Writer: Ray Fawkes
Artist: Inaki Miranda
Colors: Eva De La Cruz
Letterer: Josh Reed
Cover: Guillem March
Publisher: DC Comics
The supernatural origins of the mysterious Ragman are explored in the first issue of this new series.
Since his conception, forty years ago, the Ragman, Rory Regan, has been on the periphery of the DC Universe. Though he originally gained his powers from an electrical surge, it’s since been retconned to give him a supernatural background. As he defeats villains, their souls become another tatter in his costume, allowing him to draw on their abilities. This also traps people’s personalities in the rags, leaving Regan to battle the multitude of voices.
This book updates the character, making him some type of mercenary treasure hunter, as far as I could surmise. His unit is raiding a tomb in Israel when they’re attacked by ghoulish soldiers with glowing orange eyes. As his team is being overtaken, rags from deep within the tomb come to life and engulf Rory.
Jump to present day, Rory runs a Gotham city pawn shop with his father while he battles PTSD caused by that last expedition. Going through his team’s effects, Rory begins to hear their voices before being cocooned in the rags. This brings back a flood of memories, showing how he survived the battle in the tomb.
The layouts of the book are appropriately chaotic, especially in the tomb battle. They convey the confusion and broken memories Rory is experiencing. The color palette makes great use of the contrast between warm and cool colors to add a striking flair to the visuals. Miranda’s art style reminded me of some older Wildstorm books, particularly Dustin Nguyen’s work in Wildcats 3.0. The animated rags allow for Venom-like tendrils, whipping out across the panels.
This was a standard first issue. It gave us a clear view of the character’s origins and set up strife to drive him forward. It was all done well, but I would have liked to see a little more personality to differentiate Ragman from similar heroes (particularly Moon Knight). From the beautiful cover by Guillem March to the tight interiors by Inaki Miranda, this is one of the better-looking books coming from DC right now. With so many series revolving around major events, it’s nice to have a self-contained story like this.