Friday, July 27, 2012

The Ravagers #3

Why does that contraption need Ridge's legs spread apart? Oh Brother Blood! Is this a sex thing?

The first issue of The Ravagers mislabeled two of The Ravagers right on the cover introducing the characters. That must have been pretty confusing for new readers. Although I think DC believes new readers don't really look at the cover. Or that older readers have been trained after decades of silly, goofy non-continuity covers that the covers are always just a metaphor for the action inside, so they can be ignored.

The second issue of The Ravagers was three pages shorter than every other $2.99 New 52 Comic printed so far. That must have been pretty frustrating for fans of the characters. If they even noticed. Again, I'm fairly certain DC believes their fans just aren't going to notice when DC pulls its fucking pants down to shit all over the fans. They'll just gobble it all up.

DC's Deluded View of Their Fans: "Thanks, DC, for shitting out another comic with Terra and Beast Boy! Even though even your own creative teams can't identify Terra anymore and I really have no relationship with the Beast Boy of this New 52. But I love the character so much that I don't need him to be Steve Dayton's kid. And he never had to have a relationship with his mom Rita and her Doom Patrol. And who cares if he was ever a Teen Titan because at least you're publishing a story with a character that looks and acts nothing like him but has the name Beast Boy! Let me jerk you off while you shit on me, please?!"

So, as you can see, I have high hopes for The Ravagers' creative team's version of Brother Blood, one of my favorite villains of all time! Oh no. I won't be too critical! Just write this new version well and I can live without the history. Start a new history and a really interesting Brother Blood, and I'm all for it! I'm sure Howard Mackie will do this character justice!

See? See how optimistic I can be?!

First off, I like the look of Brother Blood and his priestesses. The priestesses more so than Brother Blood. I could do without the pony tail as it just seems like an affectation declaring that this Blood is young. Or maybe a samurai. But the amount of time he spends in blood, I think it would be a disgusting pain in the ass!

I think they should have stuck to the white cape though. It was a nice touch against the reds and blacks of his normal uniform even if the cleaning bill to get the blood stains out of it was probably astronomical. Or astrological!

I don't like the way he's speaking. "Talk to me, ladies." "Show me what you've got." Okay, so he's young and flippant. I like my cult leaders a little more ritualistic and somber. But I think the main note to the writers of all the Teen Titans related comics is "Attitude! Attitude! Attitude!" with lots and lots of lines underling the words.

On the next pages (which, if you're counting, makes two panels across three pages so far), Brother Blood is shown an image of The Ravagers and told by his priestesses that one of them is the key. Or something prophetically rigid like that. So Brother Blood is just another fucking Teen Titans enemy that is simply after the Teen Titans. The Teen Titans and their derivative super teams just need to retire and go into hiding. The only drama they ever deal with is caused by super villains trying to kill them specifically. The world would be a much safer place without them. Let's take a look, shall we?

Across ten issues, Superboy has only managed captured two super villains out on a murderous rampage. And that was just because he was pouting and not having any fun, so it was a diversion. Everything else has dealt with his being a pawn of NOWHERE.

In Teen Titans, Red Robin has merely been gathering the team before they ended up defending themselves against Superboy before being captured by Harvest. They did help recapture that clown in STAR Labs but since STAR Labs knows what they're getting into by holding super villains, that hardly counts as heroic. And now they've ended up on an island of dinosaurs. Not much heroism going down in Teen Titans.

And, of course, The Ravagers are merely fighting for their lives and their freedom right now. But now that a super villain other than Harvest's Real Ravagers has appeared, it's just another guy hunting them down.

Fucking comic book writers have gotten so fucking lazy. They can't even create super villains with motive and back stories. They just create a villain that wants beat up the super hero. Easy conflict! No imagination necessary!

DC Writer: "Wah! It's hard to figure out how to get the heroes to discover the super villains plans so they can stop them! It's much easier to just make the super villains attack the super heroes!"
DC Editor that doesn't really give a shit: "But why would a super villain exist just to risk a gigantic ass kicking for no real gain? Shouldn't a Villain want something that could help out his life? Try to think of the villain as a real person and not just someone who will throw away everything for one moment of revenge."
DC Writer: "OoooOOOoooh. Do I have to?!" *stomps feet*
DC Editor: "Oh, fucking shut up. Do whatever you want. I've got crops to water on Farmville."

