The GeeksverseStumptown: Blast From The Past #4

Stumptown: Blast From The Past #4
Published on Saturday, September 15, 2012 by

With the first issue of Volume 2 out in stores, it’s time to look back on the first mini-series.

This is more like a “Blast From The Recent Past”. Stumptown, a 4 issue mini-series published by Oni Press came out in November 2009. The series was created by Greg Rucka with Matthew Southworth on art and Lee Loughridge on colors.

The series stars Dex Parios. Dex is a private eye, a pretty down on her luck one, working in Portland Oregon. One thing Rucka is known for, it’s his strong female characters. He’s stated, in interviews, that he doesn’t see it as writing female characters, just as writing characters. But his comics work is filled with strong female characters: Tara Chace (Queen & Country), Carrie Stetko (White Out), Wonder Woman, Batwoman and many more. Even his novels have strong female characters; from Bridget Logan to the assassin Drama (I’ve read all the novels but her real name is escaping me right now, sadly).

Dex is no exception. She is deeply flawed. She has a gambling problem and a mouth that gets her into trouble. She’s sassy, smart and would be good at her job if her luck didn’t keep getting in her way. Dex is a character you want to read about.

The first mini-series introduces Dex and the rest of the cast as we follow her on a case, a case she’s forced to take because she owes the casino a lot of money. The case has a lot of twists and turns, with a resolution that isn’t clean. Which seems par for the course for Dex and her world.

Rucka’s story is strong but it’s the work of Southworth that really carries the series. Southworth works hard to carry the look and feel of Portland, Oregon into the book. And he succeeds. The book looks great. It’s got a gritty feel but at the same time a feel of freedom. It’s hard to explain, but Southworth does good for Portland.

The look of the book is Southworth. Such that I can’t imagine another artist handling it. Which is a remarkable thing since he’s only had four issues to make his mark (five if you count the next volume, in stores now).

Fans of detective comics will enjoy this series. Of course fans of Greg Rucka will like it, but it’s a series everyone should check out. Engaging characters, interesting characters, well developed characters and a unique mystery.

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