- Tapa blanda: 96 páginas
- Editor: Marvel Comics; Edición: 01 (5 de octubre de 2011)
- Colección: Ruse
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0785155864
- ISBN-13: 978-0785155867
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº496.284 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
RUSE VICTORIAN GUIDE TO MURDER (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 5 oct 2011
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Renowned as the Victorian world's greatest detective, Simon Archard is the most intelligent of men. But when he crosses paths with the mysterious and enchanting Emma Bishop, has the smartest man in the world met his equal? Brought to readers by superstar writer Mark Waid (Amazing Spider-Man) and red-hot artist Mirco Pierfederici (Tron: Original Movie Adaptation), this is the new comic series that'll leave you breathless.
Biografía del autor
Mark Waid has written a wider variety of well-known characters than any other American comics author, from Superman to the Justice League to Spider-Man to Archie and hundreds of others. His award-winning graphic novel with artist Alex Ross, KINGDOM COME, is one of the best-selling comics collections of all time. Currently, he is the Editor-In-Chief of BOOM! Studios Comics, for whom he has created the successful IRREDEEMABLE franchise to great acclaim. He also had a fan favorite run on CAPTAIN AMERICA from Marvel Comics.
Mirco Pierfederici is a relitively new artist, gaining recognition on Marvel's Tron movie adaptation.
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The fantastic Ruse: Enter the Detective (Ruse Traveler) introduced the central characters and also recurring sorcerous villainess, the Baroness Miranda Cross. The six issues collected in that TPB are must-reads as writer Mark Waid sets up his world-building and begins to work in key themes and ongoing plot points. One such arc, Archard's discovery that an old enemy yet lives, leads directly into this second volume THE SILENT PARTNER (collecting issues #7-12).
Pressing on with the Sherlock Holmes motif, the predominant push of this stretch of issues is peerless (but oh so insolent) consulting detective Simon Archard's hunt for his demented archnemesis and once mentor/partner Malcolm Lightbourne (think Prof. Moriarty). Lightbourne had long ago been driven mad by the influence of and his pursuit of the Enigmatic Prism, an ancient artifact rumored to corrupt whosoever claims it. Lightbourne had long been working behind the scenes to wreak vengeance on Archard and to obtain the Prism, which he believes is safeguarded by Archard.
Archard and his lovely, spirited associate Emma Bishop depart the bustling city of Partington for a train trip halfway across the continent in pursuit of a lead to Lightbourne's whereabouts, even though Emma is tremendously irked that Archard is keeping things close to the vest with concern to their quarry. After surviving attempts on their lives by agents of the Consortium of Aggrieved Man Servants, Archard and Emma end up in a foreboding secluded village where, mysteriously, the residents emerge only at night. A band of harried gypsies get involved, a great wrong is righted, and interesting facts are unearthed regarding Malcolm Lightbourne. So it was a good trip.
Archard and Emma return to Partington and bump into a murder mystery and the possibility that mercenary daughters may have killed off their father. We also meet a feisty bearded dwarf lady from the circus who ends up lending a hand in the investigation. From there, Archard at last chases down Lightbourne, who by this time is so far gone that his latest devilish scheme revolves around the devastation of the city of Partington from below. It's a harrowing subterranean showdown which also offers moments of respite as Lightbourne falls prey to cliched super-villain talky-talk. This allows us revealing flashbacks which chronicle how Lightbourne came to recruit a young and stammering (yet already brilliant) Simon Archard to his detective enterprise. We then learn of Lightbourne's gradual descent to obsession and madness as the Enigmatic Prism enters the picture, and of the resulting falling out between the partners.
CrossGen Comics has a way of drawing out the best from its staff. Not only did the CrossGen artists turn in some of their best work in their careers, but ditto the writers. So I guess CrossGen's system of having all its staff collaborating under one roof had merit (although, from what I understand, Mark Waid was permitted to work offsite). But Waid knows how to turn in complex plotting and he's always had a handle on characterization. There's so much to like here, from the intriguing lead characters to the recurring cast which pops in and out. Emma Bishop is beautiful and engaging and the story is chronicled from her first-person perspective. On the other hand, Simon Archard isn't very likeable, the benefits of his formidable intellect somewhat stymied by his aloofness and a sheer arrogance which threatens to surpass that of Sherlock Holmes'. But dude's certainly compelling.
