Review – Raven: Daughter of Darkness #5 (DC Comics)

Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Art: Pop Mhan
Colours: Lovern Kindzieski
Lettering: Saida Temofonte
Release Date: 30th May 2018

Despite a furious battle last time out, both Raven and her Mother have been captured by a mysterious military force and her powers bound. And in this latest issue of Daughter of Darkness, we finally find out who was stalking her and to what nefarious end.

Marv Wolfman continues to develop Raven’s complicated relationship with her mother Arella as the pair are brought together in captivity.  We’re given a much shorter version of Raven’s conception and another reminder of the failed children who have been discarded for not being able to bring about Trigon’s return to Earth.  It’s possibly just due to Raven being a teenager but she seems to have been very hot and cold with her Mother over the past two issues, and I was more than a little surprised to see her so openly concerned for her.

Pop Mhan and Lovern Kindzieski continue to bring us some excellent visuals here with demons and wraith-like riders fast becoming order of the day.  The return of the no-face girls proves to be every bit unsettling as ever, but it’s during the final few panels that the pair really take the story to the next level, as the colours morph into a fiery orange and deep purple to herald the coming of a powerful foe.

As a middle issue, the story seems to lose its pace this time around and meanders a fair bit before reaching its conclusion on the closing panels.  Baron Winters lingers around for three pages glowering at his fire and talking to his cat whilst one of Raven’s friends attends court to see where she will live now that she has no legal guardians.  Raven’s lack of action seems very out of character too.  She is actively thinking to herself about killing everyone in the room and yet does nothing whilst she is restrained and chained to a table.

I may have said so before in one of my previous reviews of this series but it really does feel that, rather than writing a story month-to-month, the creative team have instead taken a graphic novel and split it into several parts.  The pacing in this issue just feels off, and several characters do things simply because it moves the story along – although I feel that these moments would make more sense as part of a book.

With all that said, if you’re already a fan of the Teen Titan you will probably want to check this out.  Since the New 52/Convergence/Rebirth Raven does appear to have been de-powered a fair, bit but she is still smart and has a good grasp of what powers she does have.  I still think Wolfman has an interesting ending in store, and I am excited to see what it is, it’s just unfortunate that the uneven storytelling and confusing plot is holding the series back.

Rating: 3/5.


The writer of this piece was: Dave MacPhail
Dave Tweets from @ShinKagato

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