RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #8 by Marv Wolfman, Pop Mhan, and Cully Hamner
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Under the steady writing done by Marv Wolfman, the story of RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #8 progresses well. For instance, when Klarion is introduced, it's done quickly but not to where you feel the story is rushed. Pop Mhan's artwork delivers a beautiful and mystifying version of Raven's spirit.
92 %
Good Progression

The Shadow Riders begin to take precedence, we meet a new friend, and it all ends with a cliffhanger in DC Entertainment’s RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #8 written by Marv Wolfman with art by Pop Mhan, and the cover by Cully Hamner.

RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #8 Starts Building Into a War

Shadow Riders are picking up the pace in killing arcanes. This means that Baron Winters gets more and more selective of who’s best for the Night Force. A prime example of Baron’s strict selection is in the first pages of RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #8. Red Devil, a current member of the Night Force failed his mission in saving Shing Jie, a potential member. After the incident, he is immediately replaced by Klarion, the Witch Boy.

RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #8
RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #8 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Raven and Klarion go to Manhattan as backup for Zach Zatara (Zatanna Zatara’s cousin). They fight to keep the Shadow Riders from hurting anyone. Meanwhile, Traci Thirteen sees what is going on and offers aid. Traci, identifying the target of rescue, takes matters into her own hands and transports herself and Robert, the victim, to Baron’s home. Not too long after, Raven returns with Robert’s husband, Luis. With everyone gathered together, we find out that the Shadow Riders are after Robert and that Baron hid his memories of being arcane when he was just a baby.

At the end of RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #8, Jonathan Middleton, the guy in the coma from RAVEN: DAUGTHER OF DARKNESS #7, becomes a Shadow Rider. (WHAAAT.) All we know is that his parents were arcanes. As a result of his parents being arcanes, there’s an established connection.

Overall, the plot does well in progressing the story. Introducing a character and revealing new facts is timed properly so the reader doesn’t feel rushed through the main plot.

Magical, Mystical, & Somewhat Familiar Art

To start off, the Shadow Riders, in general, look really cool. With that said, there are two details in particular that are of interest for the sake of this discussion. One is when the Shadow Riders’ horses gallop and when they use their magic, it kind of looks like salt and pepper. It’s really quite humorous. The other detail is what the Shadow Riders wear. When you look at them, you see these “shoulder wings,” for a lack of a better term. They sort of resemble Ryuk’s outfit from Death Note. One more thing — something that’s cool, but also a little funny — is whenever you see a Shadow Rider, they always have mist around them. I’m sure it’s used to make a point, but it’s kind of extra, too, which calls for a little chuckle.

RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #8
RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #8 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Pop Mhan makes Raven’s spirit-bird form more beautiful and light than I’ve seen. The way it spackles (like splatter paint, but with intention) towards the tips of the wings and the blue accents create a more mystical and colorful look. Another tidbit of magical art worth noting is on page 11 when Traci teleports her and Robert to Baron’s home. It’s like Traci and Robert are the middle of those electric balls that you touch and the little lasers inside “zap” where you touch.

In general, the art seemed less gruesome than previous issues. For example, when the Shadow Rider killed Shing Jie there wasn’t blood and gore, just a scream of agony.

What Stands Out In RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #8?

The big elephant in the comic is Klarion. From what I’ve gathered, he’s a supervillain in various main series such as YOUNG JUSTICE. How he became a villain in the first place, I’m not sure. With that said, Klarion seems like a different version of Beast Boy. Think about it — his skin color isn’t a natural skin tone, and he’s kind of lean and lanky, with a child-like personality, like Beast Boy. What if this sort of similarity has Raven attracted to him from the get-go? That’d be cute.

The characterization is pretty solid. Seeing a long stare between Raven and Klarion rose suspicion in me, that suspicion of being a romantic interest. Especially when Baron made a Tinder joke, “Oh gods. Swipe left or right on your own time.” (LOLLL.) We don’t see much else happen after that initial spark which is kind of a bummer, but hopefully, there’s more to come.

The last point that stands out is something Luis said: “We left Chile because they are not friendly to gay people. So we came to America. Now it appears we are not safe here either.” WOAH. This may just be talking about the situation at hand in the comic, but that statement applies in reality. The LGBTQIA+ community don’t have fair treatment or the same respect in America due to who’s in power. I’m curious if Marv Wolfman is throwing a subtle form of shade at the community that hates on the LGBTQIA+ population.

With that said, the plot does really well with getting in your head and, if you came to this same conclusion about Luis’s statement, then you may agree that RAVEN DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #8 gets a little too real.

Ready for a Showdown

RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #8 certainly is a building block toward a greater fight that’s yet to come. What’s going to happen in the coming time? Why is Jonathan Middleton a prime target for the Shadow Riders? All these questions and more will come to light soon enough, friends.

Stay tuned for RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #9 coming soon!

One Comment

  1. […] thing that was a little irritating about the plot is, in RAVEN: DAUGTHER OF DARKNESS #8, we left off with Jonathan Middleton transforming into a Shadow Rider and yet that isn’t […]

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