Tales of the Titans got off to a strong start with Starfire as the focus of the first issue. That first issue showed that the original Titans are ready to move on to the next stages of their lives. With Starfire that was shown through her current spot on the Titans, her Tamaranean connections, and her next steps. Now with that established it is time for Raven to take the spotlight. How will Tales of the Titans #2 set the future for Raven? Find out with our spoiler review.
Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Eleonora Carlini
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Troy Peteri
During Patha’s (who has taken time off from being a superhero to have a baby with her boyfriend) baby shower Raven admits to Starfire that she is not ready to settle down or think of having a kid of her because of her mother’s history.
Later Raven senses her mother’s lingering emotions coming from a church in Gotham City. When she gets there an angel named Amadeus. Amadeus tells Raven that Trigon is trying to build a new army using new sacrifices his son is having a cult make.
After spending days infiltrating a Cult of Trigon, Raven is able to stop the ritual from sacrificing a pregnant woman named Eden. She then fights her brother Liam (also known as Trilogy), who was posing as Amedeus. Raven opens a soul portal and sends Liam back home.
The next day, after Eden safely gives birth, Raven meets up with Liam to have a brother-sister chat. End of issue.
Unlike the previous issue that shined a spotlight Starfire that showed the character appears set for greater growth, Tales of the Titans #2 fails in doing this for Raven. Instead, what Tini Howard and Eleonora Carlini accomplish is showcasing how Raven will forever be stuck in the spin cycle that is her father Trigon. Whether this is an editorial or creative team decision, it is extremely disappointing that DC Comics can’t find ways to progress.
The worst part about what Howard did with the story she wrote is present Raven as a character who will never move beyond the character Marv Wolfman and George Perez debuted in 1980. Unlike her Titans family, there is no other story that Raven can be involved in that isn’t connected to Trigon. Their link is eternal to a toxic degree that has impacted even the creative direction for Raven.
This is seen with how obviously recycled of a story that Howard told with a Mini-Me version of Trigon in Liam tricked Raven by posing as a an Angel. There is no feeling this is a new story. It seems like something that was taken from a story already told and just given a new coat of paint.
It also makes Raven appear as a character who hasn’t learned much since she continues to be easily tricked by Trigon, even when its obvious. While she does show some emotional growth in the final page it comes too late. There were too many red flags that Raven should’ve noticed given her history with her father Trigon that shouldn’t have made it take this long.
Which gets back to the problems in the writing. There is nothing that gets you to fully buy in and be along for this latest adventure. The lack of immersion really ruins any sort of pacing that is attempted to be had.
Not helping things is the direction Carlini went with the art for Tales of the Titans #2. Given that DC Comics is pushing the Titans to be on the level of the Justice League the art did not match that. The art positions Raven back as a young teen rather than young adult in her mid-20s that we see in the Titans series. This does not help the perception that Raven is unable to move beyond being the daughter of Trigon that the story by Howard pushes.
If you have read one Raven story you have read them all is the feeling that Tales of the Titans #2 invokes. Tini Howard and Eleonora Carlini do absolutely nothing to show Raven is more than the character we know from her debut. The lack of creativity pushes the idea that Raven is a character that DC Comics has no aspirations of making her more than being “Trigon’s daughter.” It’s incredibly disappointing, especially with how DC Comics is positioning the Titans right now and the unlimited potential the magic side of the DC Universe has.
Story Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10