Titans #32 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Clayton Henry, Artist; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 4/10
Corrina: One Bloody Issue
Ray: Ever since Titans rebooted with the new team, the menace of Mother Blood has been lurking over the title. This new, deadlier leader of the Brother Blood cult was behind the first main threat of the book, but she took a backseat when the Titans went on a space adventure – only to come back in a big way when Beast Boy was seemingly possessed by The Red to warn of her. This issue, after a brief intro that recaps the end of the last issue, focuses not on the Titans team but on her, as we finally find out how she went from ordinary woman to mad cultist. Unfortunately, just like most of the rest of this title, it’s not that interesting – more a series of ideas in search of a plotline. The title makes some attempts at relevance by making the eventual Mother Blood a refugee, fleeing an oppressive government only to be met with violence from the US government – and saved from death by Brother Blood.
From there, she finds herself as one of a number of desperate people who join Blood’s cult and pledge themselves to him. The cult, despite being one of the deadliest organizations in the DCU, mostly comes across as a ramshackle cult of desert dwellers. Blood is a lot less menacing than he usually is, engaging in debauchery and flirting with his favored minion. Eventually, he introduces her to his beliefs in the power of the Source Wall energy, and this sets off her heel-turn. She obsessively researches the energy, eventually transforming herself and replacing him before turning on her fellow former minions. She’s a one-note villain that this issue attempts to turn into something more, and it largely doesn’t work – just like most of this title. Its characters rarely feel fully fleshed out, so it’s no surprise that its villains follow suit.
Corrina: Wow, the art in this issue is bloody, with blood dripping from a number of panels. Apparently, more is more when it comes to using blood to depict Mother Blood and her origin.
Except that her origin isn’t that interesting. It’s a little too close to how Raven’s mother was impregnated for my comfort, so close that I almost expected this to be related to Trigon. (I think Titans history has connected them before.) But, no, this Mother Blood is related to gathering up people who’ve been touched by the Source Wall energy. That would work nicely with this team’s purpose if Mother Blood were interesting as an adversary.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.