Titans United: Bloodpact #5 review

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It’s not often that I’m this happy to be so wrong about something. I criticized the previous issue of Titans United: Bloodpact for how the mind control of Jinx by Raven didn’t seem to make much sense because how would Brother Blood not be aware. This issue makes me want to take that all back. Get ready for lots of twists and turns as we jump into the thrilling confrontation between the Church of Blood and their rebellious rivals!

While I’m really glad to see that the reason why Raven possessed Jinx became clear in this issue, I’m also a bit annoyed at the idea that Starfire still hasn’t actually properly confronted her crimes. Keep in mind this one complaint is based on the background of a couple panels and the reason why I’m pinpointing this is partly because Cavan Scott has truly outdone themself!

The other reason I’m pinpointing my issue with Starfire is because it’s more than just a few panels. What she’s done and how she comes to terms with it is one of the few deep character developments that has gotten a chance to unpack the implications of this new Church of Blood reality. The other characters kind of just experience the plot but Starfire has snapped out of something that she is still unwilling to forgive herself for. So when you see her immediately make up with Superboy in the background it feels like we missed out on a serious story element.

I’m having similar problems with the art by Lucas Meyer. Still to a lesser degree though. The action is always incredibly drawn in this mini-series with Beast Boy’s transformations and Jinx kicking Raven out being the knockouts for me. You’re getting hit with page after page of visually stunning snippets of a fight where the powerful participants practically break the frames of the panels as they pummel each other.

This issue reads super fast, you’ll definitely want to linger on each page but by the end of it I audibly said “what?” both from the twist ending and the fact that it was already done. I think that’s partly because each page contains really big panels to emphasize the action and only allows for a couple story beats at a time. This breakneck pace is only damaging to the reader’s experience because it doesn’t really reward a second reading. The only time I saw something interesting happening in the background was the Starfire/Super Boy stuff which I didn’t even like seeing! Since I’m already able to finish this comic quickly, a re-read could’ve actually been rewarding if the backgrounds had small details yet to be discovered.

The coloring by Tony Aviña is still incredible with the powers radiating with energy and the people looking as grim and dark as the world they’re trapped in. I’m also a huge fan of the way that the colors of the powers shine so bright that they actually tint the people around them. Not only does this make each display seem extra imposing but it also clearly situates each panel within a neat timeframe that can be intuitively followed.

The lettering by Carlos M. Mangual is also top notch! I really love the way that Jinx gains back her body and the lettering of her speech balloons. My one gripe is that the letters for the sound effects are almost all too clean visually for the style of the art. My three exceptions are the “TSHH” of Super Boy’s lasers and both the “RRRRRLLLL” and “FFSSNN” of Beast Boy. The exceptions have a bit more gruffiness around the edge and look way more fitting.

Recommended if:

  • Following each twist has you excited to read more
  • You’re looking for a quick read
  • You love non stop action

Overall

This mini-series delivers the audience a combination of thrilling action and tense character dynamics within a truly nightmarish new reality but there’s always just a bit too much that gets skipped. Yet there’s so much going on that is actually developed in satisfying and unpredictable ways. So I could easily recommend reading Titans United: Bloodpact and I’m really excited to see how it all ends! I’m glad I was wrong about Raven possessing Jinx but I’m still right about the lack of details… sadly.

Score: 8/10


Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.  

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