The first issue of Ravagers was a bit lackluster. Can the second one bring things to a reasonable point or is it already too late? Take the jump for the Major Spoilers look at The Ravagers #2.
THE RAVAGERS #2
Writer: Howard Mackie and Tom Defalco
Artist: Ian Churchill
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Alex Sollazzo & Hi-Fi
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Cover Artist: Ian Churchill with Peter Steigerwald
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics
Previously in The Ravagers: A bunch of teens were captured by the evil organization N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and sent to The Culling to kill each other by its leader Harvest. Caitlin Fairchild, former N.O.W.H.E.R.E. scientist, broke in and rescued many of the children. Now, her and three others are on the run from N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and, in order to escape Rose Wilson and Warblade, are floating on an iceberg in the Arctic Ocean.
WHO ARE THE RAVAGERS?
We open with Fairchild, former Ravager Ridge, and tortured sibling duo Thunder and Lightning afloat on an iceberg in the Arctic Ocean. After some bickering about the “brilliance” of Fairchild’s escape plan they see a boat and are able to reach it by Ridge power. The sequence works on a few levels, with Ridge voicing what we are thinking about Fairchild’s “rescue plan” and Fairchild showing how much she knows about some of the characters. Once they arrive at a port, Thunder and Lightning leave the other two, which is a mistake, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
While our “heroes” are making their escape, Harvest is gloating about how this is all according to plan (too much so for me) while sending out an even more powerful member of his Ravagers, Shadow Walker, to kill Fairchild and let the others go. The villains are the worst part of this work, as Harvest acts as though all what has transpired is completely according to his plans, except just one thing, that he is sending his first and strongest recruit to correct said mistake and prevent other problems, you know, the recruit we had not seen at all and is easily dominated by the heroes after leaking very important and valuable information his victims didn’t need.
Shadow Walker catches Thunder and then tells Lightning how exactly he was tracking them, on a very visible, large, and easily removed whatsit on both Ridge’s and Lightning’s costumes which they, of course, remove almost immediately, at which point, the new big bad ass is taken out with no trouble whatsoever. The “heroes” are starting to become likable and are the best part of the book, which is probably a good thing, but I still don’t know who the title characters are, since the heroes hate the Ravagers.
SO MANY LINES!
Everything looks rather good. The backgrounds are very descriptive and the characters are unique enough to be identifiable. My biggest issue is with the costume design, everyone has glowing Tron lines everywhere. For some of the characters, specifically Thunder and Lightning, it looks pretty cool, but for others, especially Ridge, it is just dumb. Why does Ridge have glowing Tron lines on his armored hide? To his credit, Churchill does do well with the designs he is given, so I can’t fault him, unless he was the initial designer, then bah.
BOTTOM LINE: BETTER
The Ravagers is a title I was really wanting to like, but I am worrying that this may not happen. I want to know what’s up with Beast Boy, but he only gets a single page with the end issue cliffhanger. Fortunately, what The Ravagers #2 does have going for it is an increasingly likable cast, I just wish I knew if they were the title characters or not. Either way, despite some hiccups, The Ravagers #2 will earn 2.5 out of 5 stars for a likable cast and the promise of something more.