I'm very curious about Archard's network of operatives and also about the bumbling Consortium of Aggrieved Man Servants, which are butlers bent on killing Archard only to persistently botch it up. For whatever reason Archard seems to be oblivious to these attempts, but it's good for some laughs. The witty, caustic banter between the two leads continues to be a strength of the series, and I don't know that at times Emma isn't as withering in her comments as Archard.
The moody Victorian era is well realized, thanks to strong attention to detail given over to 19th Century decorum, the architecture, and costumes, and there's also a hint of steampunk sensibilities. I dig that Partington exudes a sense of otherworldliness, brought about by virtue of the gargoyles, common as pigeons, habitually darkening Partington's skies. And, again, magic occasionally rears its head, in which case Simon Archard merely factors it into his calculations. Not to mention, as we learned from the first volume ENTER THE DETECTIVE, Emma Bishop herself has the ability to momentarily freeze time, even though she's restricted from using it and Archard is ignorant of this particular talent of hers. The cases which Archard and Emma get into are elaborate enough, although I wish Waid had laid out more clues along the way so that the readers can take a crack at solving the mysteries.
Butch Guice's artwork is so very important to RUSE. I've checked his stuff out before in X-FACTOR and in ACTION COMICS, and honestly he's never been as masterful as in RUSE. His semi-photorealistic style here perfectly suits the series. For example, realistically rendering the folds and wrinkles of a character's wardrobe may not be big whoop, but I happen to think it's one of those key ingredients which determine how grounded the artwork and, therefore, the story is. Guice can draw folds and wrinkles, as well as architecture relevant to the period. And you'll rapidly notice that he's pretty damn impressive with drawing de gorgeous ladies. And, not to leave out Mike Perkins, who provides the complementary inks, and Laura Depuy, who does big things with the color palette.
And, yes, as a word to the wise, Guice's panels tend to roam straight across the pages, so that you have to read the thing all the way across instead of one page at a time. You get used to it.
Interestingly RUSE is one of the few titles in the CrossGen company which isn't tied directly into the Sigilverse. Having said that, the odds are that Emma Bishop is either a First, most likely a Sigil-Bearer's guide, or herself a Sigil-Bearer (most of the CrossGen comics feature a sigil, a mark of power branded on a key character and granting that person an extraordinary power). And it's easy to miss, but note that Archard's cravat pin is shaped like the sigil logo. For whatever that means. And that's what's sorry about this series, thru no fault of its own. CrossGen's financial collapse cut off RUSE's run at 26 issues and left its readers hanging. So we never do find out if Archard is actually a Sigil-Bearer, or how RUSE fits into CrossGen's larger picture. Another fallout is that the third planned collection trade RUSE Vol. 3: CRIMINAL INTENT never made it into publication. CRIMINAL INTENT would've featured the debut of Scott Beatty, who takes over writing the series with issue #13 (although he'd already been providing the script since issue #10). Mark Waid, by the way, left the series after issue #12, he and the CrossGen muckamucks mutually citing creative differences. So, well. Still, even if this is all we get of this terrific comic book, then my philosophy is that some of RUSE is better than none of RUSE. It's that good.
By the way, if you dig RUSE's vibe and if you're salivating (which is gross) for more sleuths plying their trade in magical environments, you may want to look up Lin Carter's Dr. Anton Zarnak stories, Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy, and Seabury Quinn's Jules de Grandin. See ya!
- Simon Archard: "That's because it's an ointment."
- Emma Bishop: "...gkkk..."
"A blonde woman was also somehow involved." - ***snicker*** - It tickles me how, even with this relaunch, Simon Archard's beautiful and accomplished associate, Emma Bishop, is still getting the bum's rush from the press and from assorted others who belong to the Great Detective's adoring public. This volume's opening case results in even more accolades heaped upon Archard. Yet again he lands the top newspaper's front page. And what praise for Emma who herself was instrumental in the culprit's capture? "A blonde woman was also somehow involved," the photo caption half-heartedly alerts us. It's a running gag still with plenty of legs.
I tell you, brother, I grinned real big when I learned that Disney (who now owns Marvel) had acquired CrossGen and that Mark Waid had been tapped to write the relaunch of RUSE, of which initial 12 (of ultimately 26) issues he wrote back in the early oughts. But, hold up, here's where I background you to death: I came late to the party with regards to CrossGen, a bankrupted comic book company of which original mission statement had been to explore genres other than the superhero one. CrossGen dabbled with titles that focused on military sci-fi (SIGIL, NEGATION), martial arts (WAY OF THE RAT, THE PATH), horror (ROUTE 666), sword & sorcery (SOJOURN), fantasy adventure (MERIDIAN), etc. When I finally caught wind of how great these defunct CrossGen comic books were, I started tearing thru their catalog. RUSE stood out from jump, it championing the more obscure genre of the Victorian-era detective fiction. Along with SIGIL, RUSE is one of two titles being revived by Marvel as limited works of four issues each. Marvel is crossing its fingers. It would like to dust off other CrossGen series as well. Me, I'm stumping for MERIDIAN and WAY OF THE RAT to see daylight again.
Regarding the reimagined RUSE, some things stay the same. Simon Archard still dwells in a huge abandoned cathedral and still dips into his sensory deprivation tank to ponder his cases. He still exhibits the social skills of a sledgehammer. But certain things have been tweaked as well. For one thing, the city of Partington is now firmly set in Victorian England, instead of on the planet Arcadia. There is less emphasis on the Sigils, old CrossGen's running cross-theme. And while the steampunk vibe is still a hallmark of the series, the supernatural element has been toned down even more. Murder by gaslight, yes. But city gargoyles teeming like pigeons, not so much.
It's been a decade since Mark Waid sat down to RUSE, but he doesn't miss a beat. His clever writing services fans of the original version, but it's accessible enough that new readers can jump on without worrying about rollover baggage. From jump Waid masterfully sets the tone and establishes the core characters. In the first issue's opening scene, the arrogant master sleuth steps into a parlor-room murder scene and takes in the gruesome sight of a bloody, decapitated corpse. "Suicide!" he barks imperiously. He goes on to prove it to the stunned onlookers. Somewhere along here, there's a funny bit in which his long-suffering associate, Emma, is slighted. It already feels like old home week.
The original RUSE was a highly acclaimed series, and Jackson "Butch" Guice's awesome interior art had much to do with it. Here, he graces us with a cover work or two. Mirco Pierfederici and then Minck Oosterveer take over the art chores, and they're no Jackson Guice. I suppose they're adequate enough draftsmen. But the visuals suffer from both artists' deficiencies with rendering a consistent look for the characters. The facial work on Archard and Bishop frequently undergoes jarring changes from panel to panel. On a good note, the art captures the period detail of Old England. But the artists' lack of consistency is distracting and obliges me to rate this trade 4 - instead of 5 - out of 5 stars.
Waid resurrects the sparkling, witty banter between Archard and Bishop. Their often prickly interactions always were a highlight. Archard, easily irritable and sneeringly condescending, specializes in impossible cases, with Emma Bishop confessing that, of all her duties, her primary one is to essentially hold off vexed people from killing him long enough so that he could solve these cases. Being the world's smartest (and smuggest) man bears its own particular cross.
In this arc, Archard and Emma learn that their investigation of a bizarre gambling epidemic is linked to a malevolent conspiracy that may extend to the very throne of England. A diabolical genius is methodically eliminating Archard's associates one by one, with Emma Bishop targeted as the latest victim. Could it be his arch-nemesis Professor Moriart-- er, I mean, his old friend and former mentor Malcolm Lightbourne? Or maybe I'm just tossing red herrings in your face. Either way, I hope I've convinced you enough to go out and sample this volume. And if you end up liking it, then why not get your mitts on the original - and brilliant - RUSE trade collections (Ruse Traveler, Volume 1 and Ruse Vol. 2: The Silent Partner)? Whether on Earth or on Arcadia, Simon Archard's baffling cases make for intriguing fare. And if you're in an elitist mood, you may get a kick out of watching Partington's most celebrated sleuth apply his cutting, suffers-no-fools-gladly intellect and tongue to flay them dimmer bulbs what constantly hang on to his every word. Damn, I HAVE MISSED this series. But, c'mon, bring back the city gargoyles... and, come to think of it, why not the Consortium of Aggrieved Man Servants, as well?
This volume comes with brief interviews with Mark Waid (who talks about RUSE) and with S.V.P. of Publishing Sales David Gabriel as he breaks down Marvel's plan to gradually introduce even more CrossGen titles.