The first issue of Rumble Kings from creator Ryan Cummins introduced his own futuristic dystopia following a successful Kickstarter campaign last year under the banner of the Skeletal Press collective of creators.
It tells the story of a group of mercenaries-for-hire in the shape of Raleigh, Arlo, Marek and Garven and Ryan drops us slap bang in the middle of their latest mission/hunt. It’s obvious from the start they’re a curious bunch with a varied set of skills that range from the bluntness of brute strength to the control of mystical magic but even with that unique set of skills it’s a wonder they manage to survive anything as things begin to unravel in front of them. The group mentality is the saving grace though and they combine as best they can to try and figure out how big a target they can feasible face.
The backdrop to this is the far complex world of an evil ruler trying to flex his power in one of the Great Cities that are progressing in a land of mercenaries & magic and while there’s a fresh band of characters to get involved with it soon becomes evident that everyone’s path is on track to cross and lead us to a strong story of good vs evil.
Ryan has slotted together the sci-fi & savage elements well and all while aiming the uncontrolled residents of the badlands in the direction of the ultra-controlled members of a new modern world. Those elements are finely balanced at the best of times and can easily become a messy blend to try and keep coherent but the success here is the quality of it’s characters. That opening sequence gives the core group of mercenaries an instant chemistry that has you hooked and that foundation means that things can go from strength to strength by just keeping things ticking over.
It’s backed-up with William Allan Reyes on art, DC Alonso on colours & Toben Racicit on lettering and that combination with Ryan means they have formed their own team of mercenaries to pull together a strong opening issue. They do that with art with some intricate detail where it needs it and some powerful pages that manage to give the action sequences a real punch and all while those colours give a slick difference to the two worlds being contrasted against each other.
All in all it’s a slick opening issue with a core group of characters that embrace an A-Team-like quality in just how much sense they make as a unit and how well they work together. That makes this an issue that delivers on the potential it promised as you’re swept along from the opening page through every pitfall that the protagonists manage to clear. The villains of the opener are vile enough to make sure you know it’ll be an interesting face off and I’m sure we’ll see that all kick off in future issues.
You can (and should) check out the Rumble Kings Facebook page and keep up to date with what else the Skeletal Press are working on over on Twitter. You can also catch-up with the first issue over on the Comichaus website or on the Comichaus app.
The first and second issue are also available through the campaign link below: