The Psychotic Perspective: The Ravagers #0
The Ravagers started off with a surprisingly large amount of promise, but is has since begun to whither as the series continues to produce throwaway villains and harp on the ever-present, yawn inducing NOWHERE which was already boring by the first couple issues of Teen Titans. Will this zero issue continue The Ravagers downward trend, or will it once again make me a believer that this can be a great series?
In this issue, we see the partial origins of the Ravagers codenamed Beast Boy and Terra. Captured by NOWHERE and experimented upon to produce metahuman abilities, Beast Boy and Terra are thrown into NOWHERE’s sprawling prison facility and forced to fight for their survival.
Once again, The Ravagers is a mixed bag with some good and some bad elements. The relationship between Beast Boy and Terra is good. The two have always had chemistry, and that is kept intact in this new incarnation of their characters though Terra does seem a bit more jaded than past versions. The art is mostly good though not exceptional. The fight scenes and dialogue are okay. Honestly, it is just an average title.
There is a moderate focus on NOWHERE throughout this issue, and we get many hints that the escaped Ravagers are especially important to the organization. This has the potential to be interesting, but I fear that it might be leading up to a less than stellar conclusion. I can see how The Ravagers importance could be something not all that exceptional such as, “These were the best of the best,” or something extremely convoluted like, “Some of these Ravagers will mate and produce me (Harvest) as their offspring therefore they must fight for evil so that I may be evil.” Their value to NOWHERE could lead to interesting places, but I am a bit skeptical as to how this entire NOWHERE plotline will develop.
There were many odd occurrences in this issue which I chalk up to sloppy writing. For instance, we are given the impression that Beast Boy and Terra have just been dumped into the holding areas for potential Ravagers, yet they immediately call one of the other potential Ravagers by name and act as if they have a history even though they supposedly lost all their memories due to NOWHERE’s experimentation. Shortly after this scene, the plot jumps into the future without any warning. The only way you can tell that this scene occurs later is that one character has time for a wardrobe change. Another issue is that the Ravagers were shown in “The Culling” as being held in an immense underground cavern, yet in this issue, there are blue skies over The Ravagers’ heads. Finally, there are some odd design choices in terms of bizarre looking characters and odd environments such as the crazy looking pedestal in the first panel of the issue. I see beauty in utilitarian design, and I don’t think it serves much purpose to make menacing looking carvings on something which serves no purpose other than to hold down victims.
I enjoyed this issue, but the series still disappoints me in many areas. If I had to sum up this series in one sentence, I would say that it has sold me on its heroes, but I am still unmoved by its villains.