Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Ravagers #7

Too bad this is only a vision.

Seeing the phrase "The End" on the front of both The Ravagers and Blue Beetle this month got me thinking about how close The Ravagers actually are to being cancelled. This got me to check out total sales on The New 52 for November to see how closely the popularity of a title matched up to the overall ranking I've given the titles based on how well written they are. The sales figures for November are a bit skewed since a number of titles sold better than they normally do because of crossovers such as The Third Army and Death of the Family. Surprisingly, my rankings matched up exactly with the sales numbers of five titles: Batman, Red Lanterns, Swamp Thing, The Flash, and Grifter. Not surprising was how far off I was with a number of books. I have Demon Knights ranked at #4 and sales ranks it at #42. Red Hood and the Teen Titans have sales figures putting them in the mid-twenties while I have them ranked in the mid-forties. Detective Comics and The Dark Knight which have been horrible up until have sales figures putting them in the top ten while I have them ranked at 34 and 45 respectively. These aren't surprising due to the popularity of the characters heading the titles. Jason Todd and Tim Drake have huge fandoms that are sticking with these books even though they're written so poorly while Etrigan can't quite grab an audience's attention even though his book looks gorgeous and is thoroughly entertaining. For fuck's sake, The Ravagers have better sales numbers than Stormwatch! I am so fucking ashamed of comic book readers right now.

Oh, as for The Ravagers? I have them ranked at 42 (probably higher than they should be!) and sales ranks them at 38. That's pretty consistent. At the bottom of the sales ranks and my rankings are the ones you'd expect: Deathstroke, Hawkman, Grifter, Legion Lost. If it weren't for the popularity of some of these characters (like Batman!), I'd expect sales to be a lot closer to my rankings. About half of them are pretty damn close.

Now that I've wasted as much time as I could ignoring reading The Ravagers, it's probably time to waste time figuring out more ways to waste time instead of reading The Ravagers! Call of Duty would kill a few hours. Masturbating wouldn't kill that much time but I'd probably take a nap afterward. I could read an actual book or maybe I could do more Bible Study. Or maybe I could just get this over with.

Instantly I'm lost amid the ellipses and half-finished sentences, the missing spaces and missing commas, the extra commas and double dashes. I'm in the mind of Howard Mackie. It feels like being stuck in the birth canal. Something is happening but not quickly enough. I'm struggling, choking, fighting for life. Is there meaning in anything we do? Is the struggle worth it? Should I just...put in random punctu--ation whenever I feel I...need to breathe?--?...!

The girl that The Ravagers were sent to save hides behind a tree watching The Ravagers battle Rose Wilson and Warblade. She's Narration Boxing a letter to her mother about how she's seen so many visions of the future that she can't be sure what future is about to go down. Wow. What a terrible predicament to be in.

How many punctuation errors can you find?

The title of this issue is "Ghosts of Future Present." Most people reading this comic book will read the title and move on without thinking much about it. Maybe they'll say it in a cinematic way but just keep going. But I want you to read it again.

The meaninglessness of our existent stares back from this title. Drink deep of the despair.

The enormity of time crashes through you. Your ego disappears into the vastness of infinite space.

Paralyzed by decisions that don't matter. Extant for a universal second.

Nothing. Everything. All of it here. All of it gone.

Back to the twenty page distraction from the inevitability of the eternal grave, Caitlin Fairchild gets knocked into the tree where Future Present Girl has been hiding. She not only has the power to imagine how the future might possibly turn out, she also has the power to make other people think about how the future might possibly turn out. Maybe her super hero name is Devil's Advocate or Que Sarah or The Ellipsis.

Her task now is to show Caitlin Fairchild what might possibly happen if things go a certain way for some certain reason. And whatever that thing is that causes this future to happen, please do it because Superboy is killed almost instantly!

The double period...burning into my brain...destroying my memories--first kiss, gone; grandfather's voice, gone; the best fish stick I ever ate, gone--destroying everything that makes

Harvest wants Future Girl (Maybe her name isn't Que Sarah at all? Perhaps it's Que Sandra! (it hurts my soul to think that joke is being wasted on fans of The Ravagers)) so that she can help guide him in his plans. You know what? That's even stupider than all of this random punctuation. Harvest's plans never go wrong and he's from the future! So why does he need a girl who sees so many futures she doesn't know which one is going to come true to guide him? He wants the future that he came from. So having a girl tell him about fifteen different possible futures isn't going to help him any because the only one he wants to happen is the one that will cause Tim Drake to be bitten by a vampiric scythe so he can name himself Harvest and take over all space and time! Or just come back to the past to ensure that he exists in the future. Man, that's stupid, isn't it?

In Caitlin's vision, The Ravagers take over the world and none of it would have been possible without Future Girl. And somehow Rose says that Caulder and Caitlin delivered her to Harvest although Rose and Warblade and Windshear and Brighteyes already knew where she was and were going after her. So that's more stupidity.

Wow. What a terrifically useless power. "Here are 153 possible versions of the future! One of them is true!"

Caitlin then asks Que Sandra, "What you showed me was real?" And Que Sandra replies, "Maybe...things can change...choices made...I don't know how to control the to tell." She's so powerful! She can speculate on the future but can't know what it'll be! I wish I had her amazing talents! Que Sandra then has another insight for Caitlin.

OH FUCK YOU, LISA! Caitlin has been helping them! That's all that she has been doing. That's what she was going to do all along. And telling someone that "THIS POINT" determines the path they will take is FUCKING OBVIOUS! Every point determines every point past that point, you stupid fucking piece of fucking fuck fuck FUCK FUCK FUCKKKK!

Here's an interlude to allow me to regain my sanity. It is the conversation between myself and Doom Bunny that we were having on Instant Messenger as I read this comic. Some of it will repeat. But I need to go outside for a breath of fresh air.

Me: "Ugh! This new person the Ravagers have met has the dumbest power. She sees all the different things that might happen in the future and one of them always comes true but she doesn't know which!"
Me: "Fuck you! We all have that power! It's called 'SPECULATION!'"
Doom Bunny: "lol"
Doom Bunny: "I see two futures for me: one where I win the lottery on Saturday, and one where I don't! One of those is sure to come true!"
Me: "That moment will determine the path your life will take! After, um, that moment! It's good you can see the possible futures in store!"
Doom Bunny: "I guess that power could come in handy if there is something in the future that came so out of left field that you couldn't speculate about it. Like if I suddenly saw the possibility of being hit by a bus tomorrow! Of course then I might stay home for no reason."
Me: "Except she sees that future alongside 250 other possible futures. More! 250,000,000!"
Doom Bunny: "Oh jeez. So I could be hit by any number of things! Or not at all! What the hell good is that? I know that already!"
Me: "I know! WORST. POWER. EVER. She has the power to WORRY!"

Okay, I'm back and so is Caitlin. She sees the events unfolding exactly like the vision she was shown by Future Girl! Except they're a little bit different for some reason. Everything is the same except Ridge and Superboy don't get stabbed. But they say all the same things! Maybe it's because she didn't run away with Lisa. Instead she stayed to observe.

By staying to help, Caitlin manages to convince Terra to actually fight back. Terra flips the fuck out and begins smashing everything to bits in a big scary display that doesn't actually do anything except vandalize the surrounding properties and throw Caitlin to the ground. Oh, it also excites Rose in a way she hasn't been excited since she and Timber Wolf met in The Culling.

Maybe it was Timber Wolf that wanted to dance with Rose? Whover it was, the dance never happened because Timber Wolf smelled Kid Flash.

Terra knocks out Rose and Warblade and then kills Warblade even though everyone else tries to stop her. Hey! I'm beginning to suspect this is another future possibility! I hope The Ravagers simply goes on for another 300 issues stuck in this moment as Fairchild experiences all of the possible futures that can spring from "THIS POINT!"

Oh my God! Terra is capable of murder in the Reboot! That's so different!

Warblade is okay though because he can morph his body. He also says something that isn't so stupid because everything else in the comic is stupider: "Ravagers die if and when Harvest says we die." Then there's a big whooshing noise and Warblade and Rose are gone and Future Girl is freaking out. The vision she showed Caitlin earlier was the "worst thing that could happen." But now Caitlin did "something terrible...something that might be too late to stop...worse than what [they] saw before...." So no matter how terrible I thought her power was before, she has just proven that it's even worse than that. She then runs into away, hopefully never to be heard from again.

Later they return to Los Angeles (although Caitlin and Ridge actually get transported to Arizona when they chase after Jocelyn and Superboy. I don't know why the rest don't follow since they're here. Unless they end up back in New York later and then go to Arizona? Fuck this is confusing!) where Caitlin informs Niles that The Ravagers are dangerous. Niles says, "Oh my God! Good thing we have emergency measures to keep them in check!" And Superboy goes, "Wait. What? Me!?" And then the final surprise page!

After seeing Rose Wilson here, I'm 98% positive she's the native girl from the Eclipso Island in Team 7 #3.

The Ravagers #7 Rating: -5 Ranking. This was literally the stupidest fucking story in the history of literature. I'm not exaggerating at all! See? I used literally!

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