Rumble #9

Written by, John Arcudi
Art by, David Rubin
Colors by, Dave Stewart
Letters by, Joe Sabino

Rathraq’s past comes back to haunt him. In the previous issue, Queen Zyral returns to claim Rathraq, her husband. Meanwhile, Rathraq had been enjoying the tranquility of the island with a new relationship. This issue begins, Rathraq and his friends fight valiantly against the invading Esu army and a new foe; a giant Kyeragun lizard! While Rathraq fights with a sword against physically large enemies his true quest is to find his true heart, which is sitting at the bottom of the harbor. Rathraq rows out to the harbor and dives into the water to find his heart.

This issue continues to be a visual spectacle with its cartoonish and whimsical approach. Metaphors are shown by the art and not by elaborate exposition. David Rubin is at the top of his game in his depiction of characters as fantasy with real-life struggles like saving friends and finding true meaning in life. The story is told like a set of images etched into the side of a cave, where pictures captured large concepts and show the meaning. If there is a complaint, it has to do with the lack of a complex story. However, the characters and their personal stories take the place of lengthier narratives. For example, how does a man named “Bob” end up on a fantasy island in the middle of a war between invading forces and a giant queen? The gap between the unbelievable and this average guy is bridged by the art, which shows Bob touched by the god-queen and enlightened – for what? The mystery grows.

And then there’s Otis, who is unschooled and represents the urban landscape from which he came. He remains loyal to his friends, fighting an alien army, despite the diety and alien forces at play. Somewhere in this story is a deeper narrative that represents the common man and his fight with diety for its existence, but I digress. My absolute favorite line comes from Rathraq’s new girlfriend when she claims, “I’m a social worker.” Always caught in the middle of a mess, the under-appreciated civil servant. At the end of the day, I’m not sure readers will capture the depth of this story, or even that I’ve captured much of it. We are so accustomed to being told what to think and what the lessons should be that when’s its represented in pictures – it’s lost. What isn’t lost on me is that the art is absolutely gorgeous!

Overall = 9/10

Rumble represents some of the best art David Rubin has produced! I highly recommend this story for its metaphorical approach to capturing deeper themes and for how beautiful the art depicts these themes.