Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Ravagers #4

DC does realize that a dynamic, well-drawn cover can lead to a few more sales, right? Or do more sales not matter to DC once they've distributed their comics through Diamond Distributors? Can Comic Book stores get refunds on the Direct Sales comic books? I remember when Direct Sales comic books didn't have the Bar Code on the front. But that all changed when comic book stores entered the age of cash registers with scanners!

Excuse me while I gird my loins for the New 52's most painful comic to read. I really need to start dropping its rank much faster than I have been since I started it much to high in the rankings. I think I'll drop this one one rank for every cliche I hate seeing in comics and every careless error. Hawkman, get ready to rise back up to 51!

I don't often use the word "literally" incorrectly but I will here because Howard Mackie wouldn't realize what was wrong with this statement: This comic is literally a piece of shit.

Okay. I'm now ready to read about the adventures of Brother Blood with the attitude of a spoiled fifteen year old middle class suburbanite who always gets what he wants. Minus one rank for this cliche attitude!

First let me point out that all the action in the current plot is stemming from visions: Brother Blood had a vision of powerful people whose power he wants and Beast Boy had a vision of Brother Blood attacking The Ravagers. Without the stupid visions, nothing would be happening. Why even bother calling comic book writers "writers"? Anyone can write a story that involves conflict when you just have the two parties dream about the future where they need to stop something.

The comic begins with Beast Boy narration boxing his life. His life basically amounts to being named Gar Logan and his alternaname Beast Boy. He also admits to what I was just bitching about.

I'd rather read a comic book about a character that ignored her visions. And using visions to advance the plot? That's one rank dropped!

Beast Boy and Terra just saved half a dozen people in the woods from Brother Blood's henchmen. Gar feels it was the right thing to do. He needs to save these people and the other Ravagers from Brother Blood. But he doesn't seem to care that they've moved the fight into an area with housing and Terra is destroying all the foundations and streets with her rock powers. I'm pretty sure she doesn't have x-ray vision so I'm just going to assume she accidentally just killed a family of five and their Cockapoo through her careless actions.

Two ranks dropped here. Carelessly and needlessly destroying all surrounding property while fighting the bad guys (sometimes it's needed if the threat is big enough. This threat could be handled more carfully) drops it one. And using the phrase "big bad" drops it another. Let me be clear about the phrase "big bad": it's fine when the cast of Buffy or Angel use it. But all of these other non-writers for DC that have glommed on to it are jerks. They could defend the use of it if the characters were fans of the show. But these kids from the colony barely remember their own names let alone a pop culture phenomena from when they were toddlers.

Ridge, Caitlin, Lightning, and Thunder have all been captured by Brother Blood. And now they've been shoved into the Gynecological Crucifixes they were in on the cover of Issue #3. Brother Blood's sisters are stabbing them all in the chest to drain their blood to open a doorway to The Red. I guess since Gar is named Beast Boy, Mackie decided he had to have a connection to Animal Man and The Red. And since The Red is all about Blood, of course Brother Blood would want to somehow gain access to it. That's a plot I can get behind. It's just being handled so clumsily and filled with such stereotypical characters that I'm already sick of it.

Beast Boy can smell Blood's basement full of blood, so he and Terra crash the disgusting bloodletting party.

I almost dropped the comic one rank for breaking through walls instead of using accessible entrance points, but who's going to search for some back staircase when you have a woman that can plow through the earth?

The big fight breaks out where Beast Boy turns into a tiger and then a dinosaur. Terra shakes the earth and breaks the chains that Blood said couldn't be broken because they were made from "a little of this and a little of that." Possibly the this was inertron and the that was adamantium! Terra makes sure everybody knows that she'd rather be killing them than saving them. Shut up, Terra! You're supposed to secretly betray everyone later! Stop spilling your beans!

The battle begins and Caitlin tries to keep the others from killing but it's no use. They wipe out Blood's acolytes and then turn on Blood. But Blood seems to be a tiny bit stronger than hundreds of his acolytes put together.

Super Villain uses generic power to defeat an entire super team? Drop one rank.

Beast Boy realizes Brother Blood could have killed him in that one burst of whatever it was. But Blood needs them to open the portal, so he went easy on them. Which gives Beast Boy an idea: just leave! Just walk away! They killed all of his henchmen so there's nobody left to stop them. Except the portal is already opening even though Blood never got the key (which was Beast Boy). So now they need some kind of distraction for some reason. Perhaps so that Blood doesn't enter the Portal without the key. Whatever the reason, Lightning decides to be that distraction! She tackles one of the sisters into the portal and they both disappear into The Red.

Oh no! Lightning is now in The Red! I hope she doesn't break it.

After Lightning disappears and Terra buries Brother Blood under mounds of rock, the crew wander out to find Caitlin's safe house. They've all been stabbed and nearly bled out but none of them seem to notice except for Thunder. I guess it was mostly his blood that was used and when the others were stabbed in the chest, it missed all the important bits therein.

I particularly like how the "o" of "on" has been emphasized. Minus one ranking!

When they arrive at the safe house, they're caught up in the security tornado that guards it. But Caitlin calls out to the man running the place and security is turned off. The man she calls out to?

Oh for fuck's sake!

Now I don't mind a New 52 Doom Patrol coming about. I love Doom Patrol as much as I love Brother Blood! But fucking letting Howard Mackie right them? Ugh. I've only read four comic books now by this guy and he's the worst! Move over Tony Daniel and J.T. Krul! Youse guys has gots some competitions!

Oh yeah, Niles Caulder is also fairly young. Can't have an old man in a comic about teenagers! And then Superboy shows up and then the comic is over.

The Ravagers #4 Rating: -7 Ranking. That's six drops in rank for listed crap and then one for the general craptacularness of it all. Bring on the sucky, horribly written Doom Patrol!

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