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!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Ragman Merchandise - 1991 Ragman Series Promotional Poster!

Normally I'd post a review (or try to) by today. But my mother is in town from Washington so my free time is booked with more important things until next week. But FEAR NOT loyal Tatters! I have something to stave off your Ragman hunger pangs!

An image NEVER BEFORE SEEN on the interwebs! That's right! I searched high and I searched low across the internet using several search engines and multiple combinations of various relevant search terms and I could find NOTHING but this extremely low-res, tiny little picture for you...

But I resorted to ebay, where I found a helpful little seller of comic related merchandise (and other items) that was SELLING the very poster I was seeking out! (Shout out to eBay seller scsenterprise!) And I found and purchased the poster for all of $0.99! The benefit of being an AVID Ragman fan is that there aren't many of us. So, while it's HORRIBLE for sharing your fandom, it's EXCELLENT for eBay bidding!

I received the poster a few days ago and today managed to scan and combine the various images into a single large, hi-res image! (forgive the lines, the pitfalls of scanning and assembling multiple images into one large one when you're inexperienced)

So, for your viewing pleasure, here is the OFFICIAL 1991 Ragman Series Promotional Poster as it was shipped to comic stores from DC Comics! (Click the image for all it's glory!)

Needless to say, this poster features work by the incomparable Pat Broderick. Assembled behind Ragman are the cover images from all eight issues of the mini-series and the figure of Ragman himself seems to come from the final page of the first issue of the series...

Amazing! And I'm super stoked to have it in my collection. I plan on having it framed fairly soon and I'll definitely update you guys with the finished framed image when it's ready!

As always, thanks for reading the blog and please, Please, PLEASE don't forget to comment and let me know what you're thinking! See you next week for the issue #7 review!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Ragman #6 - Shreds!

Welcome back Tatters! We return once more to the 1991 eight issue Ragman mini-series! This time around we're moving forward with issue number six. Plot and breakdowns by Keith Giffen, script by Robert Loren Fleming, art by Pat Broderick, colors by Anthony Tollin, letters by Albert DeGuzman, and edited by the team of Dooley and Helfer.

We open at Rags 'N' Tatters where we left off last issue with Bette confronting the Rabbi. After proclaiming that Rory is in danger, the Rabbi shakes it off. Bette reveals that she knows Rory is "dat rag guy" and that she seems to be the only one willing to help him. The Rabbi says that she shouldn't because "we who are merely human cannot interfere!" Bette retorts that there is nothing mere about being human and leaves Rags 'N' Tatters. The Rabbi thinks to himself, "She is a good woman, but she has never known the horrors of Treblinka!" as Bette thinks to herself, "He's an okay guy, but he never lived on da streets!"

Cut back to the showdown of the century between the Golem and Rory!

Meanwhile, one of the big bosses henchmen from issue #4 (let's call him Sneezy) is approached by the leader of the Nats. Confused, Sneezy asks whats going on and is introduced by the Nat to the leader of the Mimes who guns him down. The two drag the body off into the snow to search him for an ID. Finding none, the two set off in search of the other henchman "the fat guy". The two gangs have teamed up in order to seek out who has been pitting them against one another.

Elsewhere, Bette stumbles across the wreckage left in the wake of the confrontation between the Golem and the Ragman. Noticing clay on the wreckage, Bette reveals (via internal monologue) that she knew "bud" was falling apart. She senses it's a battle to the death and that, "Rory's bein' tested an' he's failin' bad!"

Then we rejoin the fight between the two Jewish folklore combatants...

...suddenly Ragman leaps from the bay and tugs the Golem down into the inky black water. Both resurface as the Golem realizes that it's up to him to help restore Rory's control of the suit no matter the cost. Rory, or rather the suit itself at this point it seems, sneaks off into the shadows to confront the Golem because "no tactic is too dirty. Survival is everything. May the best monster win."

Back at Rags 'N' Tatters the Rabbi laments to himself that he should have warned Rory about the danger involved in the final test. That "in fighting the Golem, you fight yourself. Perceive him as a monster and the monster will be you!" The Rabbi then cries to himself silently.

As we switch back over to the fight...

