Rathraq returns! Image comics best book of the past few years – Rumble – is back!
Rumble was one of my favorite books I’ve read for this site, without any exaggeration.
The story of an ancient warrior god, trapped in the present and trying to find his body, was incredibly well put together. Everything about it oozed style and design, and the humor made the complete package that much more appealing. If you’ve read my past reviews you know about my particular love for Del, that insane bald bastard, and how much the art and battle scene layouts landed with me.
So it was with a heavy heart when I heard that James Harren was no longer providing the art. I was unfamiliar with James before picking up Rumble but his work on this book was incredible and brought a very weird story up to one of the best things coming out of the Image portfolio.
John Arcudi is no slouch though – and his story can stand quite well on its own merits – so hearing that David Rubin was joining was slightly bittersweet, but overshadowed by the fact that we were getting more Rumble, no matter the team.
Rumble#1, the first part of “Soul Without Pity,” opens up with a quick review of where we are plot wise, and dives deep into the past, to show us how the Scarecrow warrior with the giant sword got his start slaying demons and monsters back in the wild ages of the past.
We’re reintroduced to our other characters (YEAH DEL BABY), the setting, the current state of things after some monsters destroyed their way through town, and wrap with a final status image, of just where things are for everyone.
This book is like a warm bath, to use a weird metaphor. It’s been on hiatus for so long that it’s letting the readers ease their way back into the plot slowly, inch by inch, to get comfortable with where they left everything off.
This is also a good way to connect readers to Rubin’s new take on character design. I think Rubin’s art is excellent, and he does a great job emulating the look and feel originated with Harren’s pages, but still makes it fully his own creation. His panels are incredibly dense with detail and background, including quite a few mythological references in cityscape signage. I quite like Rubin’s take on all of the oddities that make up this world, and I think it’s a pretty seamless transition.
Let me be clear – i’m very happy that Rumble is returning, but this issue, while an excellent reintroduction, is slow for me. Part of it is the absense of Harren’s kinetic and frenzied panels, but the majority is that it’s a full issue of “Last time…in Rumble.”
It’s a necessary evil, to get new readers on board and interested, but it left me a bit flat. If you are one of the new readers though? Run, do not walk, to the store to pick this up — and grab the three trades that are released as well. This is world-building of a crazy scale, so if we’re slowing down to pick up new passengers, then welcome aboard!