Raven: Daughter of Darkness #5 – Marv Wolfman, Writer; Pop Mhan, Lovern Kindzierski, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Corrina: A Little Muddled
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: As this title approaches its halfway point, the cast is largely split up into their own dramas in Raven: Daughter of Darkness #5, some more earthshaking than others. Raven and her mother Arella have been captured by the mysterious scientists behind the Daughters of Trigon who have been stalking Raven since the beginning of the series. These creepy faceless girls, however, now seem to be more victims of a greater evil than villains in their own right, and although Raven tries to escape, the mastermind behind this mad lab wastes no time threatening her mother and forcing her to cooperate. Why these mad scientists seem to think it’s a good idea to summon Trigon, one of the most dangerous villains of all time, is beyond me – but then, when have made scientists ever really made good decisions in their plans? For the first time, though, we get a little more information about the various voiceless beings that make up their captives, and they seem to have plans of their own.
The other plots built into this issue are less compelling. Baron Winters seems to be still hanging around in his gothic lair, watching Raven from afar and complaining about meta elements of the plot. We know he’s assembling his own Night Force later in this series, but right now he just seems to be an ongoing distraction from the main plot and the least compelling part. The story involving Raven’s friend Theresa is written better, as she attends court to determine where she’ll live after the death of her grandmother. It’s an interesting look at the impersonal, often traumatic process that orphans face in the courts – but the pacing of the issue makes it feel sort of out of place, as the issue heads towards an explosive conclusion and the arrival of Trigon for the finale of act one. This run has gone bigger than the previous Raven miniseries by Wolfman, and that has the side effect of making the smaller, more intimate moments slip under the radar.
Corrina: There’s been much to enjoy in this series but now it seems to stuck in the middle, with a few new revelations but with no clear focus, as yet, as to how all the pieces fit together.
As Ray said, all the Baron seems to do is hang out in his mansion, talking out loud, staring at the fire, and reading his books. He’s been doing that since the beginning and, save for the part where Raven almost managed to confront him, he’s been a frustrating part of the series. I expect something from him, soon.
I’d also hoped for more from Raven and Arella’s reunion but that seems to have been cut short by their captivity. There is definitely stuff happening in this part of the plot, though the motivation of the villains remains a mystery. What do the scientists get by worshipping Trigon? They don’t seem to have gotten much already except this secret complex. Do they want to be the parents of devil babies? Ultimate power to experiment? Not sure but they do seem to like torturing their subjects. All my sympathies are with the voiceless beings, who I find far more fascinating than the scientists.
I also appreciate Wolfman wanted some focus on the supporting cast but Theresa’s custody problems aren’t given enough room in this issue and thus, it feels odd to worry about her while Raven and Arella are being tortured. I expect this series to bring it all together in the end but this middle has pacing issues.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.