WRITER HOWARD MACKIE ON THE RAVAGERS
Last week, we announced DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 “Second Wave,” featuring six new series coming in May. I had the opportunity to speak with THE RAVAGERS writer Howard Mackie about the upcoming series, his enthusiasm for DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 – and how his first project for DC Comics came about.
First off, what’s a Ravager and what’s THE RAVAGERS all about?
This is the story about a group of powerful Metahuman teens who have escaped from an underground hell they know only as The Colony-- where they have been tortured, experimented on, tortured again and forced to fight for survival in a nefarious program designed to produce the ultimate killing machines. They band together in search of anything that might pass as “real life” for each of them, and knowing that the dark forces behind N.O.W.H.E.R.E. will never let them achieve it.
The series is spun off from TEEN TITANS and SUPERBOY, both of which deal with heightened versions of the teenage experience. Will THE RAVAGERS expand on that theme?
Absolutely. I am a HUGE fan of all that Scott Lobdell has done in those titles – have been a big fan of his ever since I was a young lad – and his work on TEEN TITANS and SUPERBOY is a big part of what got me interested in this series to begin with. The thing is that these kids were all snatched from their varied lives several years back, and their experiences inside The Colony have scarred them both physically and emotionally. For years, their lives have been about surviving at any cost and trusting no one, When they escape – due to events in the TEEN TITANS/SUPERBOY/LEGION LOST crossover – their first temptation will be to scatter to the wind and try to get back to their previous lives and a sense of normalcy. It doesn't take them too long to figure out that with their powers, their experiences inside the Colony and what was done to them, N.O.W.H.E.R.E. isn’t going to let that happen.
That doesn't mean that they are not going to try and experience the things that were taken from them inside the Colony. You could say that these kids have been through hell, and now it’s time for them to raise a little of their own.
It won’t all be teen angst, though, will it? What can we expect in terms of action?
These are teens. Teens with more power than even they know. Teens whose survival instincts have been honed to a razor's edge. They quickly learn that N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is EVERYWHERE, and that they cannot spend the remnants of their lives hiding in fear of being captured again and returned to the hellish existence they survived. Their journey takes them to every corner of the planet as they have encounters with N.O.W.H.E.R.E.'s agents, former jailers, search for other survivors of The Colony, and run into other heroes and villains in the DC Universe. They will learn truths about themselves, about their powers, and about their role in a march larger plan.
Are there any hints in those series that indicate what we can expect from THE RAVAGERS?
Scott Lobdell has laid out much of the groundwork in the awesome (Scott's favorite word!) issues of TEEN TITANS and SUPERBOY leading to the crossover. Caitlin Fairchild, Rose Wilson, N.O.W.H.E.R.E., their various agents...it will all play into the crossover and the Ravagers will spring out of the other side.
Based on your own reaction to DC COMICS-THE NEW 52, you sought out DC editorial wanting to participate. What inspired you?
I like to think that THE NEW 52 was designed for me – then again I like to think that someday Sofia Vergara will present me with my winning Powerball Lottery ticket, so it may be DC had a few more people in mind when they conceived of it all!
I have always been a fan of the characters in DC Comics (who ISN'T?), and was curious about the opportunity to jump on board to a new beginning. I picked up LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #1 and was hooked. I then than went on to grab as many of THE NEW 52 as possible. From OMAC to BATMAN to ANIMAL MAN to RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS I kept getting pulled further and further into this wild ride. I started doing something that I haven't done in a LONG time – I started recommending comic books to friends. I am proud to say that I have brought a few new readers into the ranks of THE NEW 52 fandom. Right away it seemed like something in which I wanted to be involved. The newness was wrapped in the familiarity and presented with an overwhelming sense of wonder made me determined to be part of it all. I am thrilled to be given this opportunity.
What excites you most about this series?
Weren't you listening to my previous answers?
In 52 words or less, why should every fan pick up THE RAVAGERS #1 in May.
It is going to be AWESOME. (Sorry, Scott...can I borrow the word for this interview?)