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Crossgen has always been this weird anomaly in comics for me.
It was a company of superstars with top selling titles that still managed to go
out of business. I remember that at the time I finally found a Crossgen
book the company was nearing its end. So here we are years later after Marvel’s
acquisition of the company and properties with all new stories and some new and
some familiar creators returning to the titles. It’s the most DC like move
Marvel’s ever done.
Mark Waid returns to Ruse after the titles cancellation and I couldn’t miss out on it… again. It’s one of the highlights on his resume that people always bring up so I knew that there had to be something about this book that made it good. The best way to describe this book is that it’s like a boom-box with a broken volume knob that’s permanently stuck on ten. If you like Sherlock Holmes I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t like Ruse.
The adventures of Detective Archard and his lovely assistant Emma begin again with a suicide. Though you wouldn’t know it since the head of the Archduke has been chopped off. In a humorous manner the culprit turns out to be the butler who was trying to protect the honor of the family. Detective and Assistant depart on another adventure as Archard must figure out why the Archduke was at an underground betting club and who wants Emma dead.
Ruse is pretty good. It definitely hooked me in enough to make me want to keep reading, but the problem I see for the title is Mark Waid. Waid is one of the all-time great writers of comics and I doubt anyone can argue with that. The problem is that he never really stays that long on any one title and I wonder if that’s going to be a problem with this book when eventually Marvel will want to release more. I don’t think anyone else could write these characters which is a shame.
Myself, having never read the book before was able to get a sense of the feel and the flow of the book almost as if the title had never ended. I’m sure others that did read it would probably agree with that last bit. It just shows that this corporate comic is more of a creator owned comic. Part of me is glad it’s just a mini-series since that prevents the story from being polluted by other’s hands, but then again it means that this book ends yet again. In the meantime though, we can all enjoy the return of Ruse.
Overall Score - 8.0/10