The world of “Rumble” is alive with forgotten gods and monsters, roused to wakefulness by a fallen warrior – Rathraq. With his body stolen and his once trusted dog of war long dead, Rathraq must depend on the aid of a doubtful barkeep and an enthusiastic (but not very bright) slacker to aid him in a quest for vengeance…and maybe a little redemption. Maybe. Just a little.
This issue begins exactly where the last one ended; with Bobby walking his crush – Timah – home after her uninteresting date. Between self-deprecating jests and minute lessons in psychology and ancient languages from Timah, Bobby has a crisis of conscience.
Should he go help Del and Rathraq or should he continue to try and make (slow) progress with Timah? The scene, and Bobby’s dilemma, are accentuated by “Angel vs. Demon” versions of Del and himself, respectively. It’s another hilarious episode in a book that’s jam-packed with funny takes on the supernatural and unexplainable.
Not far away his good buddy and the scarecrow god meet with Xotlaha to make the exchange that will, with any luck, bring peace to Rathraq and end his days as bodiless warrior. Needless to say things don’t go exactly as planned; Nusku makes a not-so-subtle reappearance and throws a huge monkey wrench in a situation that’s already nice and screwed up.
One of the great things about “Rumble” is that, while it is an adventure tale with some darker elements, it never takes itself too seriously, and leaves room for a fair share of wonder and laughter. It’s like reading “Hellboy”, but with more giggles.
That’s by design says James Harren, longtime artist of “B.P.R.D”, another series he works on with co-creator John Arcudi.
“There’s a jauntiness, or dare I say, humor I’ve wanted to include in my work that I don’t always get the opportunity for in ‘B.P.R.D.,’” Harren told Hero Complex last year.
Jaunty it is, the artwork in the book is outlandish and most – pretty much all – of the characters are walking comedy sketches. Yes, these are some of the creatures that slink around in the shadows and many have the power to maim and kill, but they’re still endearing if only because they don’t look nearly as threatening as they are in reality.
So, hey, quit mulling over whether or not to give this book a shot. You can start by grabbing this issue and working your way back if necessary, but don’t, for the love of Slanjau, go another month without familiarizing yourself with “Rumble”.