Writer: Scott Beatty
Artists: Butch Guice (p), Mike Perkins (i)
I'm beginning to wonder when Scott Beatty will settle down on this book. Last issue looked promising, ending with Archard and Emma looking like goners, but this one doesn't feature them at all (except for a cameo in longshot on the last page) and instead deals with Archard's little friends in Partington dealing with his absence and supposed death.
It reads more like an issue of Archard's Agents than Ruse - almost like a fill-in by the book's regular team! - but it's certainly out of place here, and there are just too many things wrong with the story, from the unwarranted "humourous" poking at a girl's lisp, to the central conceit of the book being revealed on the cover, to an interesting application of the girl's abilities being used once or twice and then ignored in favour of a below-par story of a stolen list. It feels like this was played for laughs, but it just didn't work.
More worryingly, it looks like Simon and Emma will be away from Partington for some time - maybe Beatty just doesn't feel comfortable having these characters running around Waid's creation, he certainly seems to have taken every opportunity to get them out of it so far, and I'm not really looking forward to the "stranded on an island" sequences coming up. Back to Partington, and back to form, as soon as possible please!
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