[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Mother Blood has captured Steel and Green Lantern Kyle Rayner and is using the Primordial Red to drain their powers and chart a multiversal map. Ernest has become aware of what Mother Blood is doing in Unearth, and he intends to put a stop to it. Meanwhile, Lenore, the aspect of Raven that was left in Unearth, goes out to kill the rest of the Titans.
Titans #34 finds the team broken, scattered, and barely staying alive in the fantasy-esque setting of Unearth while Mother Blood works to bring the team to permanent end.
This issue also highlights a problem the book has had since the post-No Justice restructuring and intensified with Nightwing’s departure.
In short, the book likes beating up its heroes just a little too much. While it’s a truth of storytelling that the best tales of heroic victory come at the end of extreme hardship and tribulation, Titans doesn’t strike the balance that is needed to make it gel.
With Titans (again, specifying post No Justice, almost everything before that since their Rebirth return was brilliant), it just feels like we get a few issues of watching the team being beaten, abused physically and emotionally, and then barely scrape out a victory that is immediately undone at the beginning of the next issue.
The team took their hits before the No Justice lineup change, but it was tempered by the moments of team bonding and the general sense of camaraderie. The book doesn’t really have any of that anymore, even as the new group slowly bonds.
Mother Blood just isn’t shaking out to be a particularly interesting villain either. She’s just another world-conqueror with an admittedly sweet costume.
Bruno Redondo’s artwork is quite fantastic at least. The detailing and texturing are great, and there are some close-ups of Mother Blood that do hint at a truly haunting figure, even if the narrative doesn’t quite bear that out. Marcelo Maiolo’s color work is vibrant and powerful too.
Titans #34, all told, isn’t an awful read. There are moments scattered throughout that keep you from getting bored or disinterested, and Redondo and Maiolo provide great visuals. However, the book’s perpetual gloom and destruction make it difficult to wholeheartedly recommend.
Titans #34 comes to us from writer Dan Abnett, artist Bruno Redondo, color artist Marcelo Maiolo, letterer Dave Sharpe, cover artist Mico Suayan with Blond, and variant cover artist Tyler Kirkham with Arif Prianto.
[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]