Rumble #1 (Image Comics)
After a pretty lengthy hiatus, Rumble is back. And while I’d like to say that the John Arcudi and James Harren series returns with a vengeance, that’s not exactly the case. For starters, Harren has been replaced by David Rubin, and Rumble #1 serves as more of a catch up than new starting point. But at the same time, it’s good to have Rathraq back on the comic shelves.
With Rathraq seemingly deceased, his friends have become increasingly depressed and outnumbered by Esu, the monsters that Rathraq has spent his long existence fighting. But when one of his friends comes across an Esu’s shrine to Rathraq, the seeds of belief in the monster hunter’s resurrection start to be sown. Could Rathraq be making his grand return?
Anytime an indie title takes a lengthy hiatus it’s a gamble, but luckily John Arcudi is able to jump right back into the saddle with Rumble (after spending too much time recapping events from the previous series, that is). While Arcudi spends a little too much of his script catching new readers up to Rathraq’s adventures, I’ll admit that it was a nice refresher for someone like me who reads way too many comic books. It’s also interesting seeing Arcudi build up the world of Rumble since the character’s disappearance. It really makes Rathraq’s absence felt throughout the book.
While I do miss James Harren’s artwork, David Rubin is a more than able replacement. Able to mimic Harren’s style without completely ripping it off, Rubin delivers the same style you expect from Rumble, but also has plenty of unique and engaging panel layouts that make this initial issue stand out from the previous issues of Rumble.
While I may be a little dismayed over Rumble’s relaunch spending so much time catching people up, I’ll admit that it’s necessary to attract new readers. As one of Image’s strongest titles, Rumble deserves a much bigger audience than it has, so I’m hopeful that people will latch onto the adventures of Rathraq now that they’ve got an easy jumping on point.