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Ruse #18

Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2003
By: Ray Tate



Writer: Scott Beatty
Artist: Butch Guice(p), Mike Perkins(i), Laura Martin(c)
Publisher: CGE

The conclusion to Ruse will not require higher thought, but you will need a sensitive funny bone. We last left Emma Bishop in the clutches of Miranda Cross who intended to perform her Ayesha impression. This issue remarks upon the mutual loathing of the two characters.

Miranda's actions perfectly suit--so to speak--her character. She cannot simply kill somebody. She must humiliate them first. For Emma, she distributes the humiliation through a lack of dress and a combination of lesbian airs and cannibalism. It's important to note that she does not play with Emma long and intends to dispatch her quickly. This makes her much smarter than most villains who spare no expense to leisurely have their jollies.

What Miranda forgets is that Emma isn't what she seems, and this story accents her superhuman powers which she must keep hidden from Simon as she seeks to bring out his humanity. Emma is thus in rare form as she attempts to outmagic the deadly Miranda.

Meanwhile, Simon and Theophilus Dare's Amazing Crew attempt to descend into the mud kingdom which Miranda rules as high priest--much to the disgust of the Gronks. The Ruse version of Tarzan makes an important appearance, and all's well that ends well. I hope you don't believe that's a spoiler because this issue of Ruse was meant to be a bad movie with high budget and should not be taken seriously.

The high budget comes from Butch Guice's, Mike Perkins' and Laura Martin's superb settings as well as the typical jungle cliffhanger trappings. The "dance" between Emma and Miranda is a sultry one and when taken in consideration with the dialogue hilarious due to its straightforward presentation. Despite Miranda's apparent wish to tongue-lash Emma (pun-intended), she also wants to feed from her as a magical leech and kill her because she's too dangerous to have around. The artists convey every one of Miranda's emotions. It's doubtful that Miranda is attracted to Emma as anything but a shark to chum, yet they show this villain having some obscene fun. Emma's response is to keep a stiff upper lip. Maybe it's just me, but the whole tango struck me as simply ludicrous to the extreme.



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