Teen Titans Go! digital-issue #52 review

Based on the cover and the title of this story, I knew where it would go.

I did not, however, know where it would begin.

Not gonna lie, but I’m with Starfire.  Did you ever see A Fish Called Wanda?  When we first meet Kevin Kline’s character, he’s fast asleep with a Nietzsche resting on his chest.  Then his alarm goes off, he’s startled awake, and starts shooting wildly around his apartment.  From that point, I associate Nietzsche with hilarity instead of the usual existential dread.

True story.

Anyway, as delightful as this opening scene is, the real plot kicks in fairly quickly.  It’s a pretty standard plot about caffeine addiction and sending up hipster coffee joints.

As a guy who once worked as a barista and probably drinks way too much coffee as it is (black if it’s hot, a little bit of whole milk if it’s iced), some of the jokes here get pretty real.

Like, really real.

There isn’t the usual zest and zing associated with a Sholly Fisch script, but it’s paced well and never overstays its welcome.  The opening scene goes a long way toward selling the humor here, and even if the story never regains those highs it’s still enjoyable enough.

To that end, there really isn’t much conflict either, so Marcelo DiChiara and Franco Riesco don’t get to stretch much.  Oddly enough, the story is bereft of the trademark sight gags the series is associated with, so there aren’t many background jokes this time around either.  Even still, it’s a well-illustrated installment with great characters and bright colors, along with some creative fonts from Wes Abbott.

What we have is a silly little satire on caffeine addiction in the modern world.  That should be surprising, but considering the cartoon once had an episode all about real estate holdings and building equity, I expected something with maybe a little more teeth.  As it is, this is a pleasant, harmless diversion, and that’s all it really needs to be.

Recommended if:

  • You really like coffee.
  • You’re in the overlap on the existential philosophy/cosplay enthusiast Venn diagram.

Overall: Goofy fun, though a little more straightforward than I was expecting.  Regardless, it’s a great looking story with a few pointed but loving jabs at our obsession with coffee and/or caffeinated products.  It may not be the best Teen Titans Go! installment that I’ve