This issue is entitled, "The Dream Killers". Why is that? Well, issue four is where Kanigher decides to tackle an issue highly publicized in the 1970's...drugs. This issue, published in February/March of 1977, came out scant six years after the comics history changing story "Snowbirds Don't Fly" in issue #85 of the legendary "Green Lantern/Green Arrow" run by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams. (an issue I'm all too proud to say I own)
The story opens with a young woman, Jeanne Wilson by name, tripping insanely on the contents of a little white envelope. Soon enough, the young woman has died of her overdose as the three individuals who sold her the drug look upon her lifeless body, contemplating how to get rid of it.
As they reach the bridge they intend to dump her body off of, they quickly take notice that Ragman is watching them closely. He dives in to throw a few punches and drives the crooks away, leaving the body of Jeanne behind as Ragman discovers he's too late to save yet another victim of this new, potent drug.
That's a nice bit of continuity. Both Teddy and his little white kitten have become recurring characters from the last issue (see: "Attack of the Rocket Powered Wheelchair!"). But any-who, Rory, Bette and Teddy (along with all of the orphans) are off to the amusement park. Now, normally I don't post two pages back to back but, in this case, I wanted you to see how much fun these kids have and how much happiness is experienced at this park.
After the day o' fun at the amusement park, the kids load up onto the ferry to go back to the mainland when suddenly, from the top of the ferry, one of the boys jumps into the water...heavily under the influence of the "dream killer". Rory (as Rory) dives into the water to save him, but the currents will not allow it as the child is ripped out of his hands and pulled down to his death.
So why was this issue so short? Well, unless there were reasons I'm not aware of, it seems Kubert was sick of playing backseat in one of his own creations. Thus he drew five pages of a silent short story "written" by Kanigher. There are absolutely NO speech or thought bubbles. Nothing but sweet tatterdemalion justice beautifully illustrated by Joe Kubert himself. They're widely available elsewhere, so I'll just re-post them here:
The first letter is particularly sad considering the next issue, issue #5, would become Ragman's last appearance for a good little while. The second and third letters really speak to the idea that Rory's powers as Ragman stem from the electric current that passed between him, his father and his fathers friends as they died. And the third ALSO makes a connection to "Green Lantern/Green Arrow" series that I myself didn't make and its a point well made! And what would a Suit of Souls blog entry be without a ridiculous 70's advertisement? Well, here you go kiddies! Own a piece of Florida!
"Wait Chad," you say. "Just ONE small tiny advertisement? Did they get better or something? Are you holding out on us?" Why no dear reader! This blog is just awfully long already and the best ad, actually requires it's own blog post! So hurry up and comment, like and share THIS blog entry and hurry on over to the next post for some AMAZINGNESS!