RUMBLE SOUL WITHOUT PITY PT. III: MINDS IN FERMENT
Writer John Arcudi, artist David Rubin, and colorist Dave Stewart keep the train rolling in this third issue of Rumble, and what a freight train it is. Still a series in its infancy, it’s putting on the big boy pants and delivering consistently.
Rathraq, the protagonist of the series, is cutting a huge swath through the Esu, monster-like creatures that lurk in the shadows and also hide in plain sight. Now basically nothing more than a warrior with a scarecrow’s body, Rathraq is looking for privacy. With his trusty steed by his side and a few small Esu that have aligned themselves with him, Rathraq is on a mission to return himself to his former glory, and continue his quest to destroy the monsters he’s been sworn to rid the world of.
After being sought after by old friends using a seeking spell, his quest is halted as they try to get answers from the cloaked skeleton. Their conversation is cut short as Bruce, the leader of a local troupe of humans looking to also get rid of the Esu, arrives. Rathraq and he soon butt heads, not seeing eye to eye on how the war should be fought. Rathraq preaches honor of a sword, and Bruce thinks an AK-47 is the answer. Tragedy soon strikes as a hail of bullets is unleashed from Bruce’s weapon.
For those who haven’t read the first two issues of Rumble, it will be difficult to jump in with this issue. Although it is only the third one, it is a fast-paced story, and a lot can happen in the span of a page. It may also be easy to get lost on the backstory and history of the Esu and Rathraq. It is touched upon, but vaguely in this issue.
Even with a fast paced stroy, John Arcudi seems to have a plan for how everything is to be done, how the characters are to be handled, and how long this story is to be. There’s a clear cut path Rumble is to take, and Arcudi is handling it flawlessly so far. The characters are being presented and built in a way that will make them easily sympathized with, or despised.
The art team of Rubin and Stewart are completely killing the game here. High contrast colors make the scenery blend perfectly with the almost caricatures of the people and monsters in the story. Cartoonish without delving too far into campy, you can almost smell the cheap cigarette smoke emanating from characters, and the polluted river that runs near the city. Think “Ren and Stimpy” meets the short-lived “World of Quest”, but with much more dismemberment and pools of blood.
This is a series that shouldn’t be slept on. If you’ve picked up an issue, and put it back on the rack, do yourself a favor: go back and get it. Get all of the issues. Keep up with it. The consistency of writing and art, and how well both are done, will keep you coming back for more.