Review by Frank Plowright
A crossover run early in DC’s ‘New 52’ incarnation was ‘The Culling’ in which a number of teenagers with super powers were rescued from a lifetime of torture and experimentation. The Kids From N.O.W.H.E.R.E. opens the minute after that rescue, with Dr Caitlin Fairchild having transported a bunch of them to Alaska, where N.O.W.H.E.R.E.’s agents immediately track them.
Apart from a few pages at a time setting up future problems, Howard Mackie’s plot over the first four chapters is one extended pillar to post chase scene, moving from one life threatening scenario to the next. If it’s not the evil scientists of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. it’s the evil cult of Brother Blood, reimagined for the ‘New 52’ universe. It’s terrible. Mackie has little imagination, and plasters the pages with heavily emoting dialogue that’s so poor in places it might have been written by a child. The assorted teenagers start bickering from the start, none of them trusting the person who freed them, and when Superboy comes to her for help her response is to batter him. After an interlude in which Fairchild and Beast Boy’s pasts are examined, the teens, now calling themselves the Ravagers, find a base and determine a mission.
Ian Churchill draws the first two chapters, and subsequently pops back every now and then, sometimes only managing to draw half a chapter. It would seem the reliance on so many other artists is down to Churchill not sacrificing quality to a deadline, as his is the best art on offer, although, some of those other artists might have been drawing quickly at short notice. He’s particularly good with Beast Boy’s transformation into assorted animals, this version’s wildlife being red rather than the previous green.
While the final chapters improve on the woeful first few, they’re neither compelling nor original, retreading well worn themes without adding anything new. Thankfully new writers take over for the concluding volume, Heavenly Destruction.