Thursday, October 6, 2016

Blackest Night: Titans #3 (2009)

Blackest Night: Titans #3 (December, 2009)
"When Doves Cry"
Writer - J.T. Krul
Artist - Ed Benes
Colors - Hi-Fi Design
Letterer - Rob Clark Jr.
Assistant Editor - Rex Ogle
Associate Editor - Adam Schlagman
Editors - Brian Cunningham & Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $2.99

Arright, let's wrap this Titan's tale up...


We open in flashback mode.  Donna and Terry Long are having a picnic under a tree with their son, Robert laying between them.  This probably falls somewhere around when Team Titans was a thing... as I believe that was post-pregnancy, but before the divorce.  I may be off by a couple of years though.  Anyhoo, Donna and Terry take turns playing with the baby, when suddenly it sinks its teeth into T-Long's neck.  Terry and Robert take their Black Lantern forms and Donna is shaken from her late-night day dream.

The next several pages consist of a great big fight scene.  We see various Titans trading blows with their fallen teammates.  I'm still a bit annoyed that Pantha's head is connected to her body... but whattayagonnado?  We observe Gar and Terra having their back and forth.  We settle on Donna fighting Terry Long... when she does what I was hoping she'd have done 30 years ago... punches him straight through the chest!

The next page is a toughie... like seriously.  Donna picks up her baby, Robert... and grips him around the head.  With tears in her eyes, she repeatedly reassures herself that this creature is not really her son.  She cries... and apologizes... before snapping the child's... her child's neck... as it continually gurgles "Mommy".  Damn.

Back with Terra and Gar, things are coming to a head.  At this point, our buddy Beast Boy is just exhausted... physically, emotionally, spiritually... you name it.  He takes the form of several large cats and begins tearing into Terra's rotting flesh.  She pleads with him... the jokes are over... she is really Tara, the girl he loved... loves, even.  Gar ain't hearing it.  Standing over her shredded body, he transforms into a bear.  Terra knows what he's about to do, and reminds him that he will always love her.  Gar agrees... and proceeds to tear her body in half.

We shift to Wonder Girl being pulled between Black Lantern Pantha and Black Lantern Baby Wildebeest.  Through Omen's machinations, she sees them as Superboy and Robin having a tug of war over her affections.  Donna creeps up on Lilith and goes to snap her neck... when Terry and Robert resurface and mock her.

Hawk and Dove fight their way into the scene.  Dawn is knocked to the ground, and Holly proceeds to attempt to tear her sister's heart out.  When she makes contact, her connection to the Black Lantern energy is severed.  The Titans look on in awe... the Black Lantern Titans, seeing Dove as the truest threat present begin to swarm.

Dove lays prone, inviting the Black Lanterns to give it their best shot.

This causes the Black Lantern Titans' connections to be severed.  Suddenly, Dove is bathed in light... standing behind her is Don Hall, her Dovey predecessor.  He asks that she not give up on his brother.

When the dust settles, Dove wakes up.  Only the living Titans remain.  Kid Flash takes a quick trip around the world to find that this zombie epidemic is not Titans exclusive... the entire superhero world is being visited by "ghosts of Christmas past".  Donna decides the heroes of the world need the Titans on the front line... and so, they head out.  She decides to keep Dove close by, for in the event she goes full "Black Lantern", she'll need her to "take her out".  This ain't the end of the story... but it's the end of this series.


Yeah, this was pretty good.  I guess it was a bit of a let-down that this entire series was simply to show how the Titans joined up in the Blackest Night schmazz... but, in a vacuum, this was a neat story.  Looking back on it now, it even drops a hint or two about Brightest Day, as it pertains to Dove.

This was mostly a fight scene, but character elements and personal moments found their way in.  Seeing both Wonder Girls having to deal with some of their personal baggage... both literal and figurative, was intriguing.  Cassie feeling pulled between Superboy and Robin was cool... and Donna having to, er, dispose of her former family was quite the scene as well.  Heartbreaking too... regardless as to whether or not "Terry" and "Robert" were in those skin-husks... imagine having to snap the neck of... shoot, any baby... much less one in the body of your own.  It's maddening.

When it comes to Terra-removal... it rightly comes down to Gar having to "pull the trigger"... in this case, brutally rending her to shreds before tearing her in half... this is, of course Didio's DC, after all.

The Dove ex machina was a clever way to close this one out.  I suppose it makes a measure of sense for an agent of peace to be the one to counteract an army of raging zombies.  Donna's giving her the authorization to "take her out" should she go full Black Lantern was a pretty powerful bit as well.

Overall... this was a fine miniseries.  Of course, there isn't really a whole lot of closure given that this is a prelude to the mega-event it's tied into... but, taken on its own, there is plenty to enjoy, and enough to leave a Titans fan satisfied.  Art is still really good, though, perhaps a half-step behind what was offered in the first two chapters.  Recommended.


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