Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #2
Written by Art Baltazar and Franco
Illustrated by Art Baltazar

This month finds the Tiny Titans venturing north to the Fortress of Solitude, and it’s as charming and welcome a story as you’d expect, though not much more.

To recap, last issue saw the Titans lose their treehouse when Psimon and Brainiac shrunk it down so they could earn some Brainiac club badges. After getting a Batcave treehouse that didn’t quite suit their needs, the Titans set off to track down their nemeses and get their headquarters back.

I rated that issue pretty high, and while this one is by no means bad, not an awful lot happens. The joy of reading this series is in the references and Easter eggs that Baltazar and Franco throw in there, and while there are some good gags, the issue feels a bit thin.

The writing, as ever, is innocent and charming without being condescending, and there are moments such as the confrontation with the elder Brainiac that work really well. Blue Beetle and his backpack make a welcome return as well, the latter spouting off his(?) signature alien gibberish, but as always there is a key made available so you can translate if you so desire.

Going to the north pole, you’d be safe in assuming they ran into Superman at the Fortress of Solitude. Supes is represented well here, being a protective older cousin to Supergirl, but there’s one thing that bothered me that I’ll spoiler:

Spoiler
He’s in his New 52 costume, which just doesn’t work with this art style. Setting aside my personal distase for it, the fact that characters like Robin and Batgirl get variations on their classic looks while Superman has the two-toned, armored look of his current continuity outfit makes it seem really out of place. It’s really the first artistic misstep I’ve seen the creative team make and I’m curious as to why they chose that look

It’s still a nice scene, though, and we’re given another humorous attempt at a makeshift, replacement treehouse.

As good-natured a the storytelling is, there are definite trappings of a formula throughout the issue. Each of the next few issues will probably involve the Titans almost catching the villains, getting another substitute treehouse, and moving on after that one fails. It is fun and something that younger audiences can easily follow along with, but it would be nice to see some twists on this approach.

Further points in the spoilers:

Spoiler

  • Bar none, I think the funniest thing this issue was Duckzarro. Seeing the Bizarro family provided a nice little excursion, but a duck named Duckzarro just makes me laugh to no end for some reason.
  • The Fortress of Solitude crystal treehouse melting may or may not have made sense, I’m not sure, but it was a pretty funny way to dispose of it.

Overall: Still fun, still charming, but lacking in overall energy and creativity. Maybe next month will find the Titans in a setting with more to do and work with.

Recommended if:

  • You like a sweet, all-ages book.
  • Deciphering codes tickles your fancy.
  • You just want a few nice, big laughs out of your comics.

SCORE: 7.5/10