by John Arcudi, James Harren and Dave Stewart
Rumble is back! The strange, but wholly engaging series from Arcudi, Harren and Stewart has returned with a single-issue story that is to lead into the next arc. After a brief hiatus from the series, readers will check in with each of its leads here and prepare themselves for what is to come. Issue six is a subtler, narrower chapter that mixes in a few pieces along with a short recap.
In Rumble this month, readers are treated to something of an intermission issue with the characters. After the chaos of the final issue of the first arc, the story checks in with each of the leads as they recover and gear up for what may lie ahead. The creators bring readers back into the fold through Bobby, who is trying to explain what has happened to his mother. After a few months away, having pages spent recapping may not be everyone’s favorite as it uses up pages on information already known. However, the sequence is well handled, and the creators use the choice effectively as readers learn more about Bobby through the sequence. Pressing forward, a thematic piece begins to unravel. Rathraq sits with Del and they reflect on what has happened and Bobby’s well being. The creators craft a story here about Rathraq’s past that carries weight to the recent events.
This second piece of the issue, both in its art and its writing, is where the spirit and skill really shine through. Rathraq uses Del’s chastising of Bobby to tell a story of long ago. The tale told is one of fate, destiny and the burdens people must carry, ones that are not at all chosen. The visuals of the sequence are wonderful. Initially, the tale opens with a joyous village, populated by dozens of smiling, carefree children and families running about. Rathraq approaches, and by contrast, there is a real weight seemingly upon him. The artists are not obvious in this depiction, but matching the narration, this warrior shows no signs of joy or excitement. As the members of the village fill the space with their energy, running about, Rathraq is depicted slightly hunched forward and moving purposefully forward. There is no time to rest or enjoy for his character and it is a well-crafted small story. Harren and Stewart’s depiction of this moment in the warrior’s life is colorful and as energetic and kinetic as any of the battle sequences of the first arc. But mixed with the narration, there is a very different sensation here. Though this issue is an intermission of sorts, the care taken in crafting it is quite apparent here.
The sixth issue of the series, and the introduction to the second arc may not be the exciting next step that readers may have expected after leaving the characters at the end of the first arc. However, Rumble #6 is not only a very well made chapter, but it also functions as a great jumping on point for anyone not currently reading the series. An excellent balance of regrouping and looking forward, this is certainly worth picking up.