Rumble Volume 1: What Color of Darkness. John Arcudi, James Harren, Dave Stewart. Image, 2015. 9781632153838. Collects Rumble #1 – #5. 144pp.
Rumble Volume 2: A Woe That Is Madness. John Arcudi, James Harren, Dave Stewart. Image, 2016. 9781632156044. Collects Rumble #6 – #10. 160pp.
Rumble Volume 3: Immortal Coil. John Arcudi, James Harren, Dave Stewart. Image, 2017. 9781632159281. Collects Rumble #11 – #15. 160pp.
The BPRD books John Arcudi co-wrote with Hellboy creator Mike Mignola are some of my favorite rereads. This graphic novel series that he co-created with James Harren also has amazing monsters, supernatural heroes, a sense of humor, and a lot of heart.
In an unnamed (I think) American city near both a swamp and a failed Paul Bunyan theme park, an old man leaves his favorite bar after a night of drinking. He’s attacked by a sword-wielding scarecrow that cuts his arm off. The scarecrow is inhabited by the spirit of “some kind of monster-killing god” from thousands of years ago (Rathraq) and recently set free. He wants vengeance because the old guy is the wizard who separated his spirit from his immortal body. He also wants that body back (it’s just risen from the swamp and looks like some kind of bog mummy) along with his heart, which powers it. But of course the monsters that he once protected mankind from, the Esu, the ones he used to cut up with his mighty sword, are still hanging about and they don’t want that. Their queen hides his heart and threatens to destroy his immortal body. Battles ensue.
On Rathraq’s side: Bobby the bartender, tough in a pinch but reluctant to kill; his friend Del, a potty mouth who wants to fight alongside Rathraq; and Apache, a dog Rathraq likes to talk to about his dead war hound, Slanjau. Against them: a “man” with a pet hydra that he loves, a fire demon, and a hoard of creatures. And somewhere in between: half human / half Esu hybrids that need a little love and a lot of pizza. (They look like octopi made out of melting scoops of creamsicle ice cream.)