John Arcudi & James Harren – Co-Creators
Dave Stewart – Color Art
Chris Eliopoulos – Letters
Review by Joey Braccino
“What is the full quantity of nothing?”
Rumble #1 is one weird book, man.
Page One – A hooded figure makes his way across an icy taiga toward a jagged mountain ascending into the sky. A strange, hammer-headed shadow grunts at the figure’s distant approach.
Page Two – An abandoned theme park—Paul Bunyan Land—lays derelict and decrepit.
Page Three – A three-legged dog pees on a parking meter. And then the characters are introduced.
As the narrative kicks off, Bobby the Bartender reminds Mr. Cogan of his steadily increasing tab. Things get weird. Then a Scarecrow Warrior God named Rathraq (according to solicits; he’s never identified in the issue) shows up and things get bloodier and weirder from there. Bobby ends up with a giant sword, there’s some after-hours fishing in atomic green swamps, and cats.
Basically, Rumble #1 is like a full-tilt, acid-infused comics experience from Image. Creators John Arcudi and James Harren are mixing atmosphere and straight surrealism here as our protagonist Bobby comes face-to-face with nightmare demons and tattooed taxidermy-enthusiasts. I can’t say that the plot is much clearer than that—in fact, I’m not even sure if I’m doing the book justice here—but I will say that Arcudi and Harren certainly have a distinct tone and mood that they’re shooting for. There is a very clear sense of unease and all-around strangeness that makes Rumble an absolutely fascinating comic book.
Much of Rumble’s success comes from James Harren’s unsettling, surreal artwork. Every panel blends gritty realism with something utterly otherworldly—a phantasmagoria of parodied fastfood and comical creatures. Dave Stewart plays along with neon, sickly greens and purples and blues.Think Ahh! Real Monsters meets Rocko’s Modern Life for a comparative aesthetic (and perhaps tenor).
And of course, the promise of vengeance gods and warrior spirits just adds to the drama of it all.
If you’re in the mood for something absolutely bizarre yet intriguingly dynamic, BUY. Arcudi and Harren aim to tickle that innate human interest for poking squishy things with a stick, methinks, and Rumble #1 certainly pokes. Check it!