Review: Stumptown, Vol. 3

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Stumptown, Vol. 3
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artists: Justin Greenwood, Ryan Hill

Oni Press
Street: 04.30

We find the familiar faces of Dex and Ansel Parios at the end of a local soccer match shortly before heading to a Portland Timbers game. There’s great love for the MLS league and its fan-base here. I love how the Timbers Army’s anthem bleeds throughout the scene at Providence Park, emphasizing how passionate footie fans are, and nothing solidifies that more than when the Timbers Army shows up at the hospital to support an injured member. From that moment on, Dex flips on the snoop switch and starts digging. Film noir is one of my favorite genres, and watching Dex work is gripping. Rucka and Greenwood manage to turn an ordinary assault-and-battery case into something much more interesting. They care about the characters and it shows. Dex’s touching relationship with her brother Ansel helps ground her, and the way in which Rucka reveals more about Dex’s history through CK’s investigation is masterfully handled. I was listening to Máscaras’s coastal rock tsunami that is Máscaras vs. Máscaras on repeat while reading this book—it’s the perfect auditory companion for this Portland comic noir vibe. In the end, Rucka illustrates a message that sometimes we need to have faith in those we care about. Stumptown’s definitely worth a read. –Rob Hudak