It’s a fresh start for one of DC’s strangest heroes, where nothing is quite the same as you might remember. Your Major Spoilers review of Ragman #1 awaits!
Writer: Ray Fawkes
Artist: Inaki Miranda
Colorist: Eva De La Cruz
Letterer: Josh Reed
Editor: Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Ragman: “After a failed mission to raid a tomb in the Israeli Desert, war veteran Rory Regan is plagued by the death of his partners. As Rory battles his guilt back in Gotham City, he discovers that what was in that tomb has followed him home, and it’s about to change his life. But as Rory begins his journey, an evil is invading Gotham City, and it wants what he’s discovered…”
SOME FAMILIAR ELEMENTS
As someone who has been reading comics for literally a lifetime, this is actually the third time I’ve seen the origin of The Ragman play out. As with Kurbert back in ’77 and Giffen in the ’90s, this Ragman is Rory Regan, whose father owns a junk shop in Gotham City called ‘Rags N’ Tatters.’ Unlike previous versions, though, this Rory is a combat veteran, and his origins are tied to a strange mission that took place in a hot zone in Israel, where he and his unit sought out a treasure in gold and found something stranger. Since returning home, Rory has been seeing things, strange glowy-eyed beings who are watching him. Things start getting extra-weird when the voices in his head start to speak to him through a box of rags, and then Rory awakens wrapped in them, hanging over the city like weird fabric gargoyle. As the issue ends, he realizes that the voices are those of his former squad-mates, but before he can process that, he dad’s shop explodes, revealing the glowing eyes of the monsters within…
A WHOLE NEW ENEMY TO FACE
This issue doesn’t explain yet what the creatures actually are, but the visual is strong, and having antagonists searching for him changes Ragman’s story enough to keep it all fresh. I’m still not 100% sold on the new look for Ragman, as it’s a bit indistinct/generic for my tastes, resembling a mummy (or Spawn) a bit too much, but the art s solid throughout the issue. Most impressively, the coloring in the issue sells the idea of a mundane world that suddenly has inhuman creatures with “eyes that glow like cats” and makes it entirely believable visually. I don’t want to compare this to previous versions of the character too much, but Ragman 3.0 has stronger first issue premise and delivery than either the 70s or the 90s version…
THE BOTTOM LINE: INTRIGUING STUFF
There’s a lot to like in these pages, but I’m hoping that next issue delves into the nature and motives of the cat-eyed folk rather than trying to drag out the mystery for the entire six issues of this mini. Ragman #1 is a good first issue for a character who has never really caught fire with readers, providing drama, action and mystery in a nice coherent package, and earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. They’ve established a mysterious group of actors and events, now the trick is to execute on the ideas behind that mystery…
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