Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #1
Written by Art Baltazar and Franco
Art by Franco

My wife and son both loved this book. That right there is enough for me to give it a recommendation, but it has plenty to offer in and of itself.

After two years of inactivity, the Tiny Titans return in a six-issue mini-series by Art Baltazar and Franco that is just as charming and fun as the previous series. Like before, the issue is made up of loosely connected vignettes, but they still follow an overarching story and framework.
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The crux of the story is about Robin, Superboy, Supergirl, and Ace the Bathound and Krypto the Superdog investigating the disappearance of the Titans’ treehouse. The issue is well-paced and ends on a cliffhanger that is well earned, though it will be interesting to see where the story goes beyond this.

Baltazar and Franco’s script is innocent without being condescending, making it perfect for younger readers, while also being sprinkled with throwaway lines and other references that will appeal to longtime fans. Every character acts like you think they would at that age (for instance, Beast Boy is spastic as ever, and Robin takes himself just a bit too seriously), and there are fresh takes on familiar DC tropes like the Batcave and the Bottle City of Kandor. Even the sound effects are good for a solid laugh.

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The art and designs are what really make this series shine. Baltazar’s designs for each of the characters are familiar enough to be easily recognizable while still having context-appropriate changes (I love that Robin wears sneakers), and it still maintains that bright, water color and crayon aesthetic. It’s simple, but clean and really easy on the eyes. The issue is also chock-full of Easter eggs and cameos, so an additional read through or two is well worth it.

My only real complaint is that there are a few references to the previous series that would go over the heads of new readers. Nothing is really detrimental to the story and it’s easy to do a quick search for reference purposes, but new readers looking to dive into the back issues might have a hard time of it. That’s not any of the creative team’s fault, though, and it’s really grasping at straws to find a complaint.
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My wife took one look at the cover and decided that we needed to make our son’s room Tiny Titans themed. Let that be an endorsement for the book: it’s a perfect read for all ages, from the youngest of children to long-time comics fans, and great for parents to read with their kids.

Recommended if:

  • You just like good, well-written, accessible comics.
  • You’re a fan of the previous Tiny Titans series or Teen Titans Go!
  • You enjoy Yale Stewart’s work over at Jl8comic.tumblr.com. And really, if you’re not a fan, I highly recommend you become one.

Overall: it may not appeal to everyone who is a fan of mainline DC continuity, but if you want a fun, lighthearted read that doesn’t talk down to its audience, you can’t get much better than this.

SCORE: 9/10