“Into the Bleed – Finale”
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Color Artist: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Review by Tyler Harris
It’s the end of Titans, but the moment has been prepared for. The way I see it, there are two things that this issue needed to do in order to be successful: conclude the “Into the Bleed” storyline in a satisfying way, but also conclude the series as a whole in similar fashion. So, let’s have a look at the first point.
“Into the Bleed” has been a rollercoaster. It’s been fun, charming, but often a little exposition heavy at times. I have enjoyed it overall though, and this final issue does the job it needs to in terms of resolving the arc. We have the final confrontation with Mother Blood, which goes exactly how you would expect it to – the team defeats her, one of them almost dies in the process, another team member is brave (stupid) and tries to save them, almost killing both them both, but then it all resolves in the end and everyone lives happily ever after.
That may sound bitter, but before I even opened this issue I sat down and thought “What do I think is going to happen?” and the progression listed above is what I wrote in my notes. I was absolutely correct, and that’s not a bad thing, because this comic does resolve the arc in a satisfying way. It’s nothing new or groundbreaking, but it was enjoyable and it worked. The tale came to a close, the team was victorious, and I was left feeling complete after finishing the issue.
So, the arc was resolved in a satisfying way, but what about the series overall? Titans has long since been one of my favourite DC ongoing series – I’ve been reading it since day one of Rebirth after coming from a lifetime love of Teen Titans and, in recent years, Young Justice. While this issue does hit all the beats a final issue should, it sort of missed the mark for me personally. Titans #36 focuses on Raven and her backstory; it shows interactions with Dick before his amnesia, juxtaposed over the ongoing battle with Mother Blood. It’s heartwarming and lovely and would be perfect… if this was a Raven book.
While I understand that her story represents the teams’ ideals and struggles, and this arc was soulful about them getting her soul self back (see what I did there?), I feel as though the rest of the team was very much on the sidelines. Granted, there is nothing wrong with that, but in the final issue of a team series about the Titans, I wanted more from all of them instead of just a solo issue about Raven. It was charming, well-written, had incredible artwork and colors, but in context, I just wanted… more. Some of my favourite issues of team books have been solo tales, but I don’t know how I feel about that being the case in the final issue of a series run.
Despite how harsh I may have sounded throughout this review, I did really enjoy this issue and this arc. As I mentioned, the art and writing has been top-notch and I cannot recommend picking up the deluxe edition hardcovers for this run enough, because they are just gorgeous. I’m excited to add this final arc to that collection and round off this amazing series.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment