I guess this is what it looks like when the wheel’s still in spin. Like pieces moving. Maybe one of the smoothest kinds of perpetual fictions were those tales of a certain group of mutants from the ‘90s. By the ‘90s, that team had grown so diverse that the form of storytelling was necessarily predicated on the micro-episodic. The story of each issue became the story of how each sub-group wove its way to its individual objective. Not at all unlike the storytelling in the now-mythic Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.
We see the same structure in this issue of Ravagers the New 52 book that’s picking up on the later arcs and darker elements of Marv Wolfman’s grander Teen Titans stories. We see a story structured around individuated sub-groups wending their own ways through towards their own endpoints. It already feels like later, at some point, some distance from now, there will be a drawing together. That there will be a grander reckoning, and that a singleness must emerge.
E pluribus unum. This is a deeply American story, it’s a classic Western, it’s the story of what happens Back East, while the West Is Won. The story of, no yet, but soon, there will be a transcontinental railroad, a Route 66, and a Mark Twain and a Bob Dylan to traverse those.
It’s a story that can only really be told in comics. Since comics relies on overloading readers’ minds immediately with larger amounts of different kinds of information (sound FX, dialogue, narration, posture, color or absence thereof, viewing angle), it requires readers to focus on one single element and keeping reading elements until all elements can be balanced in a coherent story. Not yet but soon, you too will know what’s going on. Is it any wonder that comics speaks so readily to kids and yet is sophisticated enough to appeal to adults?
But this isn’t just the story of the drawing together that must eventually come to the Ravagers. It is the story of that same story being worked through by the creative team as well. Writer duties on this issue are splintered. Michael Alan Nelson plots the story, while Tony Bedard writes the dialogue. Ig Guera and Diogenes Neves draw different sections of the book’s artwork. It’s a style of storytelling that harks back to a classic, perhaps the only comicbook to successfully grapple with the end of the Cold War, a comicbook masterminded (I use the term with the utmost kindness) by editor Andy Helfer—Justice League International.
It feels like Michael and Tony and Ig and Diogenes must have their own drawing together eventually. But right now, Ravagers #10 is just a great story. The story of the characters, as much as of their creators. Please enjoy our exclusive preview of Ravagers #10.
// Notes from the Road
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