And as the Golem's head goes bouncing into the darkness, Rory gains control long enough to realize that he must erase the 'Emet' (the Hebrew word for truth) from the Golem's head to defeat him. This proves to not be as easy as he thinks though as the Golem's decapitated body continues to fight the Ragman. It's at this point Bette stumbles across the fight and collects the head of the Golem into her hands. She speaks softly to his head that the fight is over and that Rory NEEDS the good within the Golem to overcome and fight the Rags off once and for all. Tears in her eyes she erases the word 'Emet' from his face and the Golem collapses into dust and clay, uttering his first and final words, "Betty, I love youuuuu." Rory has finally come to his senses and leaps off into the night as Bette says that he shouldn't forget that someone gave up everything for him tonight because she never will.

And as Rory takes off into the night...

The next morning at Rags 'N' Tatters the Rabbi awakens worried for Rory. Slowly he approaches Rory's room and sees, thankfully, that Rory is alive and asleep. Later that day Rory awakens to night falling. He gives the Rabbi a hard time saying that he has a store to run and he should have woken him up earlier. Bette, seated at the dinner table with the Rabbi states that she ran the store while he slept. When Rory is dressed, he steps out to confront Bette about her knowledge of him being the Ragman and her expressed desire to run Rags 'N' Tatters while Rory does his thing as a hero. Rory is concerned about this being no kind of life as a 'nocturnal creature'. The Rabbi retorts that he's finished his final test and that he is welcome to do as he wants now.

But across town, in the spot where the Golem finally fell...

And with that, issue 6 ends.

Heckuva issue.

As you notice, I probably provided more pages than I normally do. It seemed necessary for this confrontation. So many panels featuring great Broderick Ragman art, I just had to showcase it.

I like that the Rags took Rory over. That, with the Golem, the Rags are a curse and a burden that's extremely hard to contain. As the Golem developed a consciousness and a morality, it gave the power a benevolent presence that Rory needed to be passed on to him to fully become the hero he needs to be.

It was confusing at times whether the Golem was fighting for himself or for the sanity and goodness of Rory himself. It seems the idea is that he was fighting for BOTH. That his sense of morality couldn't deny the soul of the man within the Rags. Made for a kind of, as I said last post, a poetry to this fight. Not a climactic final confrontation between good and evil, but a passing of the torch instead. One that had to be EARNED by Rory.

I'm glad we're nearing the end. Rory being given the full power and control of the suit will make for interesting moral questions when he is confronted by Batman later on.

Now onto the ads!

Ah Wayne's World, how we love thee. And that Monarch ad is like the third or fourth I've come across. Unfortunately for the back issue bins, I still have no interest. On the other hand, 'Panic in the Sky' looks pretty interesting actually. For more information on it, I recommend checking out fellow blogger and podcaster Michael Bailey's post over on the 'Fortress of Baileytude' by CLICKING HERE! Bailey is my go-to Superman expert so I defer to him on matters related to the Man of Steel and the Maiden of Might. Seems like a fun story-line though!

Finally, the LETTERS PAGE!

It seems the question of who is in control of the suit is being picked up on by the readers real time. That's good. I was actually a tad concerned that some people might think RORY is the one doing the killing while in the suit. And the concern over the status of Ragman from hero to killer in this re-imagining brought about a valid concern when it comes to Batman's knowledge of him operating in his city. An inevitable confrontation that we'll see come to a head towards the end of the series.

Well that's all for now! See you guys next time! In the meantime, PLEASE don't forget to comment on these posts as we go! I love getting feedback from you guys. There's not alot of us out there, so the more I hear from you the better!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Ragman #5 - Feet of Clay!

...And we're back Tatters! How about that? More consistency and content with the posting! Must've been that ego boost Pat Broderick gave me recently. Anywho, ON WITH THE REVIEW!

This time around we're talking about issue #5 in the 1991 series. Plots and breakdowns by Keith Giffen, script by Robert Loren Fleming, art by Pat Broderick, colors by Anthony Tollin, letters by Albert DeGuzman and edited by the team of Dooley and Helfer. Ragman #5 was cover dated February of 1992 but actually hit stands on December 10th, 1991. (Thanks to Mikes Amazing World for this info)

We open with Bette (an shockingly non-disappointing fact) taking the Golem out for coffee. Of course the Golem doesn't drink any and off the pair go into the streets and alleys of Gotham. Bette speculates that the reason the Golem didn't drink any coffee is because he doesn't actually have a mouth. They pass by the alley where Rory's father died and Bette excuses herself to say a quick prayer and pay her respects as the Golem senses the Ragman in this place. A quick jump up to the rooftops and...

Meanwhile, Bette is busy expanding on her "no mouth" theory and the Golem senses the Ragman using his powers. The Golem thinks to himself, "The young one is becoming more experienced. And as his power grows, mine ebbs!" Bette notices his weakened demeanor and suggests they visit her friend the doctor. Cut to Ragman taking on a street thug robbing (perhaps more) a woman in a back alleyway. Rory thinks to himself that the last time he confronted an "evil doer" he had to force himself to back away. But this time is different...

Down at the local police precinct, the cops are talking about the latest rash of "demon" reportings in the area. The desk sergeant shrugs it off when "CRASH!" the street thug comes crashing through the window onto his desk as Ragman looks on from a nearby rooftop. Over at the doctors office, the doctor informs Bette that he thinks her friend is dead! He's walking around but he has no pulse or vital signs. Informing the Golem that the doctor is, "a great guy but I think he drinks" off the pair go once more into the snowy streets.

Back at Rags 'n' Tatters, Rory overhears the Rabbi giving the Ragman suit a talking to, telling it that the suit is being tamed by Rory. In the alleys, the Golem is busy contemplating his current situation, "The Rags, I must find them and destroy them! It is the only way to preserve my own life! And that is my mission...preserving life! The Rags are composed of evil souls. So I am justified in destroying them! Even if it feels wrong."

Up in a Gotham high rise, the big boss reads a headline from the Gotham Times "Infant Killed In Deadly Street Gang Crossfire". He thinks to himself that the kid is better off given that he himself grew up in those same streets. But he has other concerns and is off to a billionaires ball for the evening. But little does he know that this same headline is being read across town...

In an alleyway the Golem is taking on a couple of Mime gang street punks quite mercilessly and it takes Bette to calm him down as she calls an ambulance for the kids. At Rags'n' Tatters Rory and the Rabbi are discussing his recent efforts as the Ragman and Rory resolves to disarm the local gangs and doesn't wish to be deterred. Back in the alleys, the Golem is thinking how awful it is that an "old woman must sleep in a cardboard box" when he feels the suit activate. As a finger falls off, signaling the loss of further power, the Golem gets up and walks out of the alley and into the snow, seeking out the Ragman.

As Ragman leaps off into the night, a rag drifts down into the palm of the Golem as he thinks to himself, "A hero. He's killing me! I was almost human before he came. For over forty years I fought the good fight! In just another year or two, I would have been completely human! I would have been able to speak! I will NOT return to clay! One way or another, I'll have the last word!" With a silent farewell to the sleeping Bette, the Golem leaves it all behind. Prepared for the final battle. The Rabbi senses this and thinks, "My two children...what have I done to you?"

And as the two wielders of the same power face one another, the Rabbi silently blames himself until there is a knock at the door. It's Bette warning him that Rory is in trouble. And that ends the issue.

You know, this wasn't as bad as I remembered. LOTS of Ragman in action this issue. The focus on the Golem I had initially thought to be pretty boring. However, on this read through I appreciate it more. Getting this focus on the Golems inner thoughts gives him character and tragedy. If we weren't given this inside glimpse into the Golem we'd have assumed Ragman would be going up against a soulless, mindless hulk. By giving him a soul, you almost feel bad for him. The fight to come becomes not a "win or lose" but a transition. There's some sense of poetry to that inevitability factor.

As for Rory himself, I worry sometimes if his inner dialogue when he's in the Rags is being portrayed as TOO "flourished". As in, it's just different enough that you could be excused for wondering if Rory and the Ragman are two separate entities/identities.

Lastly, I'm starting to think this "big boss" dude is utterly unnecessary. You could have had Rory confront the issue of the rival Gangs (and the Golem) without him. No mysterious benefactor supplying guns. Just a group of rival gangs with access to weapons. But we'll see as we continue how that works out.

Now onto the ADS!!!!

No experience with any of that. Including that "Last Boy Scout" movie. Despite the presence of Bruce Willis, this looks god awful. No desire to see it.

As for the rest, Warlord's origin was recently covered on the Secret Origins podcast hosted by Ryan Daly. Though the ORIGIN from the Secret Origins series was supposedly lackluster, I've heard nothing but rave reviews from fellow comic fans regarding the Warlord series as a whole. If you're curious, I highly recommend you check out episode #16 of Ryans AMAZING podcast.

Now onto the letters page to send us off!

Wow. That last letter from Jon Lydon sure packs a wallop. Regardless, it's good to see so many people so positive about Ragman! And as for that Ragman collection...how about it DC? It's been YEARS now. Surely you've got enough material for an omnibus!

As ever fellow Tatters, thanks for reading the blog. Be sure to COMMENT on these posts and let me know YOUR thoughts! I love hearing from you all! Til next time!