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Ragman #5 Review

4 min read

Rory makes a difficult choice and gamble.

Creative Staff:
Story: Ray Fawkes
Art: Inaki Miranda
Colors: Eva de la Cruz
Letterer: Josh Reed

What They Say:
As Ragman tries to get Mandy and Frank Jr. to safety, Frank Jr.’s possession allows for the leader of the demonic invasion in Gotham to finally arrive…Z’Dargill! Ragman is out of time, and with all of the players finally out in the open, Ragman can only trust one person to save the city…himself. The final battle for the souls of the innocent begins here!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
As Ragman closes in on its finale. Ray Fawkes works events where Rory finally gets a better view of what’s going on. As can be said from start to finish, never trust a demon and even more, never trust The Demon. Etrigan’s a fun character and he works all sides for his own purpose, occasionally doing a little good along the way, and Fawkes has handled him expertly. Similarly, Inaki Miranda has really brought him and everything here to life in a rich and detailed way that just delights me with what it does, particularly with such rich colors on the digital front that comes across as even more vibrant and striking. This issue has a lot of great sequences, though I continue to struggle with Etrigan’s lettering design as I have for decades.

With the previous issue serving to boost up Rory with what he can do with the cloak in understanding its abilities, thanks to some help from Etrigan as the cloak is a mantle from hell. With the threat that’s now coming to those close to the men he served with, Rory’s attempts at saving Frank’s family have not gone well with Frank Jr. taken over and Frank’s wife pretty much closing on being a basket case of confusion. The problem is that the other demon from hell that’s surfacing, Z’driggl, has also brought forth a number of hosts in order to deal with the problem of Etrigan while reclaiming the cloak for himself. That leads to a lot of chaos in the streets in the few minutes before the police and other first responders arrive, which will turn it into more carnage. It’s a great series of sequences here that delivers this thanks to Miranda’s artwork and the overall oppressive tone of the colors.

The book does take a very curious turn with the arrival of Ystin of Camelot as she’s here to deal with Etrigan and stop him from acquiring the cloak. There’s not much in the way of detail of her connection to things overall, and I know I’ve missed much over the years, but there’s no easy place to insert it amid the action here. What she does, however, is to help remove some of the blinders that Etrigan has placed on Rory as to who he’s really fighting against and that changes everything for him as he and those inside him, his close friends, realize what’s at stake and what has to be given up in order to stop their families and loved ones from dying. It’s a good series of events and it fits in with what we know of Rory for him to try and work a deal with the other demon, though one does hope that it’s all part of a larger plan for the finale next time around.

In Summary:
Ragman has been a very fun series so far and I’m curious to see how it’ll all wrap up the next time around and how it’ll place the character into the current continuity to be used elsewhere. I’ve long been a fan of it going back decades so I’m very pleased to see it getting such a great treatment from such strong talents. The look of the book is great, the story is working well, and the energy and emotional resonance within it is strong. This issue does all the important and necessary steps to setup the end, though it doesn’t handle Ystin as well as I would have liked for those unfamiliar with her, and it should be a strong conclusion of Fawkes and the team can stick the landing like I expect they will.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 17+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: February 14th, 2018
MSRP: $2.99