Chico Comics Page Review: Rumble #2 (2017)
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: John Arcudi
Illustrator: David Rubin
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letters: Joe Sabino
Reviewer: Chris “The Bearded Wonder” Natale
What I love about creator-owned comics is that they will never cease to amaze you. You won’t know what to expect because you have no preconceived opinion of the characters and world they are immersing you in. I really enjoy seeing what creators come up with from scratch and seeing what lies in the corners of their mind. Some are more light-hearted while others are dark and twisted. In this case, the latter perfectly describes this book. Even though I have not read the original 15-issue run of “Rumble” from 2014, I was able to jump on this new series without a problem. It is extremely violent and gruesome, but also fun and humorous at times…and I love it. I’m not sure what that says about me, but we’ll continue. This book is filled with monsters getting dismembered left and right, but at the core of it, a unique and likeable character can be found in Rathraq. First off, he is a warrior god sent by the gods (Sick!). He has been tasked with ridding the Earth of the Esu (evil monsters ripped from your worst nightmares) in order to make way for the age of man (Love it!). After the battle is over, he tries to make peace with the Esu (Why!?) which shows some inner conflict and that Rathraq is not just a savage, he has a heart (Ahhh). This inner conflict humanizes him in my opinion. However, while trying to do the right thing and create peace amongst man and the Esu, his soul is stripped from his body. You guys can read the rest if you are really interested (totally check it out, wink wink). Arcudi really hooked with me with this story and I cannot wait to see where it leads.
As much as I enjoyed the writing by Arcudi, David Rubin’s art never ceases to amaze me. The way he helps build worlds and refine a writer’s vision is just a beautiful thing. It’s not even just the characters, it’s also the detail he puts into drawing out noises or effects. For example, there is a panel featuring a monster jumping into a body of water and instead of drawing a splash, he drew the word “splash” out with wavy, water-like font. I mean, come on. I can’t be the only one who loved that. After reading this book, I sat down and read my girlfriend’s copy of Ether Vol. 1 in one sitting because I could not get enough of Rubin’s art. It’s so cartoon-like, weird in the best way and, frankly, quite interesting to look at). My girlfriend said it reminds her of the art in the Dr. Seuss books, but all grown up, and I couldn’t agree more.
Rubin’s art combined with the colors of Dave Stewart was brilliantly executed. Stewart’s colors were vibrant and dark when appropriate to showcase the details of this monster-filled world. I thought that was a really nice touch and made the art so digestible. Usually I don’t say a lot about the lettering, but I have to hand it to Joe Sabino on this issue. I really liked the monsters’ dialogue and the font he used. I am not a font expert by any means, but it looked neat. I also like how Rathraq’s dialogue boxes are inverted with white text and black bubbles. Last, but not least, I loved the back of this issue because they answered some letters from fans and showed a bunch of fan art of Rathraq. I thought that was just awesome. To all those creators out there, I say this as a fan and a comic book reviewer, including a letters column and fan art whenever possible really connects with me as a reader and I’m sure other people as well. Fans love hearing feedback from the creators, especially when they are answering questions we’re all thinking about, but just never say because we might be afraid to ask obvious things or just are not sure how to approach a creator about it. Also, I love the email address you guys created so fans could get in touch with you about this book. Instead of just having email@example.com, you have firstname.lastname@example.org. Seriously, you guys are awesome.
Overall, Rumble is a tale of a warrior god and monster-slaying violence, but it’s also a tale about someone trying to regain something more precious than the life that has been taken from them—their soul. I really felt for Rathraq and, as a new reader, this issue instills a desire in me to read the series before it. I am not going to tell you to pick this book up because I believe that the writing and art speak for themselves, but you can put me on board for Rumble #3.
Before the rise of man, there were creatures known as Esu inhabiting our world, Earth, until one day, the gods said “Enough is enough.” They sent their fiercest warriors gods down to destroy the Esu and make way for the age of man. The greatest champion of them all was Rathraq. After this battle, Rathraq decided to try and negotiate peace with the queen of the Esu. However, the warrior was never seen again. Rathraq was given a fate worse than death. He did not just die, he lost his soul…
Let’s get ready to RUMBLE. Except this boxing (death) match is between a scarecrow warrior god and a bunch of gruesome monsters. Rumble #2 plunges its sword into you with its creativity in both story and art design. It feels like something I have always wanted since I was a beardless youngin, but wasn’t allowed to have until my beard was born and I was allowed to watch R-rated movies. The official rating by the Bearded Wonder is a chinstrap on the beard scale, which is an 8/10.
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