Home > CrossGen Comics, Marvel Comics > Ruse (2011 Series) #1

Ruse (2011 Series) #1

April 10, 2011

Title: The Victorian Guide to Murder Chapter One
Mark Waid
Mirco Pierfederici
Butch Guice, Mike Perkins & Laura Martin
Stephen Wacker
Marvel Comics/CrossGen

Continuing the return of CrossGen, Mark Waid and Mirco Pierfederici team up to bring back Simon Archard and Emma Bishop, the greatest detectives of the fine old city of Partington. Simon has been receiving a mysterious string of parcels featuring pictures of Emma, clearly threatening her life. Not that he’d tell his partner such a thing, of course – not until the threat is literally crawling in their faces.

When it was announced that Marvel was going to bring back the old CrossGen comic, I don’t know if this one would have made the first cut if not for the fact that they could easily get original series writer Mark Waid back again. So far, he hasn’t missed a step. The book feels just like the original series did, with the only noticeable change coming from Marvel abandoning the “CrossGen Universe” conceit that each title took place on a world that was like a certain culture, time period, or fantasy setting from Earth. Instead of being a thinly-veiled stand-in for London, Partington is now just another city in Victorian England. And that’s just fine. Waid manages to bring back everything that made this title great the first time around – a solid mystery story combined with a rich, lush setting; a hero that has just enough arrogance to keep your distance, while investing yourself more fully in a partner that seems to have some mysteries about her… all gold.

The only thing that could have made this better was if they’d gotten original series artist Butch Guice back on-board as well, but at least he did the cover. And I must say, Mirco Pierfederici is the perfect replacement. His style is wonderful, with heavy outlines and lighter lines on the faces, often accomplishing the depth and contours through color and shade instead of linework. The architecture and artwork style is lovely, and the fashion is spot-on.

Fine issue. Can’t wait for number two.

Rating: 8/10

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