First Impressions: The Ravagers
TITLE: The Ravagers #1
AUTHOR: Howard Mackie
PENCILLER: Ian Churchill
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASED: May 30, 2012
By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
This book has a lot of..ingredients As odd as it sounds, that’s the first thing that came to mind after I read this issue. This title spun out of The Culling, which was a crossover between Teen Titans, Superboy and Legion Lost. The team itself consists of a WildStorm character from Gen13, an old New Teen Titans mainstay, a famous New Teen Titans turncoat, a sibling duo who were bad guys in the old DCU, and a big mutated armadillo thing. We’ve also got Rose Wilson along for the ride as the antagonist. I suppose The Ravagers is easier to take in if you push all the old data aside, but as a longtime reader my subconscious couldn’t help but connect all the dots.
As the story goes, Dr. Caitlin Fairchild is a scientist at a prison lab run by the elusive Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. There, a madman attempted to shape numerous metahuman teenagers in his own murderous image as “Ravagers.” Fairchild leads an escape and finds herself alongside several of the teens, including (code names) Beast Boy, Terra, Thunder, Lightning, and Ridge. Hot on the trail of the escapees are Warblade and Rose Wilson.
What we have here is a good ol’ fashioned “Can these misfits become heroes?” tale. At first glance, this team doesn’t seem to have anything incredibly special going for it. But I’m not putting too much stock in that assessment, as there’s a lot of chaos happening in this first issue. Once the events of The Culling start to cool down a bit, then I think we’ll see a true test of this group’s staying power.
The issue is told from Fairchild’s point of view. She’s the adult trying her best to control this group of overemotional teenagers. That’s one thing I’ll credit this issue for. All these characters feel like teenagers. They loudly question Fairchild’s every decision, they’re reckless, impulsive and disobedient. You actually kind of feel for Fairchild, having to put up with them.
One of the standout characters in this book is Ridge, our new orange armadillo-looking friend. This character might be taking on the role of the short-tempered, yet emotional giant. In this issue we see him grab Fairchild by the throat after she insults him. I suppose if written effectively this character could be interesting. But I might have made him a different color. There’s something rather familiar about this orange, armor-skinned giant. Don’t see it? Put the words “It’s clobberin’ time!” in one of his word bubbles and see if that changes your mind.
I don’t have extremely high hopes for The Ravagers. But who knows? You toss in enough teen angst and some cool action sequences and we might have a keeper on our hands.
Front page image from comicvine.com. Interior image from bluehavencomics.com.