Arc Reaction: Rumble #1-5

Published on May 5th, 2015

Rumble is pure two-dimensional energy from John Arcudi, James Harren, and Dave Stewart. Giant monsters and big swords can have a tendency to drag a story into grim, realistic action; but that isn’t Rumble’s style. And Rumble is all style. Exaggerated characters with hugely expressive faces. Vibrant colors and beautiful attention to detail in the setting. Every motion is huge on the page. Rumble is as much Ren & Stimpy as it is BPRD.

The story of a man being dragged into a supernatural war against his will isn’t special, but every other single element is. The info dump in issue 3 is informative, but it’s something better when Del stops the Rathraq’s story mid-sentence for a snack break. Rumble puts its stamp on things when a fire demon is snuffed out with a fire extinguisher, or when the big showdown takes place at Paul Bunyan Land. Rumble is a book that’s about juxtaposition and humor. Every page is packed to the brim with something. Arcudi, Harren, and Stewart are putting out the best work of their careers.

The first five issues of Rumble are all polish. Everything’s there. The arc carries Bobby past his reluctance to join Rathraq on his quest. Rathraq has a new MacGuffin to chase into the second arc. It all works. Rumble isn’t breaking ground, but it encapsulates the talents of its creators perfectly. I can’t stop raving about it, even when all I can do is point furiously at a page and scream: “Look!”

Travers Capps