Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Raven: Daughter of Darkness #12 Review and **SPOILERS**

The Sun Also Sets

Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artist: Pop Mhan
Colorist: Lovern Kindzierski
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: January 30, 2019

Is it... is it finally over?

Full disclaimer here, folks.  The first thing I did when I got this one is open it to the last page to make sure there wasn't a "To Be Continued..." blurb!

So, was there one?  Well, you haven't heard about a certain comics reviewer throwing himself into traffic, so... I think it's safe to say there wasn't.

I remember reading, in the DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics, that Paul Levitz would use these sprawling charts to keep track of all of his characters and subplots when writing the Legion of Super-Heroes.  It was referred to, quite appropriately, as the "Levitz Paradigm"... and proved to be rather an effective tool.

Here, we've got this Night Force, right?  Remember that blue Popsicle porcupine guy we met like forever ago?  You know, the "only one" able to hurt the Shadow Riders?  Well, he's back now.  Or, maybe he was there all along?  Point is, nobody seems to be tracking any of these characters... and it's not even like there's a reason for him to be here.  Hell, if we're being honest... there's no reason for most of these characters to be here!

This issue ties back to the first half of this interminable maxi-series... yes, all the way back to the last Girl With the Anime Eyes.  Just long enough to kill her, anyway.  This is what sends us to our endgame... which proves to be just as contrived as the rest of this series has been up to this point.

The good guys ultimately "win", because that's just how these things work out... but there are no satisfying "fist pumps" to be had here... because, we really didn't have anyone to root for.  Outside of Raven's poor Aunt and Uncle, there are no likable characters here... no one I worried about.  The Shadow Riders could have eaten the Night Force whole, and I'd still have shrugged the same.

I gotta say, I'm having a difficult time reconciling the fact that this is the same guy who wrote the Judas Contract and Crisis on Infinite Earths.  Wildly uneven storytelling, and cringeworthy dialogue are not usually things I'd use to describe Marv Wolfman... but here we are.

Bits and Pieces:

It's over... and there wasn't a cryptic "to be continued" on the last page, so that ought to nudge my final score up a point.  Raven eeks out a win in an aggressively dull story.  I have no interest in any potential future new-Night Force adventures.


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