Friday, September 3, 2010

Stumptown #4

Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Matthew Southworth

I had hoped that Greg Rucka's leaving DC would lead to a lot more of his independent comics, and most of those hopes were based on seeing the end of Stumptown come sooner than it has.  Of course, reading this comic, it's apparent that it was well worth the wait.

Stumptown has been a particularly good entry in the standard female PI genre (which I think exists more in comics than the male PI story).  Dex Parios is a tough investigator who, despite her almost constant stream of bad luck, demonstrates in this issue that she is a solid planner and good judge of character.

The story in Stumptown has worked really well.  Dex is trying to find a young woman who has run afoul of a West Coast mob family, and has had to try to figure out who to deal with between the traditional mob father, the wannabe thug son, or the manipulative and ambitious daughter.  All three want something from Charlotte, the young lady in question, and all three have very different methods of approaching their problems.

The series ends in a terrific scene set on the coast at night, and lit only by flashlights.  It's a very powerful way of drawing this series to a close - both Dex and the reader have been kept in the dark for much of the series anyway - and demonstrates Southworth's ability to innovate.

At the end of the book, Southworth states that another Stumptown story is coming, which is very good news.

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