Saturday, November 7, 2009

Stumptown #1

Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Matthew Southworth

I'm very happy to see Greg Rucka returning to a creator-owned title, and while Stumptown doesn't quite feel up to the level of Queen & Country yet, it's off to a very strong start.

Dex Pairos is a mostly typical Private Eye. She's in debt, and has a hard time finding jobs. The owner of the casino she owes to offers to erase her debt if she can find her missing granddaughter. From the start, this case attracts a lot of attention from menacing thugs, and from one of the richest men in Oregon. The usual private eye stuff ensues.

What makes the title interesting is the attention to Oreganian detail. The artist, Matthew Southworth, writes in the back about his efforts for authenticity, and while I can't speak to his success (having never been to Portland), the book carries a strong sense of place, like an issue of Local.

At this point, Dex feels a lot like a Jessica Jones character (helped by the fact that the art reminds me a little of Michael Gaydos), although one who cares for a mentally-challenged younger brother. More will be needed to distinguish her from the legions of private eye characters out there, but like I said, the book is off to a good start.

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