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When the first three Blackest Night tie-in miniseries were announced I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure if I’d pick them all up. As much as I like Superman and Batman I knew I’d buy them, but I really am not into the Titans. So I am surprised that I really think that the Titans miniseries was the most rewarding of the three.

Admittedly, the relationship between Tara and Beast Boy are lost on me because of my lack of familiarity, but I found this issue in particular provided for me the most character driven moment since the event began as well as what I think it important information about how the Black Lanterns work. So I’m kind of surprised about that since it’s been said by DC that readers don’t need to read all the tie-ins to get the main story. And while that may be true, I think fans who don’t pick this one in particular up are missing out on some essential plot points.

J.T. Krul does a great job wrapping up what I initially thought was going to be my least favorite of the first three minis. Cyborg and Starfire are having visions of what they most want – with Vick wanting to be human again and Kory longing to be with Dick Grayson. We get the usual baiting by the Black Lanterns as the Titans fight to stay alive, but it’s Donna’s moments that shine from me.

The page where Donna deals with the Black Lantern version of her baby has got to be one of the most heart-wrenching emotional scenes I’ve read since Ralph found Sue Dibney’s body in Identity Crisis. Ed Benes, who always to me seems to draw all his women’s faces the same and really likes to focus on their breasts (not complaining about that part!), really creates a great sequence as Donna summons the inner strength to realize that the Black Lantern is not really her child and dispatch with him, and then breaking down in tears. I found myself incredible moved by the scene and it’s one that will stick with me for some time to come.

The key element to me from a plot perspective is the continuing inability for the Black Lanterns to be able to deal with Dove. We see in this issue that if a Black Lantern touches Dove the ring is almost immediately disconnected from its host corpse. As I mentioned in my review of the first issue, I really think that Dove holds one of the keys to fending off the Black Lanterns. Dove is at peace, to me that means that there’s not one dominant emotion to color here aura – it’s white because all 7 emotions are equally present and represents the “white light” that Indigo-1 explained in that beautiful Ivan Reis splashpage back in Blackest Night #3. I think Dove will be the key in how Earth’s heroes hold the Black Lanterns at bay while Hal continues to put together his multi-corps team.

Donna now has the ability to see the auras of people like the Black Lanterns do, and while that definitely puts her on my own death watch list, I think that her new ability could be used to help the heroes gain control of themselves in tandem with Dove. It’ll be interesting at any rate to see if Dove’s proximity to Donna will keep her from falling to the dark side.

I give this issue nine lanterns.

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