Story: Phil Hester
Art: Scott Koblish
Colors: John Kalisz
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
What They Say:
Master mercenary Deathstroke needs the Titans’ help. His daughter, Ravager, was infiltrating the demonic Church of Blood when she succumbed to the hypnotic power of its leader, Brother Blood. Red Hood believes that the plea is real…but is Deathstroke telling them the whole story?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Taking the full issue this time around, the Titans work from the DC Giants again puts Jason front and center as the Red Hood and lets him work thing while the rest of the team has some decent moments. Phil Hester works team books pretty well but this one has a lot going on within a single issue and it feels a bit cramped because of it and because it is a team book. Scott Koblish handles the art duties in full and there’s a lot of creative panel layout in order to get it all in there but it works well and it lets John Kalisz deliver very well when it comes to the color design for it, especially with all of Brother Blood’s lair that we see with all the molten elements within it.
The premise is one that starts off busy with Deathstroke having stunned the Titans team in total and is now facing off against Jason while trying to get him to realize he needs his help. The general idea is that there’s a new place where Brother Blood is operating from nearby and he’s sent in his daughter to take him down through some paid work he got. It’s a simple setup but Ravager has gone missing since going inside and we see that Brother Blood has converted her to his side. Amusingly, Jason tries to take in Deathstroke as part of the agreement to help get Ravager out and deal with Blood but Deathstroke’s just not going to let that happen. Especially since he knows the Titans will do the right thing. The downside to being heroes and then knowing that kids are being taken to this place and their minds being cleaned out for service to Brother Blood.
It’s a little convoluted in getting to the next part as we see Garth doing his best to awaken Jason after being caught up in all of this in Blood’s lair but it sets it all into motion for breaking out the rest of the Titans and trying to free the kids. There’s a lot of action that’s enjoyable to watch but without much in the way of real engagement or involvement for the reader, more just as background action. What we get is more time spent on Jason trying to convince Ravager that her father has really taken bad advantage of her when it comes to this mission as her mind was hollowed a good deal but she’s still very much eager to serve Deathstroke. It’s understandable to a degree since Ravager is in that middle ground where she can go either way, but it’s welcome to see Jason being as proactive as he can in trying to get her to see what’s really going on.
With Jason as the focus again and the Red Hood not being one of my favorites, this installment is decent but doesn’t really grab me. Phil Hester has a lot to contend with here and I like the story in terms of Ravager, Deathstroke, and Brother Blood but it gets way too busy with all it has to do once you bring in Jason and the rest of the Titans. Koblish has a lot of good stuff to work with here and comes up with some creative layouts and interesting elements for Blood’s lair which are well-colored throughout. It’s a good looking book with some very fun moments that work well but as a whole it just left me a little underwhelmed.