COVER BY: GUICE, PERKINS & MARTIN
RELEASE DATE: MARCH 16th, 2011
As previously mentioned, I was not a reader of the CrossGen product, so Ruse#1 comes to me as merely the first issue of a new series. And while my likes for detective noir and espionage scenarios are well known, like many teams in the first and second rounds of the NCAA basketball tourney, this one just did not get the job done.
We are introduced to “the world’s most brilliant detective,” Simon Archard, and his partner (or assistant, depending upon whom you ask), “a blonde woman” (as The Penny Arcadian newspaper refers to her in an article about Archard’s solving of the “Body-Butcher” Case) who are solving the unsolvable crimes of Victorian England.
Right away, I was hoping this straight-forward detective guff from the Late Late Show was covering some clever “ruse,” if you will, and that our boy Simon would hop into action. No soap.
Aside from the cojones shown by his blonde assistant/partner and a really rough scene of a dog killing rats as a wagering sport, pretty dull stuff. And really, why compound this mess by giving us a double page spread of a dog attacking rats as a wagering sport?! Just gross.
I did like some of the story-telling elements, like the use of an open book for the credits and the use of a newspaper by way of introduction, whether they were Waid’s or Pierfederici’s. But the line art and drab colors do nothing for me, which I guess makes it perfect for this story, sad to say.
There may be a twist or turn here, especially as regards a secret about the blonde, Emma Bishop, that only our hero knows. But even that anticipation cannot take the foul taste of a rat-eating dog and dreary period yarn out of my head.
Read Sigil, but avoid this Ruse at all costs.