The Ravagers: Howard Mackie, Daniel Sampere, Stefano Martino, Norm Rapmund, Hi-Fi, Dezi Sienty, Ian Churchill, Peter Steigerwald
I’m finding myself caring less and less about this book, so I may just drop it here soon. That Zero Issue was so bad I could hardly stand it. Thankfully, the only thing really wrong with this ish is bad dialog. I just can’t…I can’t overlook seemingly teenage characters not using contractions in normal conversation. Everywhere I look it’s, “I’m opening up the earth, and we are going to see what we find down below.” “We are,” instead of “we’re.” “Going to,” instead of “gonna.” It just doesn’t sound natural for youngsters to talk like this.
There are plenty more examples of that, and overly complex dialog, throughout the whole issue. The only character that talks normal is Brother Blood, ironically. He’s sort of self-aware of how ridiculous this all is, and doesn’t mind making fun. There’s a moment when he talks about how the Sisters who work for him wanted “blood is strong with power, or whatever.” So that’s funny.
Dialog issues aside…it’s actually a decent ish. We see Beast Boy and Terra take on Brother Blood to help free the other Ravagers, finally reuniting everyone after BB and Terra split off. Turns out Blood is trying to open a portal to the Red, and needs Beast Boy to do it. The Ravagers fight back and end up leaving him before he can reach his goal. What’s better is they don’t kill him off, that we see. This allows Blood to continue to be a villain later, and even specifically go after Gar again and again in the future. Awesome.
Blood makes mention of his master coming through the Red portal, if it’s opened, to rule the earth. I can’t think of who exactly he’d be talking about…because we’ve been to the Red already, in Animal Man. There weren’t any crazy evil beings living there…just the Totems. Nevertheless, I do like the link between the books to help explain Gar’s powers.
I believe it’s Sampere that starts us out so strong with the art in the first half of the ish, and we get a really weird change in art later to Martino. Have to admit, I much prefer Sampere’s style. There’s a double-spread of Martino’s where all the Ravagers are fighting back Blood’s acolytes, and just…Thunder’s face there at the bottom is the weirdest thing. He looks like freaking Zangief from Street Fighter.
Both of them, though, draw Fairchild and Gar really well…especially dino-Gar. Loving that feathered raptor. Martino’s Superboy, at the end, is pretty fantastic as well. Thought I’d like the “S” to be a bit more even. Now I’m just being picky.
The Ravagers #4, the verdict: I find myself caring less and less. Gar isn’t engaging…he’s just confused, and he’s not at all his “normal” self. Preboot Gar did go through a dark time after his child-acting days, thanks to his Sakutia disease. But he found solace in humor, even self-deprecating humor, and then became the light-hearted comedy relief with a deep depression hiding beneath the surface. None of that attitude is present here, which is a bummer, but I understand he only just got out of the Colony. But, with that history, is he ever going to evolve into any semblance of the character we loved?
(Photo Source: Comic Vine)