Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Rush City #1

Rush City #1, September 2006, DC Comics
writer: Chuck Dixon
artist: Timothy Green II
colorist: Jose Villarrubia
letterer: Travis Lanham
editors: Ron Perazza & Bill Rosemann

Fall is upon us, and the television networks are throwing new series are us, the vulnerable viewing audience, to which will stick for more than a season. From what I've observed, we have some shows about shows, offering an exclusive behind-the-scenes perspective of the personal dramas that must unfold to make decent television in the first place, and I must not forget about the compelling hour-long dramas, as well, like Vanished or Smith, which draw us into the seedy but attractive underbelly of organized crime. Rush City reads like one of these premieres, pitching us a high-end idea that, depending on us, could become the next big hit . . . or a flop.

Dixon's Rush City has some potential. "Rush" is a bounty hunter of sorts, tracking down folks that others simply don't want to find. In the first issue, he's on the trail of a missing little girl with diabetes that was lost in the thick of pedestrian traffic on the subway, and who the police won't investigate until she's missing for the token twenty-four hours. Raising to get the girl her next insulin shot, Rush digs through the underground to a body parts peddler, who gives her up because "Nobody'll buy parts from a sick kid." Sick. Dixon almost goes too far in revealing the city's darkest depths, and the length Rush will go to rescue her from it. Rush must have some criminal past, as well, because his mission is frequently interrupted by a band of rogue policemen. Interesting. Since he finds the girl, that must be our draw into the next issue. If this subplot doesn't play into the lead character's origins or overall pursuit for the missing, it's an unnecessary element that takes valuable page space from the series' real intrigue. This is why the series has some potential, but it may become its worst enemy.

I didn't even think about it until the end, when I read the "next issue" blurb, but a Black Canary appearance teaser reveals that Rush City has ties with the rest of the DCU. As interesting as it is to think that a world where people can see through walls and run around the globe in an eyeblink needs a man like Rush, Dixon has given me another reason to shy away from the series. I love 'em, but it doesn't always have to be about superheroes, man. A fast paced urban drama is good enough.

I was pleasantly surprised by Timothy Green's visuals. His attention to detail made for an intriguing "Where's Waldo?" of depravity, especially on page three, the splash where Rush pulls up to meet his distraught client. On the sidewalk, plain as day, we see a gun, a knife, and a crossbow arrow, as if such litter is as common as the Starbucks cup and cigarette butts that are also obvious. I did experience a disconnect with his characters' expressions, especially the moment where the lost girl's mother comments that her daughter must be in fear. The mother is smiling. I don't know if Green was suggesting that the mother was reflecting upon her daughter's resourcefulness with a subtle fondness, but it made the entire concept of the story fairly unbelievable. I was wondering if I missed something. Did the mother set Rush up? For an over-thinking reader like me, the simple panel added a level to the issue that wasn't even there. Again, Green's art was good, but perhaps its own detractor in those fine details.

Will I pick up the next issue? The bottom line is, I liked this one more than I didn't, and I'm interested in seeing where Dixon can take us next. So, yes, I will read it, and I'd better hop to it, as it's already on the stands. Let's see what a second impression has in store. After all, I wouldn't want to rush to judgment.

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