Crime novelist who wrote several novels featuring bodyguard Atticus Kodiak
before crossing over into comic books with Whiteout
and going on to write a highly respected run on Wonder Woman
and several Batman
titles. His Queen And Country
series is unusual in that he has written comics and
novels in the storyline. His most recent comic books are the creator-owned Feudal Future Crapsack World
(with his Gotham Central
collaborator Michael Lark), and the horror series Veil
(with artist Toni Fejzula).
- Action Girl: Notable in the comic-book industry for usually using female protagonists.
- Author Appeal: Strong girls. Lesbianity optional.
- Bittersweet Ending
- Dark and Troubled Past
- Doing It for the Art: Particularly Queen And Country, which doesn't sell as well as his mainstream comics work but is clearly a labor of love.
- Downer Ending: Every one of the Atticus Kodiak, except Smoker, ends with a downer ending, and all of those except for the second and final novels end with a major supporting character being Killed Off for Real. His run on Elektra ended with Elektra suddenly backsliding and dropping all the moral progress she'd slowly and painfully made for no apparent reason. This was rumoured to be due to Status Quo Is God editorial fiat.
- Killed Off for Real: It is really not healthy to be a supporting character in one of Rucka's personal works, but especially in an Atticus Kodiak novel; by the final book of the series only three or four of the once sizable supporting cast are left alive (and Bridget Logan arguably doesn't count, since she was the protag of her own novel). And then there's Queen & Country...
- Myth Arc: The evolution of his "pet character" Sasha Bordeaux from a supporting character in his Batman run, through The OMAC Project, to starring in Checkmate. Also, Renee Montoya who first was used during the No Man's Land arc in Batman as a supporting character, became a major character in Gotham Central, was Rucka's primary focus in 52 and then became The Question.
- Shoot the Dog: Almost all of his protagonists are called on to do this.
- Shown Their Work: Rucka is noted for extensive research and background work, particularly in police procedure, international politics and mythology. He also consulted with Dan Choi for the issue of Detective Comics where Batwoman Katherine "Kate" Kane is discharged under Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
- Spiritual Successor: Tara Chace, the lead agent in Queen And Country, evolved from Lily Sharpe, the British spy in Whiteout, and Rucka has perhaps not-jokingly said in interviews that Lily was Tara using a fake name. Queen And Country itself is an homage/reworking of The Sandbaggers. Stumptown is supposed be a modern take on The Rockford Files. Rucka's run on The Punisher (that commenced mid-2011) has also been not-unfavourably compared to his work on Gotham Central, due to its focus on the police that have to deal with the aftermath of the Punisher's "work".