Current Reviews


Noble Causes #20

Posted: Friday, June 16, 2006
By: Robert Murray

Writer: Jay Faerber
Artists: Jon Bosco (p), Ron Riley (i, colors)

Publisher: Image Comics

Nothing is as repellent to me as the daytime television soap opera. I haven’t seen too many episodes in my life, but I always remember how my mom would become a zombie every weekday at 1:00 when All My Children aired. And for what? A sordid story of privileged adults who cheat on their spouses, lie about their affairs, and generally embrace conflict at every turn. How can a middle-class housewife like this kind of fluff? Now, I have a wife addicted to nighttime soaps, particularly the O.C. and One Tree Hill, in which the lives of the characters are always in flux due to some breakup or confrontation. Basically, I have always scorned my wife’s forms of televised entertainment as being one-dimensional and inane, which are some of the same comments she makes about my comic books (How could she?). Well, if her shows are anything like Noble Causes, which has to be the most blatant example of a soap opera in comic books, I might have to give some of them a try. Maybe the O.C., since Allan Heinberg wrote some episodes and has a fanboy character...

Noble Causes is one of the most consistently entertaining comic book series on the market today. I know that when I pick up any new issue, I am going to find something to like, whether it is action, shock, drama, or a mixture of all three. Like any television show I enjoy, it is consistent though rarely outstanding, which is not a negative in my view. Outstanding issues within a comic book series tends to make the next issue a major letdown. I haven’t had any instances of that disappointment in the seven consecutive issues I have read of Noble Causes. Jay Faerber does a fine job making us care about each and every member of the large cast of characters. They are super-heroes who are presented as humans first and powered heroes and villains second, which allows me to switch places with them and walk around in their spandex for a while (It kinda chafes, though!). Plus, like the aforementioned daytime soap, these are celebrities and royalty brought down to earth, where we realize that they are not much different than us. Does this mean I have to watch General Hospital?

Seriously, though, this is a constantly readable series that is never dull, and Issue #20 is no exception. Here we have a major revelation in the life of Rusty Noble. SPOILER WARNING: Rusty finally learns that his girlfriend Rae is actually a robot and, feeling distraught and deceived, he literally rips Rae apart on the city streets. Wow, talk about your extreme reactions! An interesting development occurs on the last full page of the issue as Rusty tells his father, “We need to find out who built this robot and we need to find the real Rae.” A great cliffhanger, because it raises the question in a Noble Causes reader’s mind, “Is there a real Rae?” Due to some of the robot impersonations in earlier issues of the series, I don’t blame Rusty for acting this way, and it creates yet another plot direction for this constantly evolving series. END OF SPOILER It’s similar to a twin showing up on One Life... Okay, I gotta stop talking about daytime soaps! Anyway, while this issue is relatively light on the character-to-character drama, it is heavy on revelation and future promise. Another solid issue for fans!

By the way, this is the second issue featuring the art of Jon Bosco, and so far I think his art-work is well done. His style is reminiscent of older Brandon Choi art, which seems to work in presenting these larger-than-life characters as beautiful people. Like the series, there is nothing outstanding in Bosco’s art that will make you ooh and aah. It is solid like every issue of Noble Causes, and I hope this kind of consistency continues during its hopefully long run. Now, when’s the next Dawson’s Creek marathon?

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