John Arcudi and James Harren's Rumble cut a swath through Image Comics' line, mixing mystical fantasy with urban horror in profiling the adventures Rathraq, a warrior god trying to adapt to a modern world that became rich with monsters and myths with his arrival. After fifteen issues, the first major arc was told and Harren left the project - but now Arcudi is back, with a new artist - and a new Rumble.
The second volume of Rumble kicks off this week from Image Comics, with Arcudi's fellow Dark Horse Comics alum David Rubin joning the series to continue the story of Rathraq. Newsarama spoke with Arcudi about this change, and continuing the mythos of a mighty warrior with new and strange challenges.
Newsarama: So John, how does this new Rumble #1 work? Is it a refresher course from the previous volume or something new entirely?
John Arcudi: Kind of both, I hope. It’s been so long since the book was on the stands that I felt the need for a real recap. At the same time we are setting the course in this first new issue for a new direction and a story.
Nrama: How would you describe new artist Dave Rubin's style, taking over from James Harren, in this world?
Arcudi: They aren’t really alike, but David is incredible! He still gives you all the energy and wackiness you saw in Rumble before, but he also approaches the storytelling differently from James. He plays with experimental page layout that engages the readers’ eye in a different way. And I’ll tell you, David does not shy away from drawing a big whole valley packed with monsters!
Nrama: Why did you feel like it needed a renumbering?
Arcudi: We struggled with this a lot.
Eric Stephenson and I talked about it and he said “Whatever you want to do.” It has been like a year since the book was on the stands, and more than that, once James left I wanted a way to establish that the book really had a new vibe with a new artist, and all that. A new #1 seemed a good way to make that distinction without a lot of explanation. But then here I am explaining it, so what did I know? And I’ll tell you, I thought of renaming the book, like calling it 'Rumble Redux,' but that just sounded pretentious. Or worse, like a reprint.
Nrama: What kind of Rathraq's stories do you want to tell this time that you felt like you didn't get around to on the previous volume?
Arcudi: Get more personal with everybody’s life, but also really get weird, as you’ll see when issue six comes out. I don’t think I ever got to adequately represent all the madness of this world. That’s not on James, mind you; that’s on me, and now that we’re back, I’m gonna get to it. Promise!
Nrama: You're bringing back Dave Stewart for colors, why do you feel his palette is important to the art?
Arcudi: Dave is the best. That’s it. If he’s available, you can bet I’ll ask him to work with me — and if he wants to work me, he’s always welcome. I mean, obviously!
Nrama: Without giving too much away, what can you tell us about Rathraq's newest change and transformation?
Arcudi: It’s been a long time coming, in some ways. But the scenario Rathraq faced at the end of the last story really broke him. He’s decided the time has come to reclaim whatever he can from his old life, and that includes some rather grim realities.
Nrama: Will his human cohorts get subplots this time around, similar to Bobby dealing with his dead mother last time?
Arcudi: They will. In fact, a new human character is the subplot of the first arc.
Nrama: Do you feel like you have a different mentality coming back to this world this time around or is it more of the same?
Arcudi: I feel the same about Rumble in the way that I want to tell these stories of these characters that have been swimming around in my noggin for years, but I’m more energized now. I’ve had a lot of time off to think it all over. Not the kind of “vacation” I was planning on, but it’s had its upside.