I am loving this current story line in Titans. This issue is basically taking the Titans and throwing them into the world of Dungeons and Dragons, and then using Ben Rubel as the game master/video game player.
Let’s start with the covers. The main cover is not quite relevant to the issue, but it does a great job of depicting the heavy fantasy feel to the issue. The B cover is incredible. Over the span of the DC comic world, the B covers of many comics are showing some of the greatest art in comics. This one is right up there as well. Donna kneels in a knight’s bow of submission. Under the arm is the rest of Team Titan. I love the way Donna is drawn, but I think this cover also shows, pretty conclusively, that this is Donna’s team for good now. The events of Nightwing also support this.
Player 1 Ready
The way this issue starts off is so much fun. Ben is back at base with the books about Unearth that were written by Mr. Hinton. Team Titan has just breached the “real” Unearth and are fighting off the horde of creatures that greeted them. Ben is calling out attack plans and strategies based off what he is reading in the books as they go. Ben calls out that these creatures were beaten back in the book by a shield wall and long bowman. Sure enough, Kyle throws up a wall of shields from his ring and Miss Martian uses her eye lasers to drive them back.
Even though they are in the middle of a huge battle the team fights very relaxed and confident. It is good to see after all the team has been through the past several issues. Ben is asked how a castle they are heading for is defended and his answer is he does not know because that is chapter 26 and he has not read that far yet.
The next section takes us even deeper into the D&D style world. We meet the Dark Elves that run the castle. In fact they do very much remind me of the Drow from D&D. Tall, dark and evil. In fact they have Ernest wrapped around their little finger and completely baffled by their true plans. In fact to hide their plans to crush the Titans, Lord Travesty sends Ernest on a little vacation/tour of the lands.
Mother Blood Surfaces
With him out of the way we learn of the true allegiance of the elves with the Blood Clan. With the promise of power, Mother Blood has an ally. This issue does a great job of showing them as allies, yet given the first opportunity either side will betray the other.
But as that scene wraps, the bottom of the page reveals the tortured and pleading soul of Raven. Of course as the Titans near the castle, Raven can feel her tortured soul. Raven can feel the shape her soul-self is in and it is not good.
The Titans push on, only to run into another band of evil creatures. Ben apologizes for not mentioning them since of course they were back in chapter 3. A quick update and the Titans move on again. I love the battle of quips between Kyle and Garth.
Endgame – sorta
Next, as the reach the castle city, they run into a force Ben did not read about. The forces from the castle and the Titans crash head on. The panels of fighting are very well laid out, showing the work of each Titan with some incredible art work.
Its the griffon mounted leader of the evil horde that begins to cause problems. The leader is both powerful and very good in combat. This leader is a match for the Titans. The leader lands a solid shot on Steel and Lantern, only to have Lantern knock the leader from her mount. The leader rises right back up and takes out both Kyle and Natasha out.
The One They Did Not Expect
There is just one thing missing. The leader no longer has their helmet on, and boy do the Titans wish they did! Next issue will be one hell of a battle!