Monday, June 04, 2012

The Ravagers #1

Howard Mackie & Ian Churchill

The Ravagers is a new title from DC Comics, part of the New 52, spinning out from Teen Titans.  In fact, this title's story directly follows up events from Teen Titans #9, where a ragtag group of superhumans have escaped N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and their prison lab with the aid of a N.O.W.H.E.R.E. doctor, none other than Fairchild, who was previously part of the Wildstorm universe.  If that sounds complicated, especially for a first issue, it kind of is, given that all of these events happened before this issue and it's pretty much the entire plot, told to us through Fairchild's thoughts and dialogue.  The remainder of the issue is of the team trying to get their bearings in some Arctic landscape as they try to escape their pursuers.  And really, that's all you need to know.  There's a good mixture of characters here, some abandoning others to try to save themselves over the team as a whole, and others bickering over their next moves.  It makes for a nice dynamic.  I'm actually not familiar with many of these characters at all.  In fact, I've never read a comic with any of these characters before.  I know Beast Boy and Terra from the Teen Titans, Go! cartoon series from years ago, but that's really the extent of my knowledge.  But Mackie and Churchill do a good job of showing off the characters' powers and they all have pretty distinct looks, which helps.  A few characters are actually killed off nearly right away, to illustrate the danger that's pursuing the team of survivors - I assume minor characters, and I have no idea if they played big roles in Teen Titans or not, but their deaths definitely signify the seriousness of the situation.  I like the whole survivalist on-the-run scenario of this book.  It reminds me quite a bit of the Crossgen title Negation, one of my favorites from the defunct publisher, about a group of aliens escaping a prison planet together, complete with shocking deaths and shifting allegiances.  I hope The Ravagers, with the established characters here, can keep up the sort of energy and interest that a title like Negation was able to, but obviously, there are characters here that DC will not let the creative team kill off.  But hopefully they will have interest roles in the story, and I'm hoping for plenty of surprises in future issues.  If the energy of this first issue continues, we'll be in for quite a ride.

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