***WARNING: This review contains major spoilers!***
The opening panels show an alert sounding in Titan’s HQ, where a fatigued Donna has apparently started drinking before going into action. This new threat rates higher than any we’ve seen so far, and the team BOOMs into the small town of Jorlskot, Norway. Raven (still sans soul-self) is benched in the Boom-Room as Sam Rubel and Steel put the finishing touches on a machine that removes ambient source-energy, thus eliminating any emergent event effects.
As the Titans move into the town, they are affected by a psionic energy that causes them to feel enhanced dread. Suddenly they’re ambushed by amorphous blood monsters! Beast Boy is bloodied pretty badly, forcing him to go berserk and M’gann is whacked into a nearby farmhouse. Steel slams into the fray and removes Beast Boy so he doesn’t die in his frenzy. Miss Martian is shocked by the power that hit her, allowing the negative psionic energy to lower her defenses enough to reveal her true, White-Martian self. She screeches before regaining her composure, but her telepathic link with the team goes down.
While Steel holds the line, Nightwing and Donna recover M’gann. Apparently, the amount of source-energy used to create the blood abominations is minimal, so removing the energy from the area has little effect. Steel orders Sam to release the energy they’ve stored and the resulting explosion snuffs out the remaining energy controlling the monsters. In the aftermath, the Titans witness the thousand or so townsfolk that were sacrificially murdered in order to create this trap. Now they know the Blood Cult his searching for the same Source-energy and have weaponized it.
Later, Beast Boy reassures Grayson that he’s doing a great job as their leader and Steel jabs back and forth with Sam about who’s the better tech guru. M’gann checks in with Sam, seeing how he’s doing after the conflict. Though he’s fine, he tells her that not only did he hear the scream through the mind-link, he saw her true form too.
Art: As it has been throughout this arc, the art has been very good. It’s emotional and kinetic, no awkward or strange facial expressions. As good as one could expect from a bi-monthly issue.
Writing: This is kind of a culmination of the monster-of-the-week formula the Titans have been slogging through, some of which has been silly though creative. This issue contained a REAL threat to the team, with an air of horrifying and murderous intent. Donna drinking before combat could be the result of recent personal loss or maybe she’s simply bored; time will tell. Beast Boy shifting just for a silly pun made me very happy too. M’gann is starting to show some cracks and Sam’s motivations might not be fully selfless. All of this drama feels natural and well-presented and I can’t wait to see what happens next!
The emergent Source-Energy threat has become VERY serious, which is a very welcome thing for Titans fans. The momentum has now made this title worth the bi-monthly cost and I can’t wait to see what’s around the corner!
Titans #26: Murdered By the Blood Cult? There Aren’t Worse Ways to Go.
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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