RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #12 by Marv Wolfman, Pop Mhan, and Lovern Kindzierski
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #12 ends fairly well; however Marv Wolfman could have added more to the series and to this particular issue. Pop Mhan and Lovern Kindzierski create religious symbolism along with a pop culture reference. Overall, RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #12 was a good read with thought-provoking drawing and color.
83 %
Quick Ending

With the conclusion of RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS comes Marv Wolfman, Pop Mhan and Lovern Kindzierski‘s improved work on the story and art in RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #12. Wolfman shows Raven’s emotional trigger — where she loses control. He does well wrapping up the series; however, there are still holes in the story that need filling. As for the art, Mhan seems to rely on symbolism and reference to a pop culture fantasy. Kindzierski’s color complements each scene, and further perpetuates the idea of symbolism, especially when it comes to Raven.

The Final Battle in RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #12

We’ve come to the end of the RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS series. The Night Force jumps headfirst into battle with the Shadow Riders — or so the reader thinks. After Raven sees Violet dead in the hospital, she loses control and wants to kill all of the Shadow Riders. However, in the end, with Skye dead and Raven’s illusion of mass murder, the war ends. Once the war is over, Raven goes home to her family, returns their memories, and finally begins to tell them the truth of who she really is.

A Quick Ending and Raven’s Dark Side

Overall, the end of the war was quick, an interesting twist, and underwhelming. As mentioned above, the war ends with mere illusion, meaning that Raven never kills any of the Shadow Riders. All Raven did was personify herself as the Daughter of Darkness and have the leader submit to her after witnessing the “death” of his comrades. This is what was underwhelming. Sure, the illusion was clever, but the series built so much tension to where the final battle deserved more action.

RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #12
RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #12 Page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

If Raven were to have gone completely out of control, pushed her team away, and gone in for the kill, that would have made the wait worth it. There would be even more to explore with Raven being the Daughter of Darkness. I think this series could have gone on with Raven’s demonic self-being an antagonist. The Night Force could have fought Raven in order to save her from herself. This makes me wonder why the series had “Daughter of Darkness” in the title but only used that character trait in Raven one time, and that one time being in the final issue. The series could either be extended or rewritten in a more exciting way and with a less quick and disappointing end.

Raven’s Character Needs More Exploration

Now that we’ve seen the “Daughter of Darkness,” there is a mix of emotions. Wolfman did an excellent job creating a whole different personality in Raven that no one ever sees. Seeing her rage was the most emotional we’ve seen Raven. This leads me to question why this alter ego was not part of Raven’s character development. Knowing how powerful Raven’s anger is and what this emotion turns her into makes me wish the “Daughter of Darkness” was part of Raven’s “humanizing” component. I think this would’ve been a strong theme to carry through the series because it gives the reader the opportunity to see that even heroes struggle with themselves.

Symbolism and Pop Culture Themes in the Art of RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #12

In the very beginning of RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #12, there are two pieces that have pop culture reference and symbolism right off the bat. When Raven’s narrating us into the scene, the tall peak sort of looks like the eye of Sauron forms J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. In RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #12 the ball color is on the orange side and the peak seems to just be rock. Mhan’s interpretation almost gives me an adventurous feeling. If the plot had stronger components to support said feeling and complement it with a sense of wonder then I might have liked RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #12 more overall.

The second piece has the Night Force standing under a dying Skye. The way she’s drawn and colored looks Holy. Not Holy enough to where your jaw drops at how beautiful the light surrounding Skye is though. Skye becomes this savior-like figure for the Shadow Riders but instead of her dying to save humankind, she dies for herself. It’s kind of the opposite of Jesus’s crucifixion, and I have to say, it’s a powerful image. It might offend some people if they interpret the panel the same way, but hey, we all have different opinions. Now that I think about it, if Skye didn’t die, the Night Force would still have had a war to fight. Maybe Skye’s death wasn’t all that selfish since it saves her fellow arcane in the end.

RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #12
RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS #12 Page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Raven as the Daughter of Darkness

Lastly, on the topic of symbolism, we have to talk about Raven. In her “Daughter of Darkness” form, of course, it’s in reference to being Trigon’s daughter, but there’s more. Kindzierski coloring her red leads to the possibility of seeing Raven as the Devil. Some interpret the Devil — or a devil — with red skin, a symbol of evil. With that said, the color choice was great for discussing the symbolic element this holds without being a cliché interpretation that you want to roll your eyes at.

Final Thoughts on RAVEN: DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS

It’s sad to say that our journey with Raven and the Night Force has come to a conclusion. The series had its highs and lows, but the creative team finished the series well, despite the quick ending. If only the series could continue with the alternate plot mentioned, we’d have more to enjoy. But alas, it’s time to close a chapter of Raven’s story and hope for more.

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