The core Teen Titans are busy getting into seriously nasty stuff over in Blackest Night #5 this week, so the title is handed off to former member and usual back-up feature star Ravager, in a story written by the Blackest Night: Titans writer J.T. Krul.
Ravager has finally tracked down her father, the murderous assassin called Deathstroke. The confrontation between the two of them is heated enough, but when you come from a family of assassins, you’ve got a lot of Black Lanterns out to hunt you down. Daddy and daughter are forced to work together against demons from their past, both blood and otherwise. Krul again has taken characters that haven’t been living up to their potential lately and made them really strong characters. In the course of this story, you can feel the conflict within both characters, long before the Black Lanterns crash the party.
This is the kind of thing these two should be doing. While Deathstroke never felt right as the anti-hero he was made out to be for much of the 90s, he does still have his own code of honor and, more importantly, a sense of family that’s important to him. Even when his own daughter would rather see him dead. Krul manages to tap into a really great slate of characters to turn on the Wilsons as well — some of the Black Lanterns most likely to mess with their heads (which, of course, has been the primary function of the Black Lanterns to date).
Joe Bennett‘s given us some pretty solid artwork too. He does some of the best work on the Wilsons, Slade and Rose both, and I love his Black Lanterns. While we’ve seen a lot of the same basic page this month (Black Lanterns bursting from their own graves), he does it well. This is truly one of the strongest issues of Teen Titans in quite a while, and none of the main cast even appears in it. Dan DiDio has named Krul as a writer to watch. I hope he gets a regular assignment soon.