REVIEW: Rumble #1

Story: John Arcudi (@ArcudiJohn)
Art: James Harren( @JamesHarren1)
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos (@ChrisEliopoulos)
Colors: Dave Stewart (@Dragonmnky)
Publisher: Image Comics ( @ImageComics)
Release Date: December 17, 2014

Lots of things happen at night in the big city, many of which involve unsavory characters and equally unsavory acts. Well, Rumble #1, the long-anticipated new fantasy/action title from Image Comics looks to cast a little light on those mysterious things that go bump in the metropolitan night.

As creator John Arcudi describes it, Rumble is the story of old world magic and monsters colliding with post-modern urban decay. The first issue introduces us to Bobby LaRosa, a 20-something bartender, stuck in a proverbial rut. What Bobby doesn’t know is that his life is about to take a very serious turn toward the strange and unexplained.

Rumble 1

Rumble excels, at least in this opening issue, in fusing humor and savagery. On a single page, you’ll find yourself suppressing a laugh triggered by one panel, only to be struck by eye-widening brutality the next.

The storytelling method is grand and imposing without being melodramatic, au fond, Arcudi and Harren channel the best of epic flair without taking themselves, or their story, too seriously. It’s great fun that you’ll probably feel guilty about later and then smile at your own antiquated sensibilities before accepting that you had nothing to feel guilty about in the first place. It’s all very Terry Pratchett-esque, tongue-in-cheek stuff.

Rumble 2

Stewart’s artwork integrates elements of pop art and abstraction and has an explicitly otherworldly quality to it, especially when the supernatural components take center stage. The style might be best cataloged as post-Manga, as the details often get to the core essences of things as opposed to being strict photo-realistic depictions of humans or environments as they are in reality. The blue, orange, yellow, pink and red monochromes, the alternation of cool and warm tones, really highlight the seediness of the city that Rumble takes place in. This is atmospheric art at its enthralling best.

Rumble 4    Rumble 3Rumble 5

Rumble is shaping up to be one of, if not the, standout titles of the coming New Year. Pick it up and enjoy.

By. A.C.

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