P:R Approved: Thomas Branch’s Raven!

Note: With all due respect to George Pérez, Teen Titans‘ stalwart Raven has always been a character that looks half-finished in my book. And P:R Regular Thomas Branch has done much to finish what Pérez started in this great action-oriented design that stays true to the character’s dark roots. I especially like the gauntlets, which hold what Branch says are “Eyes of Trigon” that allows her to do “darker things.” Trigon’s baby girl, all grown up. – Chris A.

11 comments on “P:R Approved: Thomas Branch’s Raven!
  1. I whole-heartedly agree with P:R on this one– Raven has always felt like a rejected sketch for at least a dozen other characters– and as usual, Thomas Branch knocks it out of the park. This art feels completely fresh and new, while still being recognizable as Raven.

  2. Awesome design.

    The black, talon-esque fingers, the “Eyes of Trigon”, the torso designs, the hood+neckerchief; they are all amazing. I’m really digging the purple, black and red. And the Gambit eyes, lol. I could live without the lip piercing.

    My only gripe is that without the cape/cloak, she looks more like a ninja-type, instead of a caster-type.

  3. I get the sympathetic shivers at the thought of fighting at close quarters while wearing a piece of jewelry that could be ripped out of my flesh, but that’s just me.

    I think the gauntlets definitely show that this is Raven all grown up and in control. But for some reason I just can’t get with her dressing in all-over superhero style as a confident and well-balanced adult, maybe because the animated Raven design. with which I am most familiar, reminds me of a little girl who has dressed up as a superhero in order to feel more confident but topped it with a cloak in order to hide. I think of her more as wearing practical, comfortable clothes–jeans with some give in them, yoga pants–with T-shirts and sweaters, all in dark colors because she just plain likes how they look*. Then she would summon these awesome gauntlets and the third jewel on a dark-colored cuirass from Hammerspace when going into battle.

    *and of course because the artist could blend the dark clothes, hair, gauntlets, and cuirass into a scary silhouette with her three jewels and her eyes glowing eerily out of it.

  4. Feels punky and enchanting. However, I really really hope when her powers activate she has a shadow cloak or something. It almost seems too open for a character who hides so well in the shadows.

  5. Give her a cape to go with that hood and you’ll get a more Raven feel and lose some of the Witchblade.
    Either way I would SO read this comic though

  6. The only thing keeping this from being perfect is the lack of a cape. The creepy eye-gauntlets are especially cool.

  7. It may just be me, but I find a lot of Branch’s work quite busy – in the sense of there being a lot of extrenuous lines, details and textures which don’t always seem to fit the nature of the character – a characteristic which is compounded by the overall darkness of colours and shading, which make them hard to even make out.
    In this piece, for example, I LOVE the idea of the eye- gauntlets and arm-armour, but am put off by how nothing in the rest of body matches their aesthetic. The torso seems to have been designed with a series of odd lines in geometric shapes which don’t strike me personally as particularly effective or original. There are good elements in this design, but to me they seem to come from several very different pieces which have been strung together and juxtaposed, not exactly to good effect. I think in this case the sash-belt and necker-chief hood look fantastic, but I personally would simplify the chest and torso design, into something that flows with the rest of the elements. Perhaps just extend the necker-chief into a wrap or cape that falls down over the chest?
    Either way, these are just my thoughts and no offense meant to Mr. Branch.

  8. With all due respect to Mr. Branch, I think George Perez came up with one of the best costumes for Raven. Keep in mind, it was at a time that few had a cowl or wore a dress. What he lacked in busy lines, he made up with in defying what comic book characters could wear.

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