Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Raven #6 Review and **SPOILERS**

Hands Across San Francisco

Writer: Marv Wolfman 
Penciller: Diogenes Neves 
Inker: Ruy Jose 
Colorist: Blond 
Letterers: A Larger World 
Cover Artist: Bengal 
Assistant Editor: Brittany Holzherr 
Editor: Alex Antone 
Group Editor: Marie Javins 
Cover Price: $2.99 
On Sale Date: February 15, 2017


This is the last time I will have to write an introduction to a review about an issue from this series.

How about that? Here’s my review of Raven #6!

Explain It!

Let’s go over the last six issues, at least as best as I can remember it: when the old Teen Titans disbanded, Raven went to live with her Aunt Alice in San Francisco, I guess because you can’t just go rent a decent apartment and become gainfully employed as a teenager. At her high school, she used her witchy powers to charm a bunch of kids into being her best friends, and then this big white glowy thing appeared on the Wharf and started sucking people into it. It grew bigger and bigger and is now something massive, holding dozens if not hundreds of people in some horrifying nightmare world where people are trapped in an ethereal carnival. At one point, Raven and one of her new buddies is at the hospital and they see her release her bird self. Later, a terrorist group tries to claim responsibility for the anomaly and Raven outs them. Both of these events contributed little to the story. Raven attempts to get inside the glowy white thing but it keeps knocking her back, announcing that she is NOT READY YET, but will be soon. Okay, so that’s all recap. At the end of last issue, having been beaten down by failing to save her cousin from the evil carnival and suppressing a Trigon freak out, she was finally weak enough to enter.
Raven goes in and is able to see everyone subjected to eternal roller coaster rides and bungee jumps, but isn’t subjected to the same torments, for some reason. The entity that is the white glowy thing tries to mess with her mind, but Raven figures it out and busts free to find Aunt Alice, who has raced to the scene. Alice gives Raven a pep talk laced with biblical verse—yes! She pulls the Christ Card. And then…for crying out loud…Alice gets every bystander to link hands and join Raven as she re-enters the glowy thing, because she can draw from their energy to bust the illest breakdancing moves in all of San Francisco. And guess what? That gives her just enough juice to destroy the white thing and return everything back to reasonably normal. What a bunch of bullshit. At the end, that implies the white glowy thing was an alien entity, which at this point is about as interesting as finding out where grandma got her Sunday underwear.
And it’s not the bible thing, really. I’d have liked if it were made clearer that the New Testament would hold some kind of power in this situation, instead of relegating it to occasional mentions by Aunt Alice, and some light Christian hectoring. What really kills me is that this story is one issue. The Thing that Ate San Francisco shows up in the first act, Raven is unable to defeat it in the second, Raven defeats it in the third. The terrorist group looking for a ransom and the scene in the hospital—hell, all of issue #5—were absolutely unnecessary. It’s unconscionable and I don’t understand why this book was made. That being said, the art team, which has been quite good throughout this miniseries, really pulled out all the stops in this issue. Some of the faces are wonderfully expressive and the plotting is perfectly understandable. Unfortunately, still not worth the ticket price for this carnival ride.

Bits and Pieces:

Once again, the Care Bear Stare saves the day and everyone learns the importance of friendship. Or something. Some wonderful and expressive renderings do not save this book from being a dud. Six issues to tell a story that should have been done in one.


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