silkcuts's Ragman: Suit of Souls #1 - Tattered Remnants review

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"He Stopped Being Ragman...And Why He Never Stopped Being A Hero"

I know I am in a minority for this comic, because I enjoyed it.  Most people will tell you it is mediocre and nothing ground-breaking, that is what happens when you write Ragman, you are at a disadvantage.  Ragman doesn't have a huge fan base in any standard, for a character that has been around as long as he has, he has been handled horribly by DC Comics.  Being a "Fringe" character is hard enough, but then put him in Gotham, forget establishing him in Batman's neighborhood. 
 
Christos N. Gage is a writer who hasn't established a huge fan base.  He has worked on many books and many character, but hasn't broken out to the point where his name would make people pick this comic up.  Symbolically he is like Ragman, taking a bit of what he has learned here and there and tried to apply them to his quest to tell a good story.  This strategy doesn't always pan out well. Accessibility is important and not everyone can just pick up this comic and enjoy it.
 
Gage takes the Marvel approach and has a lot of splash panels where we the fan should know the characters and understand the relationship with them and Ragman.  This fails because I don't get why Ragman and Jonah Hex would ever fight the same fight. I can understand the need to show Ragman in history, but some of those flashbacks make no sense to me.  For an origin issue this comic doesn't explain everything clearly, which I admit to.
 
The pacing did win me over.  I liked the torment history of The Ragman and that this was a father and son story.  There is a lot of religious elements explored in this comic, such as after life and punishment which is expected for how the character as evolved in the DCU.  This religious conflict again is a handicap that Gage must deal with, many readers may not care for the Jewish angle the character presents. I believe the religious stuff is not important to the character besides the roots of his power.  This story I believe is a story about father and son and the "Tattered Remnants" of who the father was.  
 
I was not a big Ragman fan ever, but Gage took a character I could care little about and make me care for, even a little bit.  For $4 this comic is expensive and I only picked it up because I trust Gage and the art looked good inside.  This comic is not a must on any standard. If you want to try something different, then maybe give this a shot, but in most cases you'll be fine not having it.
 
Cheers
- Silkcuts

9 Comments
Posted by Liberty

I'm so glad you did this review.  Ragman is one of my top ten heroes.  I even have his books from the 1970's.  I missed this book however but you saved me.  As soon as I saw your review I called my shop and had them add it to my pull list STAT.  I can not wait to read it myself and your reviews are a perfect blend of telling what is going to happen without giving way the story.  Great job.

Posted by Silkcuts
@Liberty:  I am glad you are looking forward to this comic.  I would love to read your review of it. I know limited amounts of Ragman, I like the character, but not a pro by any means.  Since he is in your top 10, I am sure your review of it would be stellar.
Posted by Liberty
@Silkcuts:   I will only write a review if I think you missed the mark.  I sounds like you got the book dead on.  I will comment on your review again after I read it however.
Posted by Silkcuts
@Liberty:  sounds like a deal :D
Posted by Liberty
@Silkcuts:   Well I read the book and it was alright.  I knew all the stuff in the book as I was a fan so it was just alright.   It would have been cool to see more of his past before his father.  If this was an issue in a series it would be cool as an establishment of the character, but because there is nothing else I was bummed because there was nothing new and as far as I know there won't be anything new.  I still agree with your review as you are coming at it from a different perspective.  I would really, truly believe you should read more about him if you can.  He is a character I think you would really like.
Posted by Silkcuts
@Liberty:  I am sorry you were disappointed with the comic.  I rated it a 3.5 because I wasn't floored, I just really enjoyed the history lesson.  Your right I am sure I will like Ragman too, it is just rare you really see him anywhere.
 
BTW I found this out later, but Ragman has a co-feature in Streets of Gotham
This comic is likely a primer and the co-features slowly may create a trade.  That is just a guess.
Posted by Eyz

Sounds neat despite its flaws!
I've been a fan of Ragman since the Shadowpact series. And since the series was put on hold, I'm glad there's one shots of some of its members now. (this Ragman one, and a Nightmaster comic)

Posted by comic_release

Awesome review, guy! (Thanks for being so kind to the writer and character.) I was gonna get to this but you covered everything.

Posted by Silkcuts
@comic_release said:
Awesome review, guy! (Thanks for being so kind to the writer and character.) I was gonna get to this but you covered everything.
Cheers mate

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