Matt Johnson

RUMBLE #9 – Comic Review

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RUMBLE #9 is an action-filled and wonderfully stylized journey set in a world full of twisted and warped characters.  It will leave you wanting for more..which, fortunately, will be coming soon.

See my review of Klaus #1 here.


Title:  RUMBLE #9
Writer: John Arcudi
Artist: James Harren
Cover Artist: James Harren
Publisher: image
Release Date: November

Order a copy of Rumble #9 to be delivered right to your doorstep!

In RUMBLE #9 John Arcudi and James Harren pool their considerable talents to create a mythical combination of both the modern world, and one in which ancient and bizarre creatures co-mingle with primitive humans.  Harren’s visuals twist and contort even the most mundane of objects until everything feels just slightly off kilter and surreal.

This issue of RUMBLE opens up as any good mythical story should; Old-man-by-campfire style narration panels over dirty frames of brutal sword-wielding monsters with twisted, toothy faces slaughtering the innocent and generally creating mayhem and disruption among what appear to be simple, peaceful folk–the end result being a literal river of blood filled with tears and lost futures.  In other words, I love it already.

The story cuts to what could be supposed to be the modern “real” world and we meet a clay-featured man who ends the mythical storytelling with a sarcastic taunt while, in the background, a lanky wooden swordsman gets an arm patched up.  The art alternates between scratchy lines with deep shadow and featureless, inky blobs of color.  It’s a style very reminiscent of one of my all-time fav’s, Hellboy.  This is no accident, as both creators have been heavily involved with Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. stories over the years.

Once our swordsman is patched, the group embark on an impromptu rescue mission.  Tellingly, only one of them actually seems sure about wanting to be a part of it.  As they travel we learn a bit more of the back-story of what happened between the storyteller portion and modern times, and how that leads to the rescue needing to happen.

Upon reaching their destination the band are met immediately by a crew of hulking, menacing figures who look as though they exist only to spill blood.  Battle ensues, of course, and here the art really shines.  The fights have a brutal, kinetic quality to them.  The battles move on the page as well as any film could’ve shown and at the end, with blood shed all around, the rescue attempt itself begins…only to be left with those damned words “TO BE CONTINUED” on the last panel.

It’s always a bit jarring to jump into a series midway through or, in this case, toward the end of an arc. I feel like RUMBLE is a bit purposefully nebulous anyway though, and found myself slipping right into the the struggle of the main characters as though I’d been with them the whole way.  This is largely due to the excellent art and great world-building and character creation that has taken place here.  I’ll be finishing the journey as the rest is released to see how my new friends fare and keep all our fine readers appraised of what’s going on as well.  I’ll also be pulling all the strings I’m able to try to see if I can track down back-issues and get caught up on what I missed.  Bottom line:  This one issue is good enough that I want to absorb anything else set in this world.

If you like weird, epic, bloody hack and slash comics check out anything in the Conan series, or Klaus #1 at top of this post.  If you love the art and story style check out anything Hellboy or B.P.R.D.

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