“The Spark,” Part 3
Writer – Dan Abnett
Art – Brandon Peterson, Guillem March, Denis Medri
*This review may contain spoilers!*
Every television series that makes it past a few seasons offers viewers an obligatory musical-inspired episode. These episodes are usually noir, based in either 1920s or 1950s America. Titans #25 is that episode in this anniversary issue.
The Titans face three threats of different consequence; Raven, Steel, and Beast Boy tackle the largest threat downtown, Donna Troy heads to Bethesda solo and surprisingly, Nightwing and Miss Martian team up on a threat in Anacostia. They encounter a homeowner whose power is to engulf others in the stories on her TV screen.
Through numerous scene changes, M’gann and Dick work out their issues. It seems Dick has been projecting his angst with Batman and the League onto an unsuspecting M’gann. I enjoyed the references to Kory – Starfire! – an Easter egg of sorts, as M’gann read Nightwing’s thoughts.
Meanwhile, Donna Troy stumbles into a horde of Brothers in Blood. I liked the subtle nod to the Blood battles with the Teen Titans. Quick reminder: Robin is holding Brother Blood in a make-shift prison for baddies!
Donna meets Ben Rubel, an investigative journalist, who discovered a device that emits “Atypical” energy. Consequently, the Brothers in Blood followed Ben and stole his research. The same event-causing chaos can now be controlled and the Brothers Blood wish to use this new technology to enact their nefarious plans. The conclusion of the issue introduces a new figurehead of the Blood cult against the Titans – none other than Mother Blood!
Meanwhile, Raven has lost her powers! By powers, the author means Raven has lost a part of her soul. This was a really interesting new take on the character, both displaying vulnerability and more profound connection with the source of her magical abilities. Consequently, a weakened Raven created tension as Beast Boy rushed to her aid despite the dangerous situation downtown. Meanwhile, her colleagues left Steel to fend for herself, making Ms. Irons shine through as a strong, compelling character.
Admittedly, I’ve been critical of the lettering in previous Titans issues due to misplaced speech bubbles. I felt the mind-link communication was too often confused with verbal speech. In contrast, Dave Sharpe balances both beautifully here. Despite having three artists, the pages and panels retain its good pacing and flow. Rather than causing a distraction, the distinctive settings and scenes allowed for a seamless transition between pencilers.
In conclusion, Titans #25 brought the “Spark” storyline forward in compelling ways. The introduction of technology that can harness the power of the Source Wall’s collapse was exciting. Consequently, a once seemingly random threat is now weaponized. The narrative was poignant and sharp. The art was crisp and clean. I eagerly anticipate where this story might go next and how it will intersect with Teen Titans in the future.
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment.