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Royal Reviews: Ruse #1

Written by Royal Nonesuch on Sunday, March 20 2011 and posted in Reviews

Crossgen comics continues, as Marvel publishes a new RUSE #1, by original writer Mark Waid!

Comic Review Cover

Credits & Solicit Info:

Ruse #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics

(W) Mark Waid
(A) Mirco Pierfederici
(Cover) Butch Guice & Mike Perkins
(Variant Cover) Mitch Breitweiser

Renowned as the Victorian world's greatest detective, Simon Archard is the most intelligent of men. But when he crosses paths with the mysterious and enchanting Emma Bishop, has the smartest man in the world met his equal? Brought to readers by superstar writer Mark Waid (Amazing Spider-Man) and red-hot artist Mirco Pierfederici (Tron: Original Movie Adaptation), this is the new comic series that'll leave you breathless.

Item Code: JAN110677
Price: $2.99
In Shops: 3/16/2011


Back when he was working as a writer for the original Crossgen Comics, Mark Waid's Sherlock Holmes-style Victorian detective series RUSE stood out amongst the publisher's output as a deftly-written work that took on a great sense of atmosphere and worked so well within its setting. 

Now, Crossgen is back, and it's brought RUSE and Mark Waid with it, and the first issue shows it to be a successful revival of the old fan favorite.  The series focuses on Simon Archard and Emma Bishop, the Holmes and Watson of the book, whose bickering chemistry is so effortlessly provided by Waid that the characters become an instant draw.  They're a great pairing, and Waid settles into their patterns very easily.  He also eases into the story's time period as well, creating a fully fleshed-out world and using the setting well.  There's a natural wit and humor to the proceedings (the best sequence is when Emma searches the house for an object heavy enough to wake up Simon when she strikes it against the side of the sensory deprivation chamber he's lying in) that complement the character work very well. 

The only thing Mirco Pierfederici is really missing right now is experience.  He's already a solid storyteller who does such a great job with body language, page design, and atmosphere.  There are some inconsistencies (reminder to all young comic book pencillers: make sure the characters are on the same side relative to each other from one panel to the next when you switch angles), and there are instances of Comic Book Plastic Face* throughout, but the art is overall very strong.  Pierfederici could emerge as a top-notch talent in the industry in the next year or two.

RUSE #1 is a much stronger effort than last week's SIGIL #1, and a much better snapshot of what Crossgen comics had on their hands in their heyday.  It also works very well for anyone who missed out on the first go around for the property.  It introduces the characters and their world very efficiently in a well-constructed first issue.  

Review by: Royal Nonesuch

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About the Author - Royal Nonesuch

As Senior Media Correspondent (which may be a made-up title), Royal Nonesuch tends to spearhead a lot of film and television content on The Outhouse. He's still a very active participant in the comic book section of the site, though. Nonesuch writes reviews of film, television, and comics, and conducts interviews for the site as well.  You can reach out to him on Twitter or with Email.


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