Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Ravagers #6

Fuck me. More Superboy?

The Ravagers have finally bonded and they're ready to destroy all of Harvest's N.O.W.H.E.R.E. facilities. The first thing they need to do is practice in Nile Caulder's Danger Room (I should call it the Doom Room) and cost him millions of dollars in repairs. The next thing they'll have to do is head to New York to beat up Warblade and Rose Wilson. After that, they'll have to go to Arizona to fight the Cosmic Butcher. Then Superboy will need to take a break from them for awhile to go fight H'el in the Superman crossover. Why do I even bother reading these comics since I already know everything that happens in the next few months simply because these comics are all taking place out of order and referring to plots in comic books that won't be out in months? And people think DC's editors have some kind of control over the new DCnU. I think they barely know what they're doing.

As The Ravagers watch Nile Caulder's Doom Room begin to transform into a prehistoric simulation so they can practice fighting dinosaurs (might as well begin with something practical, right?), they listen to Niles drone on and on about how different he is from Harvest while being pretty much exactly the same. And instead of commenting on the comic book story, I, once again, find myself more interested in the editing of this book.

Technically nothing wrong with leaving every quote in each Narration Box open and finally closing it in the last one since it's one long monologue by Caulder. Aesthetically? It just looks awful. Note Mackie's use of his favorite imaginary punctuation at the end of Narration Box six. 

The title of this issue is "...ENGAGE!" Even in the title, Mackie can't resist throwing in one of his fucking ellipses. So "Ravagers . . . engage!" really is the rallying cry of this group?

Caulder watches The Ravagers practice while speaking with somebody off-panel. Could it be Rose Wilson? Or Warblade? Will I even find out before this issue is over? Whoever it is, it sounds like Caulder isn't being totally honest with The Ravagers. Caulder and the mystery person have some connection to N.O.W.H.E.R.E. They think Fairchild pulled The Ravagers out of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. too soon although I don't think it was really her choice. She just helped them escape once everything fell the fuck apart.

As Caulder watches them train, he explains their powers to any new readers. He also explains to all of the old readers that Superboy was built by Harvest as a weapon that could destroy The Ravagers if they ever got out of his control. So there's Superboy's purpose! After a year of pouting and wondering why he was created as a living weapon, Superboy almost finds out! Except Caulder simply drops it casually in conversation with the mystery person he's speaking with. So while other secrets in the DCnU drag on and on, this one is revealed in a place where most people are likely to miss it.

What Caulder learns from The Ravagers' first training session is that they suck but they're potentially the "world's most dangerous threat". DC Comics: We Have the Most Superlatives!

Turns out the mystery person is Red Robin. Yeah, that makes more sense than Rose Wilson. I guess Niles Caulder can be trusted. For now!

I can't wait until Red Robin confronts Harvest. Harvest will probably let Red Robin kill him because that will be the moment that Red Robin becomes Harvest. Harvest must ensure his existence through his own death.

After the single training session, Caitlin thinks The Ravagers need a break. She takes them out to spend some time at the beach. Superboy learns that Ridge believes Superboy is a fail-safe to destroy The Ravagers if they get out of control So apparently this isn't Niles pet theory. Once it's mentioned, everybody gets to think it! Because it must be true (as seen in Legion Lost #14 where Harvest is able to control Superboy with mental suggestions). And when Superboy hears this theory, he just kind of shrugs it off because he hasn't spent every fucking second of his own comic book trying to figure out why he exists.

"You know, I've been dealing with this existential angst for close to a year now. And I came out to California to beat you up a bit and force you to answer my questions so I could figure out who I am. But stop bothering me with possible answers. Let's talk about how I want to be friends with you guys!"

Elsewhere on the beach front, Terra has a minor conversation with Ridge which turns Beast Boy into a jealous mess. How dare that bitch speak kindly to another monster?! That isn't how love works!

I bet Gar's jealous panel was supposed to be bigger and they jammed in the panel to the right at the last second. "We need to acknowledge Rotworld!" Also note Mackie's weird love of stupid punctuation with the legendary dash-question mark.

I keep getting distracted by other stuff but I've been wanting to mention Lightning. Everyone seems to be concerned with a lot of things that might be troubling each of the other members of the team but the one thing nobody talks about is the loss of Thunder's sister, Lightning, just a few weeks (possibly days!) ago. Perhaps all of the Lightning talk is happening off panel. But eventually while they're buying tacos, Thunder brings up his sister and how maybe she's still alive somewh....

"Yeah, whatever. I gotta get this."

The Ravagers day at the beach is interrupted by Niles. He needs them for a mission in New York. What a surprise! They need to go help some super-powered kid before N.O.W.H.E.R.E. can get their hands on her. N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is still active? Perhaps Harvest didn't tell them that part of his plan is over.

Once they arrive, The Ravagers are ambushed by Windshear and Bright Eyes in one of the ugliest double splash pages I've ever seen. These two jerks escaped with The Ravagers from the Antarctic N.O.W.H.E.R.E. facility before they split up with the main group over the Arctic. Hey, don't fucking look at me! I'm not the one with the horrible grasp on geography or the location of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. After they split up, they were captured by Rose Wilson and Warblade. It looks like they decided being free wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Or even an option, probably.

The Ravagers defeat Windshear and Bright Eyes because Windshear and Bright Eyes are two of the stupidest characters I've ever seen. They never stood a chance! But immediately after taking them down, the real challenge begins.

Don't worry! According to Legion Lost #14, The Ravagers win this battle too.

The Ravagers #6 Rating: -1 Ranking. Someone needs to send Howard Mackie to punctuation school. I can't fucking concentrate on the story because of--all of know--stupid punctuation...--!?.

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