Out of the Culling and Into the Cult
This cover never really gripped me, but when I analyze it, it really seems like the best Ravagers cover so far. Sure Ridge is taking up a lot of space, but I guess he's supposed to be more focused, and the others are there in the back in a well thought out size. Sure it looks like Ridge is straddling Brother Blood's head, and Brother Blood's helmet looks a bit ridiculous; but the colors are really nice, and overall there's a lot of well thought out things here. I barely even notice the stupid Dark Knight Rise banner.
It's SUPER hard to take Ridge seriously as a teenager. He's got freaking GRAY MUTTON CHOPS. And his face just looks really mature, and even his speech suits his face XP It's way too hard to believe that he's a teenager like the rest, I always image he's like in his 50's or something.
The whole lake scene at the beginning is EXTREMELY awkward. They go from playing in the water like happy teenagers, trying to goad Caitlin into joining them; to OH MY GOD WE JUST NOW REALIZED THE GLOW IS STILL ON OUR SKIN!!!!!! How the hell did they not realize that when they were stripping down or playing in the water!? On a side note, I'm SUPER impressed that Churchill was very careful to make sure the bath scene wasn't used to for exploitation purposes. I mean, they didn't have to be naked, but they didn't really go all out taking advantage of the fact that they were naked.
It's interesting... it's not the BEST use of two artists, but it's still a reasonable one. The main group, Fairchild, Ridge, Thunder, and Lightning, are done by Ian Churchill, but the stuff with Beast Boy and Terra is done by Jon Sibal. Reminds me a lot of Tom Raney's work on Outsiders, a little cleaner, and that makes sense since Raney is Sibal's inker here. The two styles don't clash too fiercely, and because the issue is consistent about who does which scenes; it doesn't break up the flow at all.
I'm really happy to see the group already facing a non-N.O.W.H.E.R.E. threat. It shows that the series doesn't have to be defined by its origin point. Even when the Harvest saga is resolved, there will still be a place for this team in the DC Universe.
I'm definitely starting to warm up to Lightning a bit. Actually, the entire cast, this issue had some nice character development for everyone. Lightning and Thunder explore their emotions a bit, Ridge and Fairchild start to bond as teammates and think tactically to rely on each other; and we get some nice exploration of Beast Boy and Terra this issue as well, and while Beast Boy isn't the happy-go-lucky Gar I'm used to, it's VERY understandable at this point. Here he's newer to his powers, and like Ridge, his differences are more obvious. I'm wondering why he doesn't have the lines like everyone else, or why he keeps having prophetic visions of Brother Blood, but I think we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I REALLY like seeing this new BB and Terra relationship, in it's early stages, developing.
In Conclusion: 4/5
The beginning had a SUPER awkward scene, but the rest of the issue pretty much made up for it. Add in fill-in art done right, character development, and a demonstration of lasting potential? You've got yourself another damn fine issue of this solid new series.