Brother Blood, dude. Have some respect for the people in your organization. Without them, you're just some punk ass little shit sitting in a pool of rotting blood.

Can we get some interesting villain characterizations please? I'm so fucking sick of everyone having the same fucking attitude in these comics. It's just a matter of time before Blood is being punched in the face and he's screaming, "Is that all you've got?!"

I'm finding I'm losing energy as I read this comic. Every page is more poorly done than the page before. It's sapping my strength! Perhaps this comic itself is a super villain and DC is feeding off the energy of those who read it. Caitlin says, "Have I set in motion a catalyst whose reaction I can't hope to control?" and it sends my head into a tailspin trying to figure out if it's just an awkwardly phrased sentence or a scientist doesn't know what a catalyst is or if the whole point of the sentence is she's so lost when it comes to these kids she's trying to protect, she doesn't know what kind of catalyst to use to slow them down and the ones she's trying are just speeding up the crazy? And then they all get naked and jump in a river and it's obvious they all have glowing lines on their skins. This is something that would have been noticed as they took their fucking suits off. But no! They jump in and enjoy the water and then when Caitlin mentions it, Lightning freaks the fuck out. Really? You didn't notice the glowing lines on Ridge as you took a peak at his penis? Which, by the way, he DOES NOT HAVE! OH FUCK NO! No wonder he's so angry!

Perhaps his genitals are kept tucked away. Maybe that's why he's called Ridge?

While they freak out, Brother Blood's acolytes appear over the rise.

Meanwhile, Terra and Beast Boy get caught stealing bagels by a bunch of shotgun wielding goyim. Is goyim more offensive a term than redneck? Maybe they're Jewish rednecks because one of them really loves bagels.

Jewish Redneck: "Get your dirty mutant goy rojo hands off my schmear, you fuckin' faygeleh!"

After Terra and Beast Boy beat these guys up simply because they were trying to stop them from stealing their bagels, Beast Boy has another vision of Brother Blood capturing the Ravagers. That'll get the group back together! Thank writer's block for visions and glimpses of the future!

Possibly the best moment so far in this comic is the discussion between Caitlin and Ridge as they fight off Brother Blood's henchmen. Not the part where the henchman simply repeat the same thing about giving their blood for Him every few seconds (is this Brother Blood going to be an analogy of born again christians?) but the part where they compare these Blood goons to the Ravagers. And by best moment so far, I'm not saying it's Shakespeare. I'm just saying I could actually read two pages of this comic without having several mini-strokes and conniptions.

After the fight goes on for a bit, Brother Blood appears, yells, "Stop!" and the battle ends. He then heals Lightning and Thunder with a wave of, well, something. He apologizes for his mindless minions, points out that the name wasn't chosen by him, it's such a burden, and this whole cult leader thing is so hard, and, hey, would you like to join me for some tea? I mean, he obviously can't be a bad guy since he just healed everyone! Don't worry about the ominous Brother Blood name or the minions with half the skin removed from their heads who can only chant three different phrases and stab anybody they come near. This guy seems safe enough!

So Lightning and Thunder are mesmerized by Brother Blood as he cleanses them or heals them or something. And Ridge and Caitlin are frozen in place unable to help while Beast Boy and Terra head toward them, defeating another batch of Brother Blood's acolytes on the way. Beast Boy's forgotten his past but he's tied to Blood somehow. Also, Lightning seems to have gone a bit retarded.

Lightning's questions makes no sense in any context from the last few panels she was in. Mackie uses a four dot ellipsis where he should have used a three dot ellipsis. Plus, Mackie uses the double period yet again. *sigh*

The Ravagers #3 Rating: -2 Ranking. This comic wasn't particularly worse than either of the first two but I just can't abide the carelessness of it anymore. I don't mind reading and commenting on bad comics like Grifter and Captain Atom because the creative team are, generally, avoiding really careless mistakes. But this comic might as well be titled, "We Simply Don't Fucking Give A Fuck.." Yes, the title should end in two periods.

Oh yeah, and the cover is a month too early. Although now I'm really curious as to why the contraption has Ridge's legs spread since he has no obvious genitalia. Perhaps Blood was curious about that too and he stuck Ridge on his Gynecological Crucifix.

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