Ruins of Ravencroft: Sabertooth #1
By Frank Tieri, Angel Unzueta, Guillermo Sanna and Rachelle Rosenberg.
The Ruins of Ravencroft is an interesting series from Marvel. Reed Richards, Misty Knight, Wilson Fisk and John Jameson are going through the old insane asylum looking for information about what went on and who was experimented with. This week we look at Sabertooth, who was experimented with in Weapon X and apparently at Ravencroft as well. As someone who loves mental asylum stories, this is a cool story for Marvel to tell. We don’t see our heroes, or villains, tackling a place like this often. I’m not sure what to expect, I just hope that things are done well.
Frank Tieri has been around for a while, and has written many books for Marvel, he even had a run on Weapon X. He seems like a perfect candidate to walk us through this creepy issue. One thing Tieri does that stands out, is that he sets the tone. From the opening page, we see creepy imagery of experiments that worked out and never made it to the surface. The conversation between the four people in the institute is good dialogue. Tieri is working with people who don’t normally interact with one another, and if Wilson Fisk and Reed Richards do interact, it’s usually not friendly. My biggest gripe with the issue is that it splits from present to past at an odd point. As things start heating up in the present storyline, we are thrown into a story from the past. The flow isn’t as good as it could be. Having said that, the past storyline focuses on James Ravencroft as he puts together the insane asylum. Tieri actually does a very good job making this past intriguing. It reads like a journal entry from Ravencroft as he details what happened there and how people were treated. Tieri essentially is telling two different stories, and they’re both good.
The pencils this issue are handled by Angel Unzueta, who did the art work for the present day storyline and Guillermo Sanna who did the art work of the past. Unzueta does a nice job of making the pages in modern day feel dark and creepy. As we see our team wander through the institute, Unzueta fills the pages with weird things in the background. The art pages in the past by Guillermo Sanna are also well orchestrated. Sanna gives his work some texture, and it really does look like an old time comic. The battle panels in particular look great as Sanna gets costumes and everything correct for the time period. The colors this issue are handled by Rachelle Rosenberg, who is one of the best in the business. Rosenberg nails the old school colors for the flashback pages. They’re lighter with lots of orange and reds. It feels like a Sunday comic. The present day colors are moody, as they should be, and add tot the tone of the story. Panels of the gang fighting look beautiful as they all have different colors and they all stand out.
Ruins of Ravencroft: Sabertooth was an enjoyable book. Frank Tieri was able to balance a present day story and a large flashback and make them both exciting. The pencils and colors really sell this issue too. Everyone involved worked hard and it shows on the pages.