Ravage Kill All Men #1 Review - What if the Amazons of Themyscira were Evil?
Updated: May 17
• Cautionary Comics (Publisher)
• Cautionary Comics (Publisher)
Ravage: Kill all Men #1 from the fledgling Cautionary Comics was probably the second or third crowdfunding campaign that I backed after being formally indoctrinated into #Comicsgate.
I was sold on the concept alone. A couple of guys crash into an island of half-naked women hellbent on the eradication of those individuals with the (XY) Chromosome. The only title more on the nose is Samuel L. Jacksons, "Snakes on A Plane".
I'm two minds about the book The book is a great reading experience. It has a lot of positives going for itself, but I have serious concerns. As of this writing, Cautionary Comics is in transition and has announced a number of new projects. What Cautionary will become is up in the air. I will highlight the positives, negatives of the project, and what I hope to see in the next campaigns.
Ravage: Kill all Men is technically a perfect single issue. There are a couple of nagging issues that knock down the rating though. Both Cover's are absolutely amazing. The title gives you everything you need to know about the book. "Kill all men" is a goofy tag but I think it adds to the book's charm. The story is simple and straight-forward. Think of a couple of bros landing in a warped version of Wonder Woman's Themyscira. Doc and Gunn are both fun and interesting protagonists. The characters aren't given much backstory. However, we do learn enough to be invested in the story's outcome. Their friendship feels genuine and their banter gave me a few laughs while reading. The comic feels like an adaptation of an 80's action movie.
Along with Chuck and Benjamin's sharp dialogue, we have pencils from Jimbo Salgado. I've followed Jimbo on Deviantart for years. This is the first time I've seen him do interiors and the linework is gorgeous. He conveys a lot of energy in his panels and even when characters are just sitting around it looks great. My favorite scene in the book happens early. It's a brief exchange between Gunn and a Lion. He takes the lion out pretty quickly but the pages highlight everything good about the book. The comic has excellent scripting, art, and coloring from Bryan Arfel Magnaye. The comic sings and is a nearly perfect introduction to this world...
It's here where I will levy my concerns for the series. There isn't enough material here to justify itself. The book is about 24 pages and feels more like a traditional floppy than I would have liked. I won't bitch about the price. The lowest tier for Ravage was about $7.00. I've seen worse pricing models considering I've backed over 40 crowdfunding campaigns.
The problem I have is that the book is almost entirely set up and once the story gets going the comic ends. We don't actually spend much time on the island. I also don't think the book justifies the mature reader's tag. There isn't much if any foul language in the book and based on the Mature Readers label, I would have expected more in the way of sex and violence. The story may have been toned down at some point, but it's an odd choice to label the book as Mature when its no worst than what we're getting from mainstream comics. It's also thought it was weird that no men actually die in the book. At least at the hands of the islanders, WTF? I understand that the book had a lot of ground to cover quickly but the easy solution here would have been to increase the page count of the book. I had a similar gripe about Doug Garrett's Lone Wolf. With Doug's latest campaign, Legends of Lone Wolf, he's beefed up the page count to about 80 pages. The price point is higher but there's a lot more content. I think if Ravage was sold as a complete story at the outset my complaints would have been mitigated. There's clearly a solid foundation for future stories in this world.
The Cautionary Comics imprint is completely under new management at this time. With the shakeup and the future of Ravage up in the air, this comic simply feels like a potential missed opportunity. I don't regret the purchase but if the next project from Cautionary launches the same way this one did I won't be backing it.
I wish the creative team the best. There is something special here. I hope that the creators stick with the project and simply release a graphic novel. If not a graphic, pull the resources together and make larger single volumes. If Cautionary decides to stick with smaller single issues I'd love to see them at my local comic shop, either foregoing crowdfunding or funding the completed project at the outset.
Comic Rating: 8.5/10
Overall Feelings regarding Project: 7/10