Raven Daughter of Darkness #2 // Review
The team of Marv Wolfman, Pop Mahn and Lovern Kindzierski return for the second installment, in this twelve issue mini series. So far they have created a unique world with intriguing characters and high stakes for more than one of these characters. Unbeknownst to Raven she is on a collision course with a predetermined fate, that is supposed to balance the scales of good and evil. Add on top of that the pressures of maintaining a social life as a teenager, and this team behind this book, led by Raven co-creator Marv Wolfman, crank those stakes up a notch.
After a brief confrontation with the mysterious and dangerous new character Azure, Raven contemplates about her skirmish. Thinking of Azure as strange and disturbing, Raven then realizes that she should be better than that, responding with fear to something different. Wolfman dissects the character right in front of the readers eyes. Raven’s character is given extra depth and dimension that only great writers can deliver. Even as she is being attacked by a stranger with incredible power, Raven is still thinking about how she can help this person out. Wolfman also further explores the relationship between Rachel (Raven) and her friends. She joins them to help comfort one of their own at a local hospital. Cancer is killing the grandmother of Raven’s friend. Raven teleports into the room to try and use her powers to absorb some of the dying woman’s pain. However even Raven isn’t strong enough to prevent death, and realizes she isn’t able to help. Wolfman again delivers a deeper look into the heart of gold that this character possesses.
Pop Mahn delivers outstanding artwork once again. The big reveal of Azure at the end of issue one, showed that characters can be simple in design and yet still scary. A character without any features on her face except for enormous eyes may seem weird, and could go awry in the wrong hands. Mahn however, gives the reader a character that is sure to be remembered. Trigon, Raven’s father is also briefly seen, and like last issue looks great. When Trigon shows up again, it will be interesting to see how he fits in the events currently unfolding. One of the best art features so far has been Raven transformation and teleportation sequence. Rachel can transform into a vaporous form resembling a Raven and take flight. The form has a beak, two wings and a tail, but looks more fluid. Raven’s teleportation takes on a fluidity as well. It’s not a simple poof of smoke, it’s more of a wisp or fog of dark magic. The design of these sequences is only one half of what makes them great, the color seals the deal. Pop Mahn’s design of the mysterious and dangerous Azure greets the reader on the very first page, while Lovern Kindzierski’s coloring on Azure’s haunting eyes, sucks the reader in.
For a title with the word darkness in its name, Lovern Kindzierski uses many bright and vibrant colors throughout. When Raven is together with her friends, there seems to be a warm brightness to the panel. Even in this issue with the discussion of her friends ailing grandmother Kindzierski uses these bright colors to liven up a grim situation. As previously mentioned, Kindzierski’s coloring for the teleportation and transformation make it a visual treat. Black and purple swirl together in a very ethereal mixture. Raven’s transformation also takes on a supernatural glow with the Raven form surrounded by a blue aura. The form also appears translucent, as the night sky seems to shine through and she is glimmering with the hundreds of stars.
In just two issues, the team of Wolfman, Mahn and Kindzierski have laid the groundwork to what should be one issue after another of continued growth and innovation with this story and it’s characters. Wolfman has given Raven a world of possibilities to explore within her character arc. With such a spirit of optimism, it will be interesting to see how far she is willing to go to protect the people she cares about, if she will give in to her dark powers.