Teen Titans Go! Digital Issue #21 review

Teen Titans Go! Digital Issue #21: “My Little Mustache”

Written by Merrill Hagan

Illustrated by Jeremy Lawson

Lettered by Wes Abbott

This… is rough.  I usually at the very least enjoy this book, if for nothing more than light, frothy laughs, but this issue takes something that would maybe work as a two panel gag and stretches it out to an interminable 29 pages.  This was one of the most difficult books I’ve had to finish in a long time, and all because it just isn’t funny.

Well, that’s not totally true.  At the beginning, Cyborg excitedly tells the Titans that he finally has facial hair, and this is what he shows them:


Kind of funny.

Then this happens:

Not as funny.
Not as funny.

That’s just the start of this issue’s use of “oh mu gosh, so WACKY!” humor.  Its forced, it’s tired, and at best it reads like a rough draft instead of a fully formed script.  And, like I said before, it goes on forever.

The basic concept is at least salvageable: Cyborg has a lame mustache, get a few laughs out of it, then have a running gag where everyone gives him grief.  Had this been in the background while a different A-plot was going on it could have been fun, but that’s all this issue is.  Mustaches.  That’s it.

Look, I have a beard.  I like having a beard.  Sometimes, sticking mustaches on things they don’t normally belong on can be fun.  But, like anything else, it has to be used sparingly.  To me, mustaches, beards, lumberjacks, whatever have kind of run their course as being ironically awesome.  Had this issue come out five or six years ago it may have been different, but now it just feels like a retread of a long dead joke.

Ok, that's kind of funny too.
Ok, that’s kind of funny too.

Merrill Hagan has written some decent issues before, but his stuff isn’t as consistent as Sholly Fisch’s.  I will admit he does mine a few decent gags from this material, but most everything else falls flat.  Jeremy Lawson’s pencils are fine, though.  In fact, they’re probably the best thing about this issue.  There’s a decently staged fight with the Hive, and he draws some good facial expressions while keeping things appropriately cartoony.

That's... uncalled for.
That’s… uncalled for.

Like other issues, this is perfectly fine if you want to read it with your kids.  There’s nothing outright objectionable, but there are much better books out there you’d be better off picking up.  Get some Tiny Titans or Batman ’66 or even just about any other issue of this book and it will probably be more worth your time.

Recommended if:

  • …you collect mustache memorabilia?
  • You want anything to read to your kids.
  • It’s 2009.

Overall: A one-note joke that goes on for far, far too long.  There’s nothing else to say, because there’s nothing else there.

SCORE: 3.5/10