Andrew Maxwell & Michele Bandini join forces to bring us Rum Row, a prohibition-era story where the suppliers of illegal alcohol think they are above the law in more ways than one.
Rum Row tells the story of the speakeasies that have lined up across the New York skyline to provide a service to the masses that the authorities are desperate to put an end to. Things open in one of the most popular of these floating bars as the New Year celebrations hit their peak and in among the hustle & bustle, a chance encounter between Jack and a waitress sets the ball rolling for some revelry & revelations.
Neither of them turn out to be who they appear to be and the chase is on when the authorities break up the party as it reaches full swing. The back & forth between the two and the chaos that’s developing around them sees rival gangs and a special government task force drift into the mix and the sanctity of the skies losing their edge.
Things could have easily descended into cliché & confusion but the plot from Andrew charges the pages with a strong sense of energy as things unfold. Tight dialogue and an interesting cast make sure things duck & weave from the beginning and taking the action from the streets and into the air is an effective and refreshing touch.
Michele matches the story’s momentum with stylish art that seems to have been perfectly matched to the story being told. The close quarters fighting and the city skies contrast against each other exceptionally well in Michele’s hands and with the addition of some glowing colours by Derek Dow and consistent lettering from Adam O. Pruett the whole team are working as one for this release.
With a creative team working as well as this we end up with a comic that oozes the 20’s vibe and while the thought of taking Boardwalk Empire to the skies seemed too gimmicky at first, it ends up surprising on pretty much every level to become an undoubted success. Great characters, great art and a ton of potential poured into this first issue and here’s hoping that beginning is something they can build on.
Check out the campaign for the second issue now: