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‘Titans #35’ (review)

Written by Dan Abnett
Illustrated by Bruno Redondo
Published by DC Comics

 

OK, well, at this point it feels as if Titans author Dan Abnett is just trying to get this thing over the finish line. So let’s just go over what happens in this issue.

Did you know that Gar Logan is an avatar of the Red?

Apparently, yes. Like Vixen, or Animal Man. Something about the morphogenetic fields? I guess?  Presumably this makes him more susceptible to Mother Blood’s power than the other Titans (Though why anyone with blood in their veins is actually less susceptible, is something I’m unclear on.)

At any rate, this is why Beast Boy was possessed by Mother Blood when she wanted the Titans to believe the Parliament of Red was communicating a warning through Gar.

And it’s why he begins this issue as a particularly hulked out shaggy orc-beast, complete with creepy bleeding eyeballs and scarlet thrombosis.

Not that this is made particularly clear anywhere.

Mother Blood seems to have a lot of not-clearly defined powers, that would seem to put her in a position to slam dunk this fight before it even starts – observe, as one example, the thrall in which she holds her transmogrified friends, currently serving her every whim, as her creepy and vaguely ineffectual Blood Vessels – or the fact that apparently it is she who is responsible for splitting Raven’s soul-self into two. Somehow.

Reaching out and fixing Gar in a bloodlust, and setting him against his teammates certainly looks good (finally) and gives us yet one more taste of how dangerous Beast Boy can truly be (did any of us really doubt it though?).

It does beg the question of why Mother Blood has been playing small at all. At the very least she could have had her hooks in Logan from the very start of this whole campaign, if not all of the Titans for that matter. But this at least feels like some sort of culmination of a year’s worth of Gar’s neurotic dramatic tension. So there’s that.

It also, I have to say, makes me wonder just what exactly is Mother Bloods relationship with the Parliament of the Red. Is she really the divinely ordained ur-Avatar of the Red? Should we really just accept that this fundamental magical aspect of all Reality would be content to let this psychotic madwoman use her jacked-up connection with the Red to spread a reign of doom and terror across the multiverse? Kinda seems that way. But I’m not sure I really buy that.

Maybe there’s more to that story than we’ve seen so far..

At any rate it seems everyone else is thoroughly over Ms. Santomayar, and her ever-growing bone head dress. Lucky for Maker Ernst that means Lord Travesty only ‘fake’ killed his creator last issue. Instead – surprise! – Travesty has decided to double cross Mother Blood, free the Titans, and set Raven’s soul-self free. I guess because that’s his nature. And he feels badly. So that’s good.

It certainly allows for a quick shift in our team’s fortunes.

That leaves the good part of Raven’s soul-self to do something about her fractured whole-self, something she seems strangely incapable of managing without a little soul-sister love from Steel of all people. But hey whatever gets the job done. Lenore may not be happy about it, but who cares about that witch? The newly integrated, juiced up and angry, Raven is far more interesting. And a long time coming. Poor Rachel’s been a useless mess for much too long now.

But I guess we never would have gotten this far without Raven off the board. Now it looks like she might just have enough firepower to go all-out, toe-to-toe, with Mother Blood – even if our rather delusional cosmic villainess decides to really let loose.

I wish I could be more enthusiastic about all this, but it really does feel at this point that we’re just going through the motions as this series grinds to its final plot conclusions.

It’s too bad. There were so many interesting ideas and plot threads to play with throughout this book. But somehow it never quite seemed to come together. And now that all those threads lie exposed, it seems like our storytellers are playing everything out all at once just to get it done.

Oh well.

Maybe there’s a surprise still to come in the next issue, before everything wraps up. Maybe Maker Ernst and Travesty will have one more plot twist for us themselves.

And maybe, just maybe, we have all the elements in place at the end here, for something truly wondrous to happen.

Guess we’ll see.

Next Issue: Mother Blood vs. Daughter of the Demon

 

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