About Me

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I started reading comics regularly after 'Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns'. Since then, I've become a co-host on 'The LanternCast' (a podcast dedicated to Green Lantern that's been on the air since 2008), started a new podcast covering the late 1980's DC series Action Comics Weekly (appropriately titled The Action Comics Weekly Podcast), and have been the curator of THE blog on the internet dedicated to the character of Ragman, created by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert published by DC Comics starting in 1976 and currently appearing on The CW show 'Arrow' as portrayed by actor Joe Dinicol. I'm an avid fan of comics, classic rock, and speaking my mind. Welcome!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ragman Cosplay - DragonCon 2014!

Dragon Con has come and gone folks, and the biggest cosplay convention of the year did not disappoint for many people. Including us here at the Ragman Blog! My friend Dan texted me a few images of a Ragman cosplayer spotted at this year's proceedings!

As of this posting, not much is known about this mysterious cosplayer. I've no idea who he (or she) is and thus am unable to give proper credit where credit is definitely due! If anyone knows who this is, or how I can contact them, don't hesitate to reach out to me! All I DO know for certain is that this is not the first time Ragman has appeared at Dragon Con! The following image is from the 2013 convention...

Fantastic work indeed. Mad props go out to this cosplayer, whomever they may be, for doing such a fine job of representing our favorite tatterdemalion! You must be a true fan! Also, my friend and fellow podcaster/blogger Shag shot me a link to the following video on Facebook where we get a brief look at Rags in action! So thanks to Dan and Shag for being my eyes and ears out at Dragon Con! Hope everyone had fun! Don't forget to comment!!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Ragman #3 - The Folktale!

Back a week later folks and it's time to review issue #3! Now a couple of caveats before we get started:

1) This particular entry is going to have ALOT more images from the actual issue than usual. That's because this issue highlights the ORIGIN of Ragman as it relates to the Suit of Souls concept. This is huge stuff in terms of Ragman history and I don't want to miss a thing. So every panel from the history/flashback stuff will be on display here. To properly read ANY image, DON'T FORGET TO CLICK ON IT TO ENLARGE!

2) The origin of Ragman is steeped heavily not JUST in Jewish folklore (The Legend of the Golem) but also in WWII. It can be a sore subject for some, regardless of how it's portrayed. Fair warning.

3) I'm aiming to get a post up every week. Trying to post the same DAY every week though will prove impossible due to my work schedule (and erratic flow of business) mucking things up. But look out for a post once a week!

Now, into the review! As I stated, this issue covers, by and large, the origin of Ragman. So let's get started.

We pick up where we left off, Rory is entertaining his surprise guest, the Rabbi from last issue. As they speak over tea, the Rabbi makes a snide remark about Rory's middle name being "killer" as he has killed four people since donning the suit. He reveals that he knows this because Aunt Mabel has evidently become quite the chatty Cathy since being absorbed into the suit. Rory maintains that Mabel is only in a vegetative state while the Rabbi reveals that she is most certainly dead...and "that suit is ALIVE!" Rory demands to know what the Rabbi wants of him and the Rabbi re-iterates that Rory is to be his apprentice...the same as his father before him. The mention of his father quiets a stunned Rory as he settles in to listen to the tale of the Ragman from the Rabbi...

It's at this point that Rory interrupts, maintaining that the story is essentially poppycock. This angers the Rabbi and he jams the suit in Rory's face. He screams, "Five people are dead! Do you find that RIDICULOUS?! Because I do! I find it ridiculous that anyone so unworthy would dare put on a suit comprised of the souls of the dead!" He dares Rory to listen to the torment in the voices of the souls in the suit but before he can, the Rabbi suggests one soul in particular...

Rory then vomits into the kitchen sink and the Rabbi, disgusted, goes to pick up a framed picture of Rory's father. Wondering aloud what happened to him, the Rabbi calls him 'Jerzy Reganiewicz' and an indignant and ignorant Rory insists that his fathers name was Gerry Regan. The Rabbi scoffs, saying that isn't a name fit for jews. Rory says it was good enough for his father and the Rabbi blames himself for that, after all, he was with him May 15th, 1943 in the Warsaw Ghetto before they were separated!

Rory, still in disbelief, asks if his father ran away. The Rabbi turns away and says no, that it was the suits safety feature of having an aversion to fire. He then states, "It is a Ragman's duty to protect his people and to inspire hope...but there was no hope left in that place."

Rory asks if he ever heard from his father again. The Rabbi replies that he never did and his father must have assumed him dead. He even goes so far to say that, if Rory hadn't put on the suit in the first place, he wouldn't be there now. This reinforces the connection between the suit and the Rabbi. 

As the two start turning in for the night, Rory offers to make up a bed. The Rabbi states he will sleep in Rory's bed and that Rory should get used to sleeping in his fathers bed. Rory exclaims that his father died in that bed and the Rabbi replies, "I know that Rory. Do YOU wish to die in bed?"

Later that night, the Rabbi wakes Rory from a sound sleep and casually mentions that he raised another Golem and that it was on it's way to kill him now because, "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

The Rabbi says that the Golem is on it's way to kill Rory because it's been around too long and is afraid of being replaced. He suggests Rory get some sleep because his training will begin tomorrow and the Golem will be only the first of the monsters Rory will face.

Cut to a dark and snowy alleyway where an unfortunate dope dealer runs into the Golem. Exit with the Golem quietly crushing both dope and dope dealers skull.

Cut to businessman from previous issue finally being informed of the deaths of his crew (Vorst and the like). He discovers a stray Rag on his model of the section of the city (the slums inhabited by Rory and CO.) he wants to control. Exit scene.

Cut back to Rags N Tatters as Rory is having another Vietnam dream. He dreams of himself carrying others through the war, refusing to give up. In the dream he stumbles across the Golem and asks for help to save him. The Golem says it's up to Rory and always has been. Rory shouts that he never wanted to be a leader and even actively tried to put himself couldn't but never could. He realizes in the dream that he always has been the Ragman. He awakens to the realization and reflects on them momentarily before grabbing the suit and saying to a suddenly present Rabbi, "I'm ready Rabbi. Teach me what I need to know."

Heckuva issue. Really. While the art was consistent with the past two issues in terms of panel layout, I have to say, the splash pages by Broderick are ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. From Ragman in the flaming Ghetto to the heartbreaking concentration camp scene to the Golem history layout. Wow. Had to showcase those. THAT'S the Broderick I'm familiar with.

And the history of Ragman is WELL thought out. It's incredibly detailed and steeped in real world events and folktale. Fantastically done. I imagine most people adverse to the idea changed their minds by the time they got to this issue.


Last but certainly not least, we have the FIRST letters page for the new series! Check out the reaction to the "all new" Ragman!

All accolades all the time it seems! Nothing but excitement for the return of DC's Tatterdemalion of Justice!

Til next time folks, don't forget to subscribe/follow the blog and MOST importantly leave your comments on the posts! Feedback is encouraged whether its agreement or dissent! I just want to hear YOUR thoughts, not be alone in my own! FANS OF RAGMAN UNITE!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ragman #2 - A Ragged Revenge!

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 storefront.

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 suit.

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! Boom.

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 contemplation.

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! Don't forget to follow the blog, share it with your friends and ABOVE ALL comment on the post! I LOVE hearing back from you guys and the comments is the best way to do it!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

NEWS: Ragmans New 52 Debut!

I'm BACCCKKKKKKK! Ok, first things first. Sorry I've been gone so long. Since I've last posted, Jim and Dan (founders of The LanternCast and my co-hosts on the show) have stepped down. Myself and my new co-host Mark Marble have taken over the LanternCast duties. Recording, editing and posting have consumed much of my free time. HOWEVER, two things have sparked my return to my favorite Tatterdemalion:

1) I found a torrent online of nearly all of Ragman's comic appearances. I know there are those of you out there who condemn torrents, I feel comfortable in admitting that I downloaded this one because I already OWN all of the appearances AND there are no digital copies available for purchase. So there. Plus, scanning EVERY SINGLE PAGE is one of the BIG reasons I let this blog fall by the wayside. Seriously, you try it. It's an awful task. But no more! The largest part of the legwork is already DONE!

2) The news that Ragman will RETURN to the pages of DC comics with Batwoman #35! (by the by, that's what that image up there is from. It's the cover for that issue. Guess which one is Ragman? :P)

Anywho, I've poked around on the interwebs and discovered the following tidbits o' information:

From San Diego Comic Con 2014:

"A reader excited to see Ragman return asked whether the shared Judaism of Batwoman and Ragman would play a role in the series. Andreyko  (writer) joked that "We're going to be doing a Passover special" before giving a more serious response that the character's background will remain intact from his pre-New 52 version and that he has long term plans for Ragman's inclusion in the book. The writer also revealed that the mystery character in the Unknowns team will be called Red Alice."

(Reported by Comic Book Resources)

"Q: Seeing Ragman teamed up with Batwoman - Ragman's classic stories deal with his being Jewish; since she is also Jewish, will you be doing anything about the fact that two of the Jewish heroes are teamed up together?

Andreyko: "We're doing a passover special (laughs). His Judaism is really important to the character, so there will be an arc with him that I think you'll really like, with the origins of his costume.""

(Reported by Newsarama)

So there you have it. You know what I know. Not much information, but hey, we're all just happy to have Rags return aren't we? By the way, I reached out to Batwoman #35 artist Georges Jeanty and writer Marc Andreyko on both Facebook and Twitter. It's my hope to involve them in the Ragman discussion so long as Rags appears in their title. No ass kissing here folks, I just think the conversation has a greater meaning when creator and fan have an avenue to discuss things. Plus, who doesn't like hearing the creator side of things? Hopefully they respond. If not, worry not! Follow them both on Twitter! I'm certain they'll be posting things there from time to time about their Batwoman collaboration!

(Click on their names below to follow their twitter pages!)

Georges Jeanty

Marc Andreyko

And YES, I will be covering Ragmans appearances in Batwoman so long as he appears there! Additionally, Ragman posts will CONTINUE! Retro-reviews and more coming your way SOON!!!!