Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse #5
Written by Art Baltazar and Franco
Illustrated by Art Baltazar

The laughs start on the cover, and… well, it may not be a riot all the way through, but there are enough gags and details to make this another welcome entry in the Tiny Titans continuity.

So far, we’ve been to the Batcave, the Fortress of Solitude, the Rock of Eternity, and Atlantis. Now, we venture to Paradise Island to meet Wonder Woman. Right from the outset we get a gag about males not being able to set foot on the island. The solution? Fluffy pink slippers. It doesn’t make any sense, considering they already have footwear on, but it’s pretty funny regardless.

Arriving on the island in Wonder Woman’s invisible jet, the Titans take a tour whilst searching for a new location for their treehouse. Once again, standard stuff, but it’s the jokes and references that keep the plot moving along.

First off, Cheetah and her pet cheetah (…weird), Chauncey, decide to camouflage Diana’s jet so she won’t be able to find it.

The invisible jet.

That you can’t see.

They paint it with camouflage paint. And it works.

This is so dumb, but I couldn’t help but laugh at it. It’s another one of those jokes that you just have to accept the absurdity of, and if you can accept a world where Darkseid is a lunch lady you’ve got a good head start.

A twist in the narrative occurs about halfway through, where we go to Sidekick City Elementary to find Slade… sorry… Principal Slade and Trigon chatting about the end of the world.

And pancakes. As one does.

Anyway, Trigon decides to take a practice run on his world domination/destruction so he targets Paradise Island.

It goes about as well as you’d expect.

This thread seemed weird and out of nowhere, almost like it belonged in another issue, but hey, pancakes, am I right?

There are two things to note in this issue. One, Wonder Woman commands her lasso to go find Cheetah, and it does. Can any Wonder Woman fans help me out here? Is there precedence for this, or is Cheetah’s comment about not knowing Wonder Woman could do this more metatextual than I realized?

The other is one of the most obscure references I’ve seen in any book in a long while: Wonder Woman’s Kanga named Jumpa. Now, I had read before that the Amazons used to ride on giant kangaroos back in comics in the Forties or something, but I’d completely forgotten about it. That’s a testament to the knowledge that Baltazar and Franco have of DC’s history, and I’m always glad to learn something new or be reminded of a long forgotten obscure fact.

In all, the issue was fun, but nothing stellar. I was prepared to score it about a 7.5…

…then I saw this:

Spoiler

image

I laughed so hard at that that I had to stop reading and show my wife, all the while giggling incessantly. She looked at me like I was a crazy person (Editor’s note: The jury’s still out on that one.) but come on. If Mister Terrific can get his own series that at least deserves a mini.

With the combination of bright colors, charming illustrations, deep encyclopedic knowledge of the material, and humor that isn’t afraid to get absurd, Art Baltazar and Franco deliver another all-ages book that can be enjoyed by anyone.

And don’t forget the pancakes.

Recommended if:

  • You like a fun, light read with some big laughs.
  • You’re a fan of Wonder Woman (Sensation Comicshas been pretty solid, too).
  • You’ve read the other Tiny Titans series, which I can’t recommend enough.
  • Or even if you like Teen Titans Go!, which is so dumb and so much more enjoyable than people give it credit for.
  • You want to know which Multiverse Earth this takes place on.
    Spoiler
    Earth-53, apparently
  • You too have fever dreams of coconuts and oranges.

Overall: Cute and charming with a weird narrative detour, the series still stands as one of the best written “children’s comics” on the stands.

SCORE: 9/10