Issue by Issue – Ragman #1

Writer – Robert Kanigher
Artist – The Redondo Studio
Letters – Erick Santos

The first issue of Ragman begins with violence and perhaps the worst kind as it involves a child who gets caught up in an explosion perpetrated by criminals. As they make their getaway, they fire into what they assume is rubbish when in reality, it is the tattered tatterdemalion himself called Ragman. Chasing the men to a nearby rooftop a battle ensues and the wounded Ragman lets one of the criminals fall to his death, the other getting away. It is all portrayed in spectacular fashion by those who work at The Redondo Studio, whether it was by the master Nestor Redondo or his associates and combined with the scripting by Robert Kanigher and a stunning cover by Joe Kubert, it manages to open the book on a powerful note. What follows is a look at Ragman’s alter-ego Rory Regan, the owner of a second-hand shop called Rags ‘N’ Tatters where he is shown to be a kind soul who gives back to his community, though his girlfriend Bette has had enough of his less than ambitious way of living. It is here that Kanigher delves into Rory’s past, into the origin as it were of Ragman, of how Rory comes to wear the costume in the final few panels of the book after the death of his father at the hands of some thugs. It is tragedy that Kanigher paints, much like all the best superhero origins for it lends to the hero’s purpose of being, of donning a colourful costume and taking the law into their own hands. Rory Regan is a broken man, for while he may not have been a child-like Bruce Wayne was when his parents were killed, he still loved his father and the fact that he had to die the way he did is something that will live on his memory forever. This is but the first part of Ragman’s origin, the book stating that it will be continued in the second issue of the series and if it is as good as the first, with the same spectacular artwork and emotive writing behind it, it is sure to be a must-read.

4 out of 5

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