Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Raven: Daughter of Darkness #1 Review and **SPOILERS**

Azure Azar?

Raven: Daughter of Darkness #1

"The Girl With the Anime Eyes, Part One: Under the Hood"
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artist: Pop Mhan
Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: January 24, 2018

Hey, it's Raven... and she's back with another limited series!  Ooh, I wonder if it's going to be about how she's the daughter or Trigon the Terrible?!  Okay, okay... we all know it will be... so let's just get right to it.

Raven's not like most girls... or kids in general.  We open as she is having a bonfire with some friends, who may have played a role in last year's Raven miniseries... but I couldn't say for sure.  They're all kvetching about how hard it is to be a teen-ager, and Raven... trying to keep up, almost lets it slip that she's, ya know... the daughter of Trigon the Terrible.  We must never forget that!

Marv Wolfman pulls from his vast line-up of created characters, and introduces us to Baron Winters.  For those not in the know, Winters first appeared in Wolfman's Night Force series in the early-1980's.  He's an underutilized character, and I'm pleased to see him make an appearance here.  It's as natural a fit as any to have him running in the same circles as Raven.  His purpose is nebulous, but I do look forward to getting clued in on just what he's up to.  All we know at this point is that he believes Raven isn't long for this world.

Now, full disclosure... despite Marv's New Teen Titans being very close to the tippity-top of my list of all-time favorite runs, I never really cottoned to Raven as a character.  She always bored me... because it was always the same "tortured soul" act.  The record never changed... and it looks like even now, almost forty years later, we're still playing the same tune.

This all comes down to Raven being... the daughter of Trigon the Terrible.  Even when we meet the titular "Girl With the Anime Eyes" (gag me...) Raven initially sees her as Trigon!  Is it possible to write a Raven-centric story and not have it be about Azar and Trigon?  If no... why bother at all?  If yes... why don't we ever seem to get one?

Perhaps I'm being too hard on this... it is, after all only the first (of twelve) issue.  Things can go in any number of directions from here... and I'm cautiously hopeful that we get a bit more Raven-in-real-life and a lot less Trigon.

The scenes with Raven interacting with her friends, and later her family are where this issue truly shined.  This is a fish-out-of-water story... and an evolution of the Raven character that I would assume most new fans are most familiar with (Teen Titans Go!).  This is a Raven who wants to fit in... and I will admit, it is enjoyable seeing her among the mundane.

The art here is from Pop Mhan, and it's really quite nice.  There's a certain darkness to it, but it's clean enough not to be overwhelmed.  He's even able to make the "Girl With the Anime Eyes" work!  Her visual is adequately disturbing... while not looking completely out of place.  I'd put her in the "uncanny valley of eyes" or something.

Bits and Pieces:

A slow and predictably Trigon-heavy start for the Raven maxi-series.  Some strong "Raven-in-Real-Life" scenes do the heavy-lifting and make this one worth a read.


1 comment:

  1. The last page was like something out of Morrison's Doom Patrol.