Ragman #6 – Ray Fawkes, Writer; Inaki Miranda, Artist; Eva De La Cruz, Colorist
Ray – 3/10
The ill-advised reinvention of Ragman concludes in Ragman #6 with a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Inaki Miranda’s a talented artist who has done excellent work on titles like Coffin Hill, but here the art is devoted to massive, confusing layouts of demonic battle that don’t allow the style to really shine through.
As for the plot…such as it is, it opens with Rory Regan near-death but being pushed forward by his former allies in the rags. He rejoins the battle with Etrigan, a rival demon, and an army of demonic minions, and proceeds to fight them in jumbled battle sequences with far too many combatants. Sir Ystin, one of the best characters in Demon Knights (and some vital trans/NB representation for DC Comics)…well, the best I can say is that they’re no longer in limbo. But they don’t get to do all that much beyond yell and fight.
Ragman does eventually manage to sum up the strength to force his way into the demon’s heart and free his friend’s son from the demonic possession. The demon is defeated, and Ragman is able to go back to his life with his former allies watching over him. He’s still mostly blind, due to a plot development from the previous issues that’s been all but forgotten, but that’s mostly brushed off. That basically sums up this series as a whole – some interesting elements were introduced here and there, but nothing really sticks, not to the point that it would leave much of an impression. Ragman under previous writers, most famously Bill Willingham, was a complex character whose powers came from a rich mythology and served a harsh but benevolent justice. This series hollows that character out, turning him into a generic antihero covered in a cursed object.
It’s a massive missed opportunity and a huge shame for fans of one of DC’s most intriguing Jewish characters.
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