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‘Titans #31’ (review)

Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Clayton Henry
Published by DC Comics

“Wow Donna… You Titans never do anything small do you?”

 

And… we’re back on Earth.

Courtesy of one Kyle Rayner Green Lantern power-ring space fold. (Whew.)

And everything is back to normal. No more fish people! (Yuck.)

And everything is the same.

And everything is different.

Well, everything is different for Donna anyway.

Ms. Troy is returning from space all grim determination and brass tacks, with an attitude forceful enough to overcome all of Batman’s hesitations (the ones that had her under house arrest earlier this year) and inspiring enough to win Kyle Rayner to her side, despite his decidedly more pressing responsibilities with the Green Lantern Corp at the Source Wall.

The fanciful side of my nature wants to wonder if that’s anything to do with some unanticipated but extraordinary effect of the extra Source Wall energy the team was (apparently) exposed to while off in space. Because that would be interesting. And because really there’s been a LOT of exposure to Source Wall energy on this team to date. And we haven’t really seen that much effect.

Sadly though, I’m not convinced that it’s anything more than necessary plot exposition. I just wish it didn’t read that way.

And the rest of the team?

M’gnn is back to her familiar red and green. Apparently, it’s a ‘difficult time’ for White Martians. (As opposed to ..?) Well, maybe that will be clarified more in upcoming issues of the Justice League. Or maybe in the excellent, new Martian Manhunter limited series just starting this month..! (Check-it-out!)

Gar is still hulked out. (But looking much more interesting once again, I must say, under the excellent artistic eye of penciller Clayton Henry.)

Natasha Irons is back to her usual over-competent, and at this point, kinda boring self. Sorry, but she’s such a great character, it would be nice to actually do something with her, besides making everything that is technologically impossible, possible.

Mr. Ben Rubel meanwhile has just been waiting around the Hall of Justice waiting to see if the Titans are going to resurface anytime, and otherwise trying not to get in the way…

Yeah, not too strange. But yeah, a little.

And Raven is still emotionally bereft. As in literally. Though now that the team has a bead on her missing soul-self you’d think she’d at least be a bit more… intent to get it back. Instead she seems decidedly dazed at the thought.

Almost unenthusiastic about the prospect of getting it back.

Which is odd. Honestly for someone supposedly stripped of all her emotional aptitudes, Rachel has spent a remarkable amount of time in conflicted, distressed, dysfunction. And now, almost… trepidation?

Given her situation I can see how she’d be detached, or clinical, or, say, unmoved… but I’d expect that to, if anything, increase her otherwise straightforward, rational competence. This comes across as something else.

Maybe she’s having second thoughts?

Well, just in time I guess, because everything else that’s been happening in this book funnels down in this issue to a strikingly sudden return to… Unearth!

Why? Because on the same day that Donna decides it’s time to aggressively target the Blood Cult, and M’gnn pinpoints the location of Raven’s soul-self in the Unearth dimension, the ‘Parliament of Red’ apparently decides to use Gar’s… abundant natural resources… to somewhat gruesomely convey a dire warning that Mother Blood herself is making a play for multi-universal domination through this exact self-same Unearth dimension.

So then, naturally enough, the team decides to open an interdimensional portal to a locked-away world made entirely out of Source Wall energy, across the interstitial Bleed connecting all dimensions in the multiverse, with the help of the team’s Irons-Rubel Capacitor, a device specifically designed to channel, store, and control Source energy itself.

What could possibly go wrong?

Next issue: Let’s find out.

 

 

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