Writer: Marv Wolfman / Artist: Alisson Borges / DC Comics
In a conflict where one has relatively little idea what’s going on, this issue continues the trend of this Raven miniseries being consistently good. As Raven – or Rachel, as her family and classmates know her – tries to save the city from this unknown threat, we feel the stakes are incredibly high without even understanding what the threat exactly is, or what it wants. Raven doesn’t know either, only referring to it as “The Thing,” this psychological orb that is attracting everyone nearby into its mass where it claims their soul as empowerment for a purpose we also don’t know. All the while Raven narrates the disaster in her calm, melancholy tone juxtaposed against intense scenes of life-or-death rescue. And still manages to be funny in her dry humor.
Raven narrates several of her “factoids” this issue, offering insight into the character and her abilities to serve the unfolding plot, but also keeping this series a friendly entry point for new readers unfamiliar with her character. The cast broadens a little here though, seemingly late in the game, to introduce a group of profiteers trying to cash in on the disaster happening in San Francisco. These “heroes” haven’t intersected with Raven yet and are only tied into the story by nature of them offering to face the psychic orb that Raven is trying to defeat, but that seems a likely direction, albeit an unwelcome one. Raven versus the psychological chaos of the orb is already perfect; adding mercenaries runs the risk of being annoyingly distracting, but perhaps they’ll come and go quickly.
Overall, another great issue with such great art that THE dialogue is nearly frustrating in its interference sometimes. The next issue might be suspect – I have my reservations about the direction this series could possibly take – but this story seems to be in great hands. Here’s hoping it can maintain the momentum it built so early.