Titans: Burning Rage #4 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Scot Eaton, Penciller; Wayne Faucher, Inker; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Titans: Burning Rage #4 is surprisingly strong turn-around for this title after its first arc, as Dan Jurgens pulls back from the battle with HIVE to tell a character-driven story focused on Beast Boy and his foster family. That would be the Doom Patrol, but in this version it seems like the team has fallen apart after Rita Farr died in action. Is she actually dead? I don’t know, but that’s led to a tense relationship between Garfield and his adoptive father Mento.
We get a good glimpse of Mento’s parenting style when he closes the theme park he owns for the day so his son and his friends can have a private party – ignoring the fact that there are thousands of people who expected to get in, and that the Titans never asked for this. While his assistant Breuer is hesitant about some of his boss’ cruel ways, Mento doesn’t seem to care – and it takes Starfire ripping down the gates to change the direction of the day.
Beast Boy is usually portrayed as a generic joker, so giving him a more dramatic story is a welcome move. Things turn serious when Mento is nearly killed in an arson attack on his yacht, and an investigation reveals the source of the attack is former Titans Hawk and Dove.
This book is obviously designed as a tie-in to the TV show, but it’s also a solid evergreen Titans story without much of the grimdark that has plagued the property for too long. The reveal as to who is driving Hawk and Dove’s actions is unpredictable and raises a lot of questions – I’m pretty sure who is behind the whole thing, but it’s a strong setup for a mystery that’s all the better because it’s driven by a complex father-son relationship that doesn’t get much play.
Unlike the first arc, this feels like a Titans story we haven’t seen repeatedly, and it’s a breath of fresh air compared to the main title.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.