Teen Titans Go! #5 review

Teen Titans Go! #5: “Prank’d/Mystery Box”
Written by Sholly Fisch, Amy Wolfram
Illustrated by Jorge Corona, Lea Hernandez
Colors by Jeremy Lawson
Letters by Wes Abbott

Now this book is just plain fun.

A bit of history: it took me awhile to get into the first Teen Titans television series. I liked the concept and the characters, but something felt like it was missing, and I never could put my finger on it. A few years ago I started watching it from beginning to end, and while it’s not even in my top five favorite DC shows, it still had a lot going for it: mostly obscure characters save for Robin (whose characterization never set right with me, but that’s a topic for a different show), season-long plots, and an attempt to blend humor and action in equal doses with a highly Anime-influenced visual style.

In the end, I respected the show more than anything. It may not have been a resounding success from a storytelling standpoint, and some of the humor was a bit too much sometimes, but when they went for drama and character development the show actually worked really well. I didn’t think it would happen, but the final episode actually left me a little heartbroken for Beast Boy.

Then Teen Titans Go! was announced, an all-comedy revival of the characters, and amazingly enough, I was 100% behind it. It’s silly and always pushed up to a thousand, but the stories are fun and the DC references peppered throughout border on the outright genius. This tie-in book has been a print version of the show, with each issue containing quick reads and enough going on in the background to warrant a second read-through.

This issue is more of the same, but not in a bad way. The first story, “Prank’d”, is about Cyborg and Beast Boy making prank calls.

It goes as well as you’d expect.

The sequence of events isn’t surprising: they make a call, tell a joke, and then hang up. It’s pretty standard stuff, but the energy and lightheartedness of the series makes it a fun read. Sholly Fisch was a writer I didn’t think I was familiar with, but the name sounded familiar, so I looked him up. It turns out he wrote one of my favorite Justice League Unlimited issues (it had Detective Chimp) and also wrote The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold series (one issue of which had Ragman, who I will always talk about if I can).

The scripting isn’t groundbreaking, but it isn’t out and out terrible either. The personalities of each character shines through, from Raven’s gloom to Robin’s rigidity to Beast Boy’s sugar-fueled hyperactivity. Combined with Corona’s artwork, which isn’t quite on model with the show but still has a nice, jagged edge quality to it, it’s an entertaining story with a few laugh out loud zingers.

The second story concerns a box that Raven has, and of course she doesn’t want any of the others to look in it.

It also goes as well as you’d expect.

It begins with a song about answering the door, which is kind of weird, but then they start singing about tacos and all is forgiven. Like the first story, it’s quick and fun, nothing of any real consequence but a nice palate cleanser between heavier books and stories. Amy Wolfram and Lea Hernandez have a good feel for the tone, with Hernandez’s pencils in particular pretty much spot-on for the show’s character models.

This isn’t my favorite book, nor is it my choice for the best all-ages book being put out right now, but it’s still a solid series and well worth it to pick up.

Overall: A breezy, fun read that could have been a script for one of the television shorts.

Recommended if:

  • You enjoy the Teen Titans Go! television series.
  • You want a few quick laughs.
  • You want to know what Starfire would look like with a mustache. Just trust me on this.

SCORE: 7/10