Written by: Ray Fawkes
Art by: Inaki Miranda
Colors by: Eva De La Cruz
Letters by: Josh Reed
Cover by: Guillem March
After an incredible first issue, the dynamic duo of Ray Fawkes and Inaki Miranda deliver a tantalizing second chapter to their incredible retelling of Rory Regan’s Ragman origin. The story and its art contain a perfectly crafted intensity that fits perfectly with the pacing of the story. We are thrust further into Rory’s twisted mind, as his already shattered life is flipped even further upside down as some unwanted, otherworldly figures have entered the picture and have a great deal of interest in the mystic rags Regan is shrouded in. This issue contains the action I was eagerly looking for in the first issue, which is presented exactly the way I would want to see it. With a expertly crafted story that is evolving along a path that draws the reader further and further in with each page, coupled with exquisite art that beautifully represents the horror and chaos that has flooded Rory’s mind and life, the second chapter of the Ragman retelling launches intrigue and obsession with this character into the stratosphere.
Fawkes continues his masterful work with this character, enhancing the story with the introduction of a new threat, and revealing more enigmatic layers for the Ragman. Threats loom in every corner and take the form of both physical dangers and emotional distress leaving the reader at the edge of their seat hooked on every page. I greatly enjoy experiencing the discoveries and understanding alongside Regan, as opposed to the omniscient audience experience who are fully aware of the twists and turns and watch on while the characters encounter them, I believe, especially in comic settings, having access to the same knowledge as our protagonist is the most powerful reading experience. Fawkes’ writing takes the reader and Rory on a soul-shaking roller coaster ride of turmoil and penance, I could not think of a better captain to be at the wheel of this character’s journey. Its a true testament to the wonderful tapestry Fawkes has woven to have me so engrossed and invested into a character who I’ve had very limited exposure to his past iterations, as I move through each page my mind continues to veer off thinking of how wonderful of a live-action adaptation this source material would make and who my fan casting would consist of.
Inaki Miranda’s artwork is as beautiful and captivating as Fawkes’ writing is mesmerizing. The pairing of these two colossal titans to bring to life such a wonderful telling of such a mysterious character is absolute gold. The vivid art that brings this beautifully morbid world into being is simply breathtaking. Miranda’s work is the perfect visual representation of Fawkes’ story, the ability Inaki possesses to display such a huge array of emotion and pain in the faces of our characters, especially delivering that skill while Rory’s face is obscured by rags, is at a supernatural level. The manner in which the action scenes are displayed is perfect, it manifests the intensity and the pacing, each panel brings further and further to life the psychiatric thriller and horror film underscore that melds beautifully with the story. On my second read through, when I deviate from the natural pacing of the read, I pour my eyes over every detail, every line, each beautiful deliberate etch that brings this world to life, and I am truly taken aback by the incredible gift that Inaki Miranda is sharing with the world, and am so incredibly excited that this pairing is who is bringing Ragman to life.
With a tortured soul left filled with questions, pain, and loss, discovering a world of immense power, sudden purpose, and tortured enemies, our Ragman delivers a very strong Spawn vibe, which is all the more exciting to read and compare against. With a story that pulls me in as much as my favorite Stephen King novels, paired with artwork that gives me the spine-tingling energy and intense beauty of Guillermo Del Torro, I am completely obsessed with Ray Fawkes and Inaki Miranda’s manifestation of Ragman. I feel like this representation is exactly what Rory Regan’s character needed, the perfect champions to thrust the alluring and terrifying Ragman into wider spread reading. With this incredible writing and breathtaking art, I would like to petition for Fawkes and Miranda to take on an almost ‘Justice League Dark’ sort of team and build up a dysfunctional band of tortured renegade vigilantes to take on some demonic big bads! If you haven’t read the first two issues of Ragman written by Ray Fawkes brought to life with Inaki Miranda’s art, then you are seriously missing out. This is one of the single best paced, and highest emoting comics I have ever read, I truly feel the internal turmoil, panic, and struggle that Regan is facing, and I also feel empowered and terrifying when the Rags encase our hero. This is that shimmering jewel peaking out beneath the sand in one of the most haunted places in the world, unearth that gem, dust it off, and breath in all of the mysterious, terrifying, and beautiful glory that is is prepared to bestow on you.
I’m marking off the days on the calendar, eagerly awaiting Chapter 3 to emerge, until then, keep it nerdy.