A comiXologist Recommends:
Harris Smith recommends Stumptown Vol. 3 #1
Greg Rucka (ruckawriter) is, along with his sometimes collaborator Ed Brubaker, one of the modern masters of crime comics. With Brubaker, he brought out the noir-ish possibilities of the DC Universe in Gotham Central (https://www.comixology.com/Greg-Rucka/comics-creator/64), and on his own he’s created a definitive take on urban vigilante The Punisher and contributed to the likes of Batman, Daredevil, the Huntress and Black Widow. In his more personal work, Rucka is responsible for creating one of the most memorable and compelling comic detective characters in recent years, Dex Porois, the private eye heroine of his Stumptown series.
Drawing from the rich literary tradition of such contemporary crime writers as Lawrence Block, Elmore Leonard and Dennis Lehane, Rucka (a crime novelist himself in addition to his comics work) crafts Porois as a highly relatable and sympathetic character. She’s well intentioned but flawed and occasionally prone to bad decisions. In an issue of one of the Portland, OR-set Stumptown series, the reader might find her, by turns, working towards solving a heinous crime, caring for her mentally disabled brother and struggling with her gambling addiction.
Porois’ relationship with her brother and their mutual obsession with soccer headline the debut issue of Stumptown Vol. 3, available now on comiXology. The opener is sport heavy, focusing on character relationships through both an amateur-league soccer game, which Porois plays in with her friends, and a major league game she attends with her brother. Rucka builds excitement throughout the issue via the tension of the various sports games on display and the rivalries they bring out in their various participants, pinnacling with the revelation of a bloody crime and the start of what will presumably be the central mystery of Stumptown Vol. 3. It’s an effective start to what promises to be yet another superlative crime saga from one of the genre’s greats.
Harris Smith is a Brooklyn-based comics and media professional. In addition to his role as a Senior Production Coordinator at comiXology, he edits several comics anthologies, including Jeans and Felony Comics, under the banner of Negative Pleasure Publications. He’s also the host of the weekly radio show Neagtive Pleasure on Newtown Radio.
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Definitely a must-read with art from such heavy hitters as Michael Lark, Mark Bagley, Olivier Coipel & more!