circularlogic's The Ravagers #1 - Children of Destiny review

The ravagers aren't all that ravaging.

Honestly, the Ravagers had it's problems months before it came out. It's pretty clear to me that It was probably not meant to be include in the DCU for a while, judging by how fast the Culling story arc was shoved out across 3 books and an annual that only left us confused and with a shoddy premise to stand on, and was commissioned to fill the space of one of the cancelled DCU books last minute. Still, it is its own book, and I approached it cautiously, especially since Scott Lobdell had nothing to do with it, and while he's not a horrible writer, Super Boy and Teen Titans have been by far the worst books that I somehow kept reading despite the poor quality.

So how do the Ravagers hold up on their own? Well... It's certainly a more competently put together book than the lead in books. And that's about it.

While Lobdell's Teen books have been plagued with a really 90's method of story telling, way too much dialogue and descriptions of things we already clearly understand, never giving a moment to let us take in the story (again, probably rushing to get this book out). This book is far better paced than those titles, and gives you a moment to familiarize yourself with the cast, though it's quite obvious that a few members are gonna get killed off based on how little screen time they are given, making their deaths pretty hollow, and when they are cut down right at the end you barely even notice because of how little the author cares about them.

Besides that, the plot is rather generic: group of super powered Teens, experimented on and tortured, are free, and have to run from their assailants and learn to work together, all the while proving themselves better than their captors. Thrilling. I think that's the biggest flaw of the book, there's no real hook. It's really no different from Teen Titans, except this one will have more running away, I guess.

As for the characterization, it's alright. They take the time to set up Caitlin Fairchild, not counting on you being familiar with her from Superboy, and make her fairly likable. Ridge also gets a few moments to grow on you, but the rest feel a little bland. Lightning really only has a gimmick, his mind being a bit scrambled by the culling, and Thunder is a tsundere, so no real interest there. Beast boy and Terra, on the other hand, completely rely on you recognizing them from past incarnations of the Teen Titans and I'm just... angered by them. First of all, the entire relationship in the old DCU between the two boils down to how Beast Boy felt sorry for her and tries to help her despite her role as an unwilling villain, and as a result he never abandons her or gives up hope. In this one, they're both BFF's and first chance they get they abandon the rest of the Ravagers to die, never appearing again in this book. I just hated that moment, especially since I'm pretty sure Beast Boy spent some time with Nightwing, Starfire and Cyborg, despite that the Wolfman Teen Titans stories were probably written out of continuity, so he's still an established hero. So why would he do such a horrible thing? Did making him red crank his douchebag factor to 11? I don't know, but it's a really sore point.

As for if this issue is new reader friendly... It probably won't confuse you too much, and there is an ungraceful info dump explaining a huge part of the set-up, but besides that there's still huge pieces missing and things you need to read to get the whole picture,so I'm gonna have to say the last 3 issues of Legion Lost, Superboy and Teen Titans, plus the annual, are pretty required to get the whole story... unfortunately that means a whopping 10 issues to prepare for this one series. That's pretty unacceptable.

I don't really have any complaints about the art, in fact I found myself enjoying a few of the designs and liking a moment or two, but that's about it.

You could do much worse with your money than follow this book, but as is I have no urge to follow it, and my own feelings on the changes to continuity pretty much means I won't be buying it. I would recommend this over Teen Titans, any day, but that means nothing, really. Would not buy again.

4 Comments
Posted by doordoor123

I think that the early talks of this books ruined it for some people with different expectations. I'm guessing you're one of those people. There is this idea that this was a bad book all over the internet with people like you, but overall, it was a good issue. I suggest looking back at this issue later down the road to judge it again when you know what you're getting into.

Posted by CircularLogic

@doordoor123 said:

I think that the early talks of this books ruined it for some people with different expectations. I'm guessing you're one of those people. There is this idea that this was a bad book all over the internet with people like you, but overall, it was a good issue. I suggest looking back at this issue later down the road to judge it again when you know what you're getting into.

Hindsight won't exactly change my opinion about the generic plot. I already read this story two years ago with Avengers Academy. Harvest/Norman Osbourne takes in metahuman children, and tortures them in order to create super human weapons. The children are freed, and now must band together to form a team, after some friction between members, and decide if they can become better than the villains they were intended to be. even the scene where they began attacking the helpless guards echoed the time 3 of the AA team attacked Norman Osbourn while he was locked away on the raft. Poor lead up aside, It was done better when Marvel did it, and at least Avengers Academy didn't retcon the history of a popular character for the worse like the did to Red beast boy.

Posted by Namor1987

Lightning is a female. Just saying

Posted by CircularLogic

@Namor1987 said:

Lightning is a female. Just saying

Yeah, when i went to double check the names I only used the cover, which had them swapped on accident. Pretty big goof on their part, too

Other reviews for The Ravagers #1 - Children of Destiny

    Why Is He Red? 0

    Ok, this cover is perfectly fine on its own, nothing outstanding but definitely excellent for a first issue. I even kind of like the way each character is named. But due to the nature of this opening story, it kind of gives away what characters are supposed to be important. I subconsciously focused on the people identified on the cover, and left the others in a more hazy place of little concern in my head; so a lot of the suspense and tension of the tentative team is thrown out the window. When ...

    2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.