Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Ragman #2 Review and **SPOILERS**

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You Can’t Drag the Rag

Writer: Ray Fawkes 
Artist: Inaki Miranda 
Colorist: Eva de la Cruz 
Letterer: Josh Reed 
Cover: Guillem March 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: November 8, 2017

**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**

I think the tale of Ragman being spun in this miniseries so far would play well as a Broadway musical.

Think about it, DC Comics. Have a look at my review for Ragman #2, maybe it will help you to come up with some melodies.


Explain It!

When I was a kid, the streets were littered with homeless veterans of the Vietnam War. We called them “bums” and made light of their visible alcoholism, but many wore stained and misshapen field jackets with last names stitched above the breast pocket, or bore the physical scars and amputations earned while serving. While in grade school, the mumbling guy drinking bottle after bottle of cheap malt liquor outside of the deli was a curious character, a harmless, smelly old coot that could be made to show a handful of baked bean teeth if you dropped a nickel in his cup. I never thought about the personal hell he may have been enduring in his every waking moment.
There’s a lot of talk about the “problem” of soldiers arriving home with PTSD, sometimes it’s cited as the reason for inexplicable violence. The stories we don’t really hear are the scores of people that are honestly trying to hold it together—co-workers, parents, people from every walk of life—and don’t have a ton of resources to deal with it. To be sure, there is no miracle cure, but it’s such a prevalent thing that we should, as a society, try to address it frankly and demonstratively—and act which, by itself, may make suffering veterans feel more supported in general.
That is, more or less, the theme of this entire issue of Ragman. Seems two siblings from an ancient murderous cult called Ruah Tum’ah hold Rory and try to use his post-war guilt to get him to give up the rags. While this happens, a member of his support group calls needing…well, support, and Rory isn’t there for her. It all paints a stark picture, and this look into Rory’s psyche is fairly engrossing, but it seems like a waste of an issue, particularly for a limited series. Ultimately, the voices of Rory’s old company that can be heard only in his head, itself a sign of severe PTSD, give him the pep talk he needs to send the cultish demons back to hell. Presumably.
This is a very strong book visually; Miranda’s lines are well-suited to the “rag effects” that comprise Ragman’s and the demon siblings’ powers. De la Cruz really put a clinic on the color here, differentiating the scenes of Rory being mindfucked from the present very effectively. The story is, unfortunately, very thin, and feels like something to justify a six-issue trade collection rather than an organic exploration of Rory’s character. A book like this is something that might be earned partway through a longer run of a series, when the reader hungers for more detailed information. At this point, we’re still looking for the surface aspects of this narrative.

Bits and Pieces:

This comic book covers a very interesting topic that needs more exposure, but the narrative barely advances at all. The art team is putting out some very interesting layouts and expert design, which could be worth the cover price alone. This issue will play better for the trade collection.

6/10
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