A green cloaked figure alights on a
rooftop above the snow covered slums of Gotham. After peering down
intently on his destination, the old 'Rags N Tatters' pawn shop, this
quiet crusader leaps from his perch and silently enters the darkened
Awww yeah. How about them apples? Not
bad for being away for a bit right? RIGHT?! Psh, I knew it. Anywho,
so the Ragman Blog is BACK folks! And it's high time I posted up the
review for issue #2 of the 1991 eight issue Ragman mini-series by
Keith Giffen and Pat Broderick.
When last I left you, Rory had gotten
into a scrape and his father suffered a worse fate. Seeking to take
vengeance on those who killed his father, Rory returned to his
fathers junk shop (now occupied by drug dealers) and stumbled upon
a box of rags which supernaturally coalesced around him into a
And, alongside that bit of theatrics I
indulged in above, that is where we re-enter the story.
Awakened by a rustling sound, Stu gets
up, grabs his handgun and is off to hunt some rats. Whilst hunting,
his partner in “drug stuff” (I mean, I don't know. Are they
dealers? Do they MAKE the stuff? IDK) Mabel wakes up and asks him
what he's up to. He tells her to go back to bed and then “SNAP!”
Ragman uppercuts the living snot outta Stu (breaking his neck and
killing him?). His timing is off though as Mabel has heard the ruckus
(a word I enjoy, for the record) and steps out and puts four slugs
(that'd be bullets for you uninformed types) in his chest.
Assuming, as anyone would, that he's
dead, Mabel indulges in momentary gloating until she notices movement
from Rags. Suddenly shes completely washed over with rags...
Rags then sets about searching the
place until he discovers the drugs. Meanwhile Betty is attempting to
confront random people in alleyways and force seasonal greetings out
of them. On another side of town, One-Shot is selling drugs to a
customer and, upon leaving him, stumbles across a large bag of “our
best stuff”. Rags immediately pummels the guy into a confession of
everything that's been going on (but doesn't mention killing Rory's
father) and off Rags goes. It's at this point that the shadowy faced
stranger Betty attempted to coerce a little holiday cheer from comes
upon the battered and bloody One-Shot and just keeps walking,
brushing a wayward rag off his shoulders.
At the local bar, the menacing Jimmy
Olson (alright, alright! Vorst.) partakes of his last drink of the
evening before heading off to find One-Shot...all of which is being
observed by Rags...
So Vorst enters 'Rags N Tatters' to
check on things when he discovers Stu and Mabel dead (hooray for
confirmation). Drawing his gun, he wanders towards an open closet and
peers inside. It then promptly slams in his face. So he tells
whomever is in there to come out on the count of three.
Hey, you can't complain man. He did as
you asked. It's not his fault you didn't specify HOW. Anyways,
stunned gunman is stunned and attempts to shoot Rags which, surprise
surprise, fails. So Rags tosses him through a wooden door and out
into the snow. Thus begins a pursuit up to the roof where a cornered
Vorst says, “Let me go!! I didn't do anything! An' if I did, then
I'm SORRY!” Rags responds after a pause...
Well at least there is SOME slight
hesitation from Rory in the way he seems to be going about this. Cut
to Betty observing a crime scene as officials wheel away a body
(whose mouth had be stuffed with cocaine) and overhearing that it
would take “a miracle” to save that part of town. Cut back to
Rags as he enters the apartment of the man who killed his father. It's
then that the inner monologue of Rory clarifies exactly what happened
to Mabel earlier, “I was led to this apartment by the evil woman
whose black soul is now a part of my suit.” Hence...SUIT OF SOULS!
Back to the action. So, Rory sneaks up
on the man and suddenly the man wheels around in bed and aims a gun
at Rags and fires...four times. Is that all these clips hold?
Regardless, it doesn't work, so Rags grabs a pillow and, despite the
mans adamant protests...
So that brings Rory's body count to a
total of five in just one issue. Calm down dude. Just a bit. But
moving on, the next day Rory is awakened by a knock at his door by
the police as they inform him that his “Aunt and Uncle have been
murdered” (Stu and Mabel who assumed the role of Aunt and Uncle to
gain control of 'Rags N Tatters'). We are then thrown into a scene
with zero information where a business man in a high rise is angrily
attempting to contact Vorst then, all atypical villain like, looks
over a model of his “old neighborhood” and sinks into villainous
Back at 'Rags N Tatters', Betty is
congratulating Rory on re-acquiring the Junk Shop. After she leaves,
Rory examines his suit, thinking his father “shirked the
responsibility of the suit”. However he discovers within the suit
the word “EMET”, the very same word that had been habitually
appearing in his dreams/nightmares. Rory recalls the memory of the
Legend of the Golem but remarks that, “I'm not a clay man with
letters carved in my head! I'm only flesh and blood!” Suddenly a
voice speaks up from behind him...
And that's that. Whoa nelly. What an
issue. I admit, part of me didn't look forward to reviewing this
series. Mostly because of the 9 panel layout per page. Makes
things...longer I guess. But I've gotta admit, it's a pretty great
origin story thus far. And we STILL haven't learned everything about
the suit! Love that. I also love that Rory killed a bunch of people.
War veteran haunted by his service witnesses his father being
murdered while he himself is beaten into a coma. Man then stumbles
upon supernatural suit and uses it in his pursuit of vengeance. You
can't deny, you could very well do the same thing if driven by anger
and grief and endowed, in THAT MOMENT, with powers. I like that
“humanity” in my heroes. I like that, forgive the use of the
word, they fuck up in the beginning.
I'm also really growing on the 9 panel
layout as it relates to Pats artwork. As stated before, I love Pats
work, but thought it suffered in the use of this layout. But
stretching one image across three panels from time to time helps.
Also enjoying the “slow reveal” of
things here. Like how you're not CERTAIN Stu is dead until later. Or
they don't tell you (but they hint at it) until later what happened
to Mabel. Same with One-Shot, you just kinda think Rags beat the snot
out of him an left him in the snow. I like the follow through.
So...ONTO THE ADS!!!! (Click on Image to Enlarge!)
Alright folks, that's it! Next time we
either have issue #3 or we're doing something else (probably related
to New 52 Ragman). Either way, look forward to it! I'm back babydoll!
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