogue between these guys is priceless.
This book is so fresh and different from most of what is out there, that I find myself being hard-pressed to give you examples of other works similar to it. The only thing that comes to mind is Reaper, a show that aired on The CW from 2007 to 2009. That show was fast-paced, with lots of action and tons of great humor. If you are familiar with that show, you will love Rumble, because it has the same vibe.
Each issue of this series I’ve read has been over far too quickly for my tastes and has left me wanting to experience more of it. James Harren’s art is the perfect mix of detail and style to go along with not only the action, but the humor of the book too. This is a perfect example of the right artist being on the right book. If the art was too detailed and realistic, it would detract from the humor, while if it was too cartoony, it would detract from the action and the serious nature of the bad guys and Rathraq, but Warren is completely perfect for it. The same goes for Dave Stewart’s color work. It’s not overly loud or bombastic, and he’s not trying to create a work of art with the color all on its own, but uses tones and shades that complement the art that’s there.
So, if you haven’t guessed by now, I give this one a great big check mark in the good box. I can’t find anything wrong with this book, and trust me, if you have read any of my other reviews, I’ll let you know if something doesn’t fit, or could be done better, but with this one, it’s hitting on all cylinders. Do yourself a favor and start reading it. It’s only on issue three right now, which should still be on the shelves at your local comic book store, and finding issue one and two shouldn’t be a problem.