By Ben Snyder
Rumble #1 does something very few continuing stories achieve successfully. It tells a gripping story that acknowledges it’s past issues but still welcoming to new readers. After a brief introduction into the history of the world and its varying players, the reader is thrown into an entirely original story with interesting characters and a well thought out mythos.
John Arcudi’s script is extremely tight and succinct. It mostly serves a setup for the beautiful art and as a way for the readers to be reintroduced or introduced for the first time to the world of Rumble and it’s list of gritty characters. In the world of Rumble, monsters are real, but they are living in secret of the humans who run the world. Kind of like a Hellboy/Men In Black type situation. Arcudi’s script imbues such humanity and humor into each of his characters, and it instantly makes me want to know more about the rich history of this world and the characters that inhabit it. Even the seemingly throwaway characters such as the angry mob of humans upset about the missing horses.
I am invested in the future of this series, but perhaps my biggest fear is in how the story will play out. It’s always a chief concern when it comes to first issues in a volume, but I think even it’s, even more, pressing in this issue because of the extensive issues proceeding it. As someone who is not familiar with the lore of Rumble, I am a teensy bit afraid that it will collapse inward and dig up characters newer readers such as myself are unfamiliar with.
David Rubin’s art however is perfect for this story. His cartoonish style is ideal for the colorful and outlandish character designs of the monsters. One specific highlight is in the introduction’s flashback featuring Rathaq’s hellhound and his diverse brood of brothers in arms. The sheer diversity of all of the warriors and monsters was special and was definitely a good way to introduce new readers.
Rubin’s art also translates extremely well to the more present day setting, as the cartoonish style still works with more contemporary characters. The three-legged dog chasing a hotdog looks like a descendant of Rathaq’s hellhound and that they belong in the same distorted universe. Hopefully, future issues will include more flashbacks to Rumble’s history, as I love seeing the evolution of the character designs. Even the barbaric warriors fighting alongside Rathaq seem like believable ancestors to the present day heroes.
I rarely mention the lettering in many comics, but a special exception should be taken for this issue, as I particularly loved how Dave Stewart wrote out the monster’s language. The way the monsters speak look like a derivation of a C’thulu-like language and it builds on the theme running throughout this story of the monsters attempting to peacefully assimilate into human culture.
Rumble #1 delivers an interesting and involving introduction to the world of Rumble. It is one of the few examples where the story doesn’t scare off newer readers but instead welcomes them by offering them easily digestible tidbits of the universes pre-existing history. While many of my pre-existing concerns regarding #1 issues stand in place, Rumble #1 offers hope that the story will go in a positive direction and not collapse inward on it’s already expansive lore and mythos.
Rumble v2 #1