Written by: Ray Fawkes
Art by: Inaki Miranda
Publisher: DC Comics
With newfound popularity thanks to the Arrow TV Show, Ragman is back on the DC Comics lineup with a new six-part miniseries. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Ragman in the DC universe, and with this new series being a origin story, Fawkes has the potential to redefine the character.
In this first issue we see how Rory Regan acquired the mystical rags in an Israeli desert and him dealing with the aftermath in Gotham City. Being the sole survivor of a tomb raiding mission, he spends his time living on top of his father’s store and attending mental health meetings. Things are looking pretty bleak for our titular character, and by the end of the issue it only gets worse.
The book is well-paced, but a lot of character development is sacrificed in order to keep the story moving. While Rory’s visually striking transformation into Ragman is one of the best moments of the book, I think Fawkes would’ve benefited from saving it for later. It’s difficult enough for an origin story to develop a single character into a hero, and this book is faced is developing multiple characters. When Rory transforms into Ragman, he realized the comrades he lost in the mission are actually “alive” and living in the rags itself. This could’ve been a great moment if Rory’s squad mates were actually given some character. The Israeli desert mission flashback barely gives us any insight into Rory’s friends or differentiates the characters in anyway. The only way we’re able to tell the souls of his friends apart are by annoying dialogue quirks that two of these characters were given. One calls Rory “Boss” and the other calls him “Twig”. It would’ve served the book better to focus more on the Israeli mission and develop the characters that were soon about to become a part of Ragman.
With my issues on character development aside, there’s a lot of good stuff going on here to keep the six-part series interesting. From the mystery behind the rags and the occult villains, to the family drama being hinted at. I have high hopes for the future of the series, and there’s plenty of time to show more flashbacks and expand the characters that have found themselves inside the rags.
Ragman #1 rushes out of the gate strong, with just a few stumbles along the way. The setup, the art, and the writing give me confidence that this is going to be a great series to keep up on.