This week, we go Under The Knife with The Ravagers #1. Hope you enjoy.
The idea, what is during the Holocaust, all the people managed to escape their jails with powers? What would they do? The Nazis are still hunting them. Do they try to rejoin society? Do they try and live in peace? Or do they get revenge for what the Nazis did to them? This is basically the conceptual idea of The Ravagers or at least it really feels that way.
To start things out, you get a whole lot of comic book in only 22 pages, it really fits in with the Annuals being released this week and they're twice the size.
The story comes out of The Culling crossover event, and to be honest I feel it does a lot more to sell their recent environment then all the issues of the Culling. That said, The Culling is a pretty good event, its by no means bad, but it was focused more on the Teen Titans and The Legion Lost teams then the actual residents of the Crucible which was where The Culling took place.
That's where this book takes place, minutes after that Crossover. You get a lot of characters both old school and brand new. Fairchild, Terra, Beast Boy, Lightning, Thunder, and Ridge for the Escapees. Warblade and Rose Wilson for the Hunters and even more characters flying around trying to escape. Even with so many characters it never feels like overload which was a problem in one of The Culling issues. Howard Mackie (Writer) really shows he knows how to handle a massive group of people in one comic which is key to any team book.
You really get the sense these characters are from some kind of hell, you can really see how dangerous but also how fragile they are. You can really see how every one of these characters are damaged in their own specific way. None of the characters really felt the same at all which really helps grow a more personal relationship to these characters. I didn't expect to like Ridge, but at the end of the issue he was kind of growing on me.
The art is done by Ian Churchill, and man does he deliver. If you look at his art on the Hulk I believe in 2010 compared to his art on this book, he's stepped up his game by leaps and bounds. The Inker Norm Rapmund and the colorist Alex Sollazzo also do a fantastic job bringing his artwork to life on page.
The story sounds played out and typical, a bunch of teens hunted by a shady organization, but Howard Mackie delivers fantastically and instead it feels more like Prison Break.
There really isn't a whole lot bad to say, but there are a few that may apply. One, this may or may not be a good jumping on point. It jumps right into the heart of things here, and I can see someone getting lost with what exactly is going on. However if you can grasp the concept, this is more or less the first time we're meeting the kids on the cover much less getting any real character development, and if you like fast paced story telling then this complaint may not apply to you.
The dialogue, its not bad per say but some lines do come off as a bit awkward. This is however a very minor complaint as its very few lines, but it was something I noticed.
Characters. Its not the characters thats really a problem here, its that this book doesn't guarantee any lives from book to book and they make that very evident. The Characters that die look genuinely interesting, as if they were really thought about before being put in the book, and some are even given names and I can tell you, I wanted to know who these kids are but they sadly don't last long. They do go off panel with no fully guaranteed death, I'm hoping that can be an excuse to bring some of them back.
This is a really good first issue, if Howard Mackie can keep this kind of quality up issue to issue, we could have bona fide GOLD on our hands people. Howard Mackie also promises the books main protagonists, Warblade and Rose will be just as much the books focus as the books teens. That's honestly exciting. It was great to see the dialogue imply Beast Boy besides his possibly much darker origins now still be a clowner, that was one concern of mine. Howard Mackie shows he knows what he's doing, making every character feel distinct, and even making the expendable characters oddly stand out, which took me by surprise.
This book has very minor faults, and feels twice the size it actually is, and if it gets the support it should can really be a contender for some of DC's best stuff coming out today. That said, at the end of the day, from me, it gets a...
4.0 / 5