Advance Review: T.H.E. R.U.S.H.

This Hungry Earth Reddens Under Snowclad Hills

New this week from Vault Comics is T.H.E. R.U.S.H. – here are some advance thoughts on this new series.

1899, Yukon Territory. A frozen frontier, bloodied and bruised by the last great Gold Rush. But in the lawless wastes to the North, something whispers in the hindbrains of men, drawing them to a blighted valley, where giant spidertracks mark the snow and impossible guns roar in the night.

To Brokehoof, where gold and blood are mined alike. Now, stumbling towards its haunted forests comes a woman gripped not by greed — but the snarling rage of a mother in search of her child…

From Si Spurrier (Way of X, Hellblazer) and Nathan Gooden (Barbaric, Dark One) comes THE RUSH, a dark, lyrical delve into the horror and madness of the wild Yukon.

The gold rush to me, living in the UK, was only something I had briefly heard about, but here we delve into the frozen lands and see the people that were involved.

Yes, this is fiction, with monsters on the horizon, but the first thing that struck me was how deep it pulls you into this time in history. You can tell that there has been a lot of research here – not only with the storytelling but with the art and colours in the comic.

There are many conflicting emotions here – not only is there hope, hope for gold, hope for finding family members, but there is also a fair amount of despair. This despair is shown in a few different ways – I particularly like the comments about those on their way back from attempting to strike it rich, it is contrasted well with those who are on the way to seek their fortune. It can be a dark time for most, with those who made it being featured too.

We set the stage well, with a mother looking for her missing son. In her quest, she meets those on the up, down and those who have settled for their lots. The introductions of new characters are well played, in form of letters being written and appearances at the right time. By the end, we seem to have the core characters who are going to make this story.

As far as the story is concerned, it does an amazing job. It draws you and makes you connect well with the characters. The mother narrating this story is an excellent idea, with her hopes, fears and worries detailed in her letters to her missing son. She is a strong character, who works well in this setting.
The introduction lets us know there is something more in these cold lands, and they have more revealed about them towards the end of the story, with some excellent scenes which make us worry for all of those involved. We get drawn in well, and the mysteries in this story are only just beginning.

The art styling is perfect for this story – see my comment above about the research, it’s not just the language and the tale being told.
There are those destitute from their hunt for gold, and there are those who are better off from their finds. They are similar but different and their clothes may be shown as different, but their manners are the same. Crossing between the shanty towns and the open spaces can be difficult, but the art here shows some amazing contrasts and the dirty and nasty sides of these frontiers. The characters are well shown, this isn’t a clean area and the grime and corruption of the countryside and people shows up well here. They aren’t clean-shaven, they are dirty and poor. There are some excellent character moments, and they also work well with the theme of the story. I love the colouring styles of this story, with washed-out colours contrasting well with the whites of the snow, the gold (when it does get found) pops well and makes an interesting addition.

This is an interesting introduction to a time and a way that I know a small amount of, but I feel enriched in reading it and look forward to seeing more from this team.

You can get T.H.E. R.U.S.H. #1 from Vault Comics in print from your local comic book shop or digitally.

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