"Ragman #4" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by DC Comics
Written by Ray Fawkes
Illustrated by Inaki Miranda
Colored by Eva de la Cruz
2017, 32 Pages, $2.99
Comic released on January 10th, 2018
Struggling to control and understand his newfound abilities that have turned him into the Ragman, Rory teams up with Etrigan the Demon. He's seen the horrors and atrocities that are trying to break into our world. By training under Etrigan, he can go on the offensive and try to stop these things before they come through. When one of his enemies strikes too close to home, Rory has to pull out all the stops.
Ragman is a very cool and underutilized character, so I'm glad he's getting his own mini-series. The new design for him is a bit more streamlined, looking like a tightened mummy instead of a disheveled hobo. The cloak wraps itself around him, not unlike that of Spawn, although it's a lot more form-fitting. It has absorbed the souls of dozens if not hundreds of people over the years, including members from his old platoon. One now deceased comrade, Frank, serves as a conscious, talking to Rory and helping guide him in his actions.
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When needed, the rags whip out of Rory's body like spindly tendrils. It's a creepy look for the character. These come out during combat as well as through more isolated actions, such as scanning the city for demons. It's almost like a bony octopus is flying out of his body at times, which is a really unsettling thought.
While most of his costume is rather dark, there are small glowing parts spread out around Rory. I imagine these pulse, like energy from within. It's like these are batteries that power the suit, fueled by the souls it has eaten. Colorist Eva de la Cruz makes these segments pop with a bright, vibrant yellow. These are the only real lights you see in a comic full of darkness and shadows.
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This issue has Rory learning a bit more about his cloak and getting more comfortable using it. I don't trust Etrigan, as his motives are definitely questionable. Hopefully, Rory can find a nice medium between the Demon and Frank. They're like the old cartoon angel and devil on his shoulder.
What really stands out in Ragman #3 are the villains. This comic taps into a rather disturbing subset of the DC Universe. Artist Inaki Miranda has created these zombie-like creatures that are straight out of a nightmare. They're like an undead cross between a mummy and a clown. Yeah, good luck going to sleep tonight after that mental image. Fortunately, Rory is uniquely suited to fight them, literally slicing some of them in half with his rags, sending blood everywhere.
Ragman delivers real horror to the DC Universe. It serves as a nice companion to The Demon: Hell is Earth, and not just because Etrigan pops up here. Between titles like this and last October's DC House of Horror, the publisher has been expanding its spooky comics and I really hope this becomes a trend. If this book is any indication of what we can expect, I would love to see more.