Titans #34 – Dan Abnett, Writer; Bruno Redondo, Artist; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 4/10
Dan Abnett’s Titans is ending in April, one of a wave of cancellations likely in advance of a new launch wave. After the way it’s gone downhill since the Justice League line was retooled, I can’t say I’ll miss it.
The final arc takes place in a mystical realm created by a metahuman writer, as his evil creations partner with the sadistic Mother Blood on a plot that involves not one, but two evil versions of Titans members. When we last left off, Kyle Rayner and Natasha Irons – the two newest members, who never quite fit with this book’s original theme – had been captured by Mother Blood and her general Lenore, who happens to be an evil version of Raven carved out of the young Titan’s soul-self. If you’re lost after hearing all that, you’re not the only one – it’s quite the convoluted plot, and a lot of elements don’t feel like they’re fully explained.
Despite Mother Blood’s sympathetic origin story, she’s as much of a cliche villain as it gets – right down to drinking the life-force of cute woodland critters.
The rest of the team is in the battlefield, fighting against an endless army of fantasy creatures. It feels like they’re stuck in a loop – Miss Martian and Donna Troy fly around, get shot and then shrug it off, and Beast Boy rampages around in his Hulk form on the ground. There are a few interesting elements scattered throughout, particularly the role of the writer Ernest and his complex relationship with his trickster creation Travesty. The commentary on the failure of the writer to create a fleshed-out villain is intriguing, but it then goes in the most predictable way possible and cuts off the development.
Bruno Redondo is a very good artist, having excelled on other DC books in recent months, but this issue feels like it has a glossy, almost CGI feel to it at times, especially the big battle scenes. The battle to save both Raven and Beast Boy’s souls is revealed on the cover, sucking a lot of the dramatic momentum out of the last page. It’s just a book that hasn’t sold its main story at all.
Corrina: I can’t even with this book.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.