Ragman #3 – Ray Fawkes, Writer; Inaki Miranda, Artist; Eva De La Cruz, Colorist
Ray – 3/10
Corrina: Rory’s Trapped and So Is His City
Ray: DC’s horror-influenced reboot of Ragman continues to raise more questions than it answers with this issue, which makes very clear that this version of Ragman is a complete reboot. Why else would he meet Batwoman, who he actually worked with previously in her last solo series, and have it be a first meeting for both of them? That makes me wonder when this actually takes place – this series very much has the feel of a New 52-style reboot rather than a current series. Could this have been on the shelf for a long time prior to release?
The issue opens with Rory Regan visiting his injured father in the hospital after their storm was blown up the last issue, and then he goes hunting down the demons responsible. Inaki Miranda’s art continues to sell the horror visuals well, but the story lacks.
This issue fills in a little more of Regan’s backstory, showing what became of one of his allies who were down with him in the tomb. He woke up in a hospital weeks later, missing most of his limbs – only to then be offered relief by a demon who restored him and turned him into a shadowy demon himself. Problem is, he’s still a stock figure, as are most of the other demons, as is Regan himself for the most part. This is all right out of the 90s antihero playbook. Regan losing his human sight midway through the story due to magic reasons fails to excite, although the sudden appearance of Etrigan towards the end hints at a bigger magic plot emerging here (although, again, this doesn’t match up with Etrigan’s solo series right now). This isn’t the total dud that Deadman’s new series is, but it’s the most forgettable.
Corrina: Ray’s right, in that this feels more like a comic that has been on the shelf for a while, part of another period in DC’s long publishing history. And, yet, I like it more than Ray does.
I always enjoy when off-beat characters like Ragman are given the spotlight and I have a nostalgic fondness for Rory Reagan, given I read stories starring him back in the early 1980s. I can take updated his different powers moving from “gifted individuals all hit by lightning and giving Rory powers” to something more mystical, as that makes his powers a bit more believable.
But this story changes his motivations, from raggedy protector of Gotham’s lost to a mystical-influenced super-hero fighting demonic threats, including one that he unleashed himself out of ignorance and arrogance. It’s hard to feel sympathy for this Rory when you want to smack him upside the head for his arrogance in defiling the tomb in the first place. His enemy certainly has a clearer motivation, blaming Rory for his injuries. That makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, that’s about all there is to that character, which is indicative of this mini-series’ problems as a whole.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.