Or – “Does Fairchild’s Decolletage Get Top Billing?”

BANG BANG!  Deathstroke’s crazy daughter fell down upon their heads!
BANG BANG!  Deathstroke’s crazy daughter made sure that they were dead!

Writer: Howard Mackie
Artist: Ian Churchill
Inker: Norm Rapmund with Ian Churchilll
Colorist: Alex Sollazzo
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Editor(s): Pat McCallum & Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously, in The Ravagers:  After The Culling, Doctor Caitlin Fairchild has escaped Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. with a batch of superhuman teenagers, all of whom are emotionally scarred by their time trapped in the horror show of experimentation that is N.O.W.H.E.R.E.  The question now is:  Where are they goin?


If it weren’t for the DC peel in the upper corner of the cover, I would have mistaken this for a 1994-era independent title trying to capitalize on the popularity of Jim Lee.  We open with our characters escaping into the open, and a FULL PAGE of captions seemingly designed to demonstrate as many cliches as possible in the shortest time.  At first, it seems like only the characters from the cover are present, but a moment later there are seemingly dozens of lost children wandering the frozen tundra.  That artistic inconsistency is a big problem, as the only thing that differentiates the female characters is color/style, and many of the characters aren’t identified at all.  This is really annoying, given the Shooter-era Marvel technique that Howard Mackie uses at the beginning (“Hey, Fairchild, where are we?”  “Well, Beast Boy, you should ask your friend Terra over there!”)  Also, weirdly, the girl with the lightning powers is identified on the cover as “Thunder,” while her brother with the concussive powers is labeled “Lightning.”  I don’t know if it’s a mistake or an attempt to invert the whole “powered siblings” trope…


My recent re-reading of Alpha Flight makes it clear where Thunder and Lightning’s inspiration lies, while Terra and Beast Boy (who pretty much only make a cameo here before running off together) are our star-crossed lovers.  Also, in the New 52, Beast Boy is red, rather than green for some reason.  Ridge is the obligatory Wolverine-type, while Fairchild is the cute-bruiser-with-a-secret and the rest of the team… gets murdered.  The villains of the piece are, themselves, iterations of heroes (Warblade of WildCATs and Rose “Ravager” Wilson of the Teen Titans, respectively) and they slashy-slashy through the cannon fodder heroes (explaining why there are so many characters in the wide shots) to show how tough they are.  The issue ends with the same cliche that it began with, and the characters falling into the ocean, making me wonder if we’re supposed to hope they’re okay.  I really don’t know, because the characters are all pretty fuzzy and indistinct, while the art tries to make up for that by making them visually busy and over-designed.


The most burning question of the issue comes from the cover:  Why is Fairchild (who spends the whole issue bundled up like an eskimo, in her underwear on the cover?  Is it merely to make her identifiable to fans who might not recognize her otherwise?  Or just to display her formidable super-gazongas and move books?  Spinning out of ‘The Culling,’ this issue seems to expect you to have read all that crossover as a compulsory to understanding, which works against the book, and nothing much really happens other than snarling and wholesale murder.  Either way, The Ravagers #1 isn’t even the example of the Bad Girl 90’s excesses that the cover might lead you to believe, it’s just not a particularly interesting or well done comic, earning 1.5 out of 5 stars overall.

Rating: ★½☆☆☆


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. My understand was that Beast Boy is red b/c he now draws his powers from The Red. The same The Red that Animal Man draws from. This seems to me like a Marvels Runaways version of Teen Titans.

  2. THANK YOU!!! A couple of other reviews I’ve read gave this comic some undeserved high marks. I came into this comic with the knowledge of “The Culling” arc and with the hopes that it would be good, but was sorely disappointed by the lack of originality and cringe worthy cliches.

  3. Wow, is DC getting rid of all their token green characters? Martian Manhunter hasn’t died again has he?

  4. I honestly don’t know what’s at play here: Are the Teen Titan books (Ravagers and Teen Titans in this case) the big mess I think they are or do I just not care enough to read it well enough so that they make some semblance of sense?

    Even before The Culling Teen Titans had, for me, devolved into a heap of “I just don’t really know what’s going on here”. I was hoping Ravagers would be different, but it’s not (FWIW, I read and understand Legion Lost). I don’t think I’ll be getting #2 of Ravagers. There’s just too much I just don’t care about.

  5. A female comic character dressed in a skimpy outfit to drive up sales?! Say it isn’t so!

    But seriously, people familiar with Fairchild can’t tell it’s her unless she’s mostly naked? The heavy clothes completely mask her identity, and they couldn’t just have her hood down? Then again, given the above sarcasm, it’s probably apparent I’m hardly surprised, shocked, or bothered by this.

    It’s a good thing I didn’t pick up this number one because I haven’t been following any of the books involved with The Culling. So I’m certain I’d have no idea what’s going on. As for Beast Boy being red now…honestly I think DC is just shooting themselves in the foot here. If they want to drive up readers, changing one of the more recognizable members of the Teen Titans into a furry RED guy can only hurt their case. He was one of the five members showcased in the animated series, and for a lot of people that is their mental image of the team, and thus what they think of when they think of Beast Boy.

    I’m not bothered much by it – again, I won’t be following this book – but DC has enough to worry about when it comes to their brand recognition these days without adding on a palette swap that barely means anything in the grand scheme of things. So he gets his power from the Red. So what? It’s not like there aren’t green animals running around (not to mention the many red PLANTS growing around).

    The worst part is that it’s so easily fixed. You want Beast Boy’s connection to The Red highlighted? Make his eyes glow red when he changes. It’s a subtle change, and one that both hints at the connection and retains the iconic image of the character for people who know Beast Boy as being a green character, either from the comics or the animated series.

    • Plus, red and green compliment each other, so the red eyes would stand out very well. And is it just me, or do the Teen Titans have enough characters in red these days? They could use some variety.

  6. You’re not the first blogger writing this series has a 90s touch. I’m a 90s nostalgic, especially when it’s about comics, so a comic book that reminds me those years will always sound agreeable to me, even if it doesn’t have much quality. : )

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