Comic Book Review: Blackest Night: Titans #2

If there is one franchise that warrants having a tie-in to Blackest Night it is the Titans. Over the past twenty years no team has suffered more deaths than the Titans, that is unless you count all of Jean Grey’s deaths.

The first issue of this mini-series was a surprisingly well written issue. J.T. Krul impressed me with how well he wrote the Titans as they begin their faced off against the Black Lantern versions of their dead teammates. I’m interested to see if Blackest Night: Titans #2 can continue what the first issue did and give us another good read.

Creative Team
Writer: J.T. Krul
Artist: Ed Benes
Inker: Scott Williams and Ed Benes
Colorist: Hi-Fi Design

Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with the Black Lantern versions of Teddy and Robert appearing in front of Donna. Donna is in shock to seeing her ex-husband and son. Her son flies toward her and as Donna holds him in her arms he bites her in the shoulder (Zombie 101: Never let a zombie bite you. Come on Donna, haven’t you ever watched a zombie movie?)

Outside of Titans Tower Best Boy, Cyborg, and Starfire are fighting Black Lantern Terra and Omen. Omen uses her powers to make Cyborg and Starfire see a large group of herself while Terra attacks Beast Boy. Cyborg uses a supersonic blast to take out the illusions and punches the real Omen saying that it can’t be Lilith.

At the same time, Terra analyzes Beast Boy’s emotional spectrum and sees he is feeling love, fear, rage, and hope. Beast Boy transforms in to a marten to escape Terra’s grasp.

Terra chases him and Beast Boy transforms into a bird and flies high into the sky and then transforms into an elephant and falls on top of Terra. Terra uses her powers to get out of the way and knock Beast Boy out for a second.

Terra tries to take out Beast Boy’s heart, but Terra is attacked from behind by Starfire. Starfire uses her Star Bolts to burn Terra’s body to a crisp. After checking up on Beast Boy the two of them go to help Cyborg with Omen.

We shift to Washington, D.C. Georgetown University were Hawk’s heart being ripped out by the Black Lantern Hawk (Hank Hall). Dove attacks BL Hawk and starts beating the crap out of him.

As Dove takes the fight outside a Black Lantern ring appears and is placed on the dead Hawk’s finger. She then appears in front of her sister as a Black Lantern. The two Black Lantern Hawks charge at Dove in order to kill her.

Back inside Titans Tower, Donna throws her Black Lantern baby away and holds her shoulder were he bit her. Donna tries to tell her ex-husband and son to stop, but Terry tells a crying Donna that the nightmare is just beginning.

Before Terry and Robert can reach Donna she is taken away by Bart. Bart takes Donna to Cassie. Bart and Cassie ask Donna what happened. Bart says it look like something out of “I Am Legend.” Donna’s neck starts turning black as she says her baby was calling her.

Outside, Omen has Cyborg in his fantasy world where he is completely normal human. Starfire tries to get to Cyborg but Omen puts her in a fantasy world where she and Dick are actually married (I am seriously tired of Starfire’s continued obsession with her past relationship with Dick.) Terra comes back and uses her powers to sink Titans Tower with Donna, Cassie, and Bart inside.

We cut back to Washington D.C. where Dove continues to dodge the two BL Hawks’ attacks. Holly tries to make her sister angry but Dove’s emotional spectrum continues to be white. Knowing she can’t stay alive without some help Dove flies away to get some help from her friends with the two BL Hawks chasing after her.

Inside of Titans Tower we see Donna, Cassie, and Bart recover and try to figure out a way to get out of the tower without bringing the whole thing down on them. They then hear Robert calling Donna “mommy” and Cassie asks Donna who that is.

Donna tells Cassie that it’s her family and that Robert bit her. As she says that Donna falls to the ground with the Black Lantern symbol in her eyes.

Back outside Beast Boy tells Cyborg and Starfire to fight out of the illusion Ome has them in. Terra comes up behind him and says that she will finally kill the Titans. Tempest, Dolphin, Tula, Wildebeest, and Patha appear with Tempest saying “We get to kill the Titans……Together.” End of issue.

The Good: Blackest Night: Titans #2 was a good but flawed issue. This issue runs into the same problems the main series has come across with the involvement of the Black Lanterns. Still, there were some things to enjoy that J.T. Krul did very well in this issue.

What has impressed me with Krul’s writing is his nice handling of all the Titans’ characters and their history. Something that I think many writers forget about when writing the Titans, especially all of the Titans from Marv Wolfman/George Perez era, is the deep history. Most of the time writers only emphasize that the Titans have had many deaths on the team and have not given us a sense of the personal importance of the deaths.

A perfect example of this is Donna seeing her dead husband and son back as Black Lanterns. With how many times Donna has been brought back it seems that DC has forgotten she was married and had a kid before.

It was a very traumatic experience for Donna and it is nice to see Krul use Blackest Night to remind readers of this. Donna’s reaction to seeing her baby boy again was a sad moment that turned into a very horrific moment for Donna as she realizes that the people in front of her are not her actual family.

Also, what is interesting is that this is the first time we see someone only be injured by a Black Lantern and not just killed. If Blackest Night follows zombie movies, which it mostly has, than Donna being bitten by her Black Lantern baby may transform her into something though what we don’t know. It should be interesting to see what affect Donna will have from the bite she took.

While I am not a big fan of the current Hawk and Dove, it was cool seeing how Dove did not allow the death of her sister affect her so and still had a white aura. We already know that the white light is very important to Blackest Night in order to take down the Black Lanterns, but it will be interesting to see how the white aura Dove has displayed plays into the main series.

Also, call me a sucker, but I love seeing Terra back and her effect on Beast Boy. Terra has always been one of my favorite Titans and it is great seeing an evil Terra again instead of one that is trying to be good. Terra is always more interesting as a bad guy and seeing her use her powers to sink Titans Tower was a great way to show how much power she actually has when she lets loose.

The ending was a good hook ending with Tempest leading the Black Lantern Titans in a fight against all the current members of the team. With how many deaths the team has had there is a lot of possibilities to see a lot of dead Titans come back as Black Lanterns to face off against the current ones in one big brawl.

Ed Benes provides plenty of great artwork in this issue. He does a very good job making all the Black Lanterns appropriately creepy as they try to kill the various Titans in this issue. Also, I loved how he drew the splash page of Terra using her powers to sink Titans Tower into the ground. It was quite an impressive visual.

The Bad: The problem this issue faces is that, at this point, I am getting really tired of the Black Lanterns. While it is cool seeing the all the dead Titans back as Black Lanterns and the affect they have on the current team it is really hard to care for them at this point.

The main series has already dealt with this concept to death, pun intended, in the first three issues that it is hard to go into this mini-series and not think that this as a thin read.

I get it already, the Black Lanterns can see the emotional spectrum in people and try to push those people’s emotions as far as they can in order to gain more power.

It is a similar problem that Secret Invasion faced at its half way point since, as a reader, I am already tired of the concept of the story and its bad guys. Even though DC has tried to limit the exposure Blackest Night has with all of their books; I think by placing too much focus on the Black Lanterns the result is that they are being turned into boring villains.

This mini-series is already behind the rest of the series as in Blackest Night the Black Lantern Corps have already reached 100% power level but in this issue they are barely above 50%. Because of that it is hard to see how any of the plotlines in this issue, outside of the Dove sub-plot of having a white aura, will have an impact on the main series.

And while it is cool seeing Terra back as a Black Lantern I feel like this issue was a big missed opportunity for Krul to use other dead characters related to the Titans. Rather than having Omen I would have much rather have liked it if Krul used one of Starfire’s ex-husbands and Cyborg’s parents instead as a way to take them out.

I am also really starting to hate Starfire as every writer keeps showing us how she is still obsessed with Dick and the relationship they had ten years ago. While it was only one panel it is annoying seeing how Starfire is still clearly stuck in that time period and has yet to move on. Until DC finally allows Starfire to get over Dick her character will never be allowed to evolve from the obsessed school girl she has become.

Also, while the ending was a nice hook ending I am not sure Krul can wrap things up with only one issue left without making that issue feel rushed. I think this issue would have been better off if it was combined with the first issue instead as very few plotlines move from the first issue.

Overall: Blackest Night: Titans #2 was a good read. If you are reading Blackest Night this mini-series isn’t very crucial to the main series. This mini-series is much more for fans of the Titans franchise. So if you have no interest in the Titans I would not recommend getting this mini-series. Still, if you are a fan of these characters I recommend getting this fun mini-series to get some of that old Titans nostalgia.

4 thoughts on “Comic Book Review: Blackest Night: Titans #2

  1. As a woman, I am not a big fan of Ed Benes. Have you seen how he draws women? Now this may be a common trend in comic books, but I always felt Benes was a bit over the top.

  2. Great Issue and great review.
    My prediction, that the bite Donna Troy got from her Black Lantern baby will turn her into a living Black Lantern, kind of like the Guardian Scar after the Anti-Monitor burned her (both have black scars now and had Black Hand's Emblem in their eyes.)

    This will most likely become a major plot point in the "Blackest Night: Wonder Woman" series due out in a couple of months.

  3. I do agree that the black lanterns are getting a little boring, however i do like the fact that they affect everyone. yeah, its boring, but the point isn't that different bad things are happening to everyone, but that the same bad thing is happening to everyone. i think blackest night would suck more if they didn't have the mini series to show that, cause if it shows that no one is safe. however, i think they could have been planned better and should be evolving into a more universal scale as the main series(along with the tie in arcs from green lantern and green lantern corps) are. but so far, reading the tie-ins and mini series is like reading the same issue over and over again. at least the art is good though. i also don't see the problem with how Ed Benes draws women. i think its fine. but maybe i am wrong. great review.

  4. What I like more about the series is Dove being involved. I'm a fan of hers since her first miniseries.

    I also think it's a good idea to have Dove's Law-derived powers afecting the Black Lanterns.

    What I don't like is having the Titans again and again with the same problems: Cyborg and being human again, Starfire and his Dick's obsession; Wonder Girl and her family, etc. They need to evolve a little.

    You know… I think I would have liked seeing Cyborg fighting one of the clone bodies he has used and discarded during the years.


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