While new characters from the previous timeline are revealed to us, we get to see Tim Drake prepare a daring assault against the Church of Blood. Superboy is about to get executed and the team has to get ready as soon as possible, right?
This series loves to use expositional tropes to advance its plot. First we had the fish out of water with Tim Drake and now we’re treated to the tried and true formula of getting the team together. Except the team is all pretty much assembled at this point so it’s interesting to me that they make a whole deal out of just going to one superhero and recruiting them without really explaining much about why they’re so important. Like there’s obviously the fact that they are the underdogs and need any help they can get but they don’t even take a second to say something like “well thankfully there’s still one resistance fighter left”. If they want to get help, why not get as much help as possible? One of the bad guys shows up exactly at the same time as they do and this just makes it so obvious that this wasn’t thought through. They just added a last minute reason that they hope makes it feel like it’s the best decision the resistance ever made when in reality it’s just pure coincidence.
On the other hand the character dynamics between Starfire and Dick Grayson add a really great layer of complexity to the series. Cavan Scott manages to have Starfire’s feelings about waking up to the awful things she was manipulated into doing always be brought up as a way to advance the story. Her guilt is definitely justified and she’s ready to give up her life but the intense love that Dick Grayson has makes it impossible for him to have her actually deal with it in a healthy way. Their romance is tense and uneasy just like her feelings towards the fabricated past that the Church of Blood forced onto her. I’m really happy to see how Starfire is being developed and find it a huge shame that Raven is taking control of Jinx because the added dynamic between them could really develop the dilemma.
As per usual I’m really digging the action figure aesthetic of the characters and the fight scenes pop out really well thanks to Lucas Meyer but unlike the story, I have a hard time really being able to dive deep and absorb the fabricated world of the Church of Blood. The backgrounds are usually blurry and when they contain more detail the outcome is a clear separation between the city and any cool structure unique to the Church of the Raven cult. I wish the city had more visual reminders of this new timeline instead of being barely present.
As for the coloring by Tony Aviña I feel like it really shines brightest when the panel has a soft haze over it and the intense colors don’t overwhelm you. The soft haze I’m talking about comes from the different atmospheric colors that tint certain panels and I’m a big fan of the interplay between the dominant blue, purple, green and red colors. The superpowers are the only element that I think could still get away with not having anything obstructing its intense colors because the powers do seem to possess an otherworldly strength thanks to the coloring.
The lettering by Carlos M. Mangual is well spaced out on each page and lets the flow of the work run its course smoothly. I do wish that the lettering had a bit more impact for certain characters and especially for the last page. The unique lettering of superheroes might not work for every panel but there are definitely some missed opportunities here.
- Captivating action captures your curiosity
- Starfire’s inner turmoil intrigues you
- You want to see a bunch of action figures save Superboy
This issue might not have reached its full potential but it’s still a great read to get into right now! I just want to see everything get explored and introduced for a reason and have it develop with the same quality as Starfire’s arc. Hopefully the moment Jinx gains back her agency the story can really hone in on it’s best feature (apart from the action of course).
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.
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