Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ruse #1

I am, like all right-thinking people in the world, a fan of Sherlock Holmes.

The same is apparently true for writer Mark Waid, who offers his own version of The Detective in Ruse, the second title Marvel has revived from the former company known as CrossGen.

I'd heard raves about the earlier incarnation, but for some reason I never picked up a copy - which I regret now, because this issue impressed me.

It takes us to Victorian England, where Simon Archard has become famous for his ability to solve the most puzzling crimes. The ingenious twist on this is that his "assistant" is a woman (she prefers to be referred to as a partner) named Emma Bishop who is just as sharp as Simon - though she gets little credit for it.

As is only right, the story begins with a locked-room murder to be solved (quite cleverly), and the investigation takes the pair into some grim situations.

The script is sharp and clever, and the art by Mirco Pierfederici is excellent, capturing the era and the action with equal skill. I've not seen his work before, but it's well worth watching out for.

My only complaint is that the end of the issue arrived far too quickly - always an indicator of a great comic.

So, if you're looking for a smart story with a great sense of humor in it, and you're a fan of detective stories, you should definitely try Ruse.

Now excuse me, I need to see about tracking down those back issues...

Grade: A


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