By Dustin Cabeal
Originally, I was going to read and review the first volume of Rough Riders prior to reading the new series. That was before I decided to read and mini-review every IDW title this week. I didn’t want to miss out on the new series, and so I did what I’ve done a hundred times before and start a series on the second volume.
The concept behind Rough Riders isn’t a particularly new idea. In fact, I once tried to read a terrible Matt Fraction comic that was the same general idea. Unlike the aforementioned comic, I was able to finish Rough Riders: Riders of the Storm rather easily.
The first issue is putting the band back together which works for me. I can imagine readers of the first volume may being getting some redundancies, but it works for those that are new or had forgotten the series. The band gets back together after the President is shot and Roosevelt summons them. There is a great scene in which someone mouths off about Roosevelt having some part in the assassination attempt, and he cracks his face against a table. The rest is okay, it’s a lot of talk and technology that’s far to advance for the era, but then it’s fantasy.
It’s okay, but that’s the best thing I can say about it. Again, it’s not a new idea by any means, and the combination of characters isn’t very fresh either. It’s an interesting era in American History for sure, but on a personal level, I find it strange that it inspires so much fantasy based stories.
The writing is sharp and well-paced. There’s exposition from the characters as they explain why the gang is getting back together and it works, but it’s still just straightforward exposition. The characterizations are decent. I’d like to read more before I give that a solid “good.”
The art is definitely a big help to the story. It’s detailed, gritty and at home with the era. Roosevelt looks like a bad ass, and that’s okay by me. The art kept the story flowing and moving along which kept it from being dull. Trust me; you don’t want a story like this, using these characters, to be dull. The only problem with the art seems to be that the story didn’t have enough action for it to show.
I’m going to read the first volume of this series and at least another couple of issues from this arc. I’m curious if it can rise above the rest. It’s off to a good start considering that I finished it and was entertained, but we’ll see in the end.
Rough Riders: Riders of the Storm #1
Writer: Adam Glass
Artist: Patrick Olliffe
Publisher: AfterShock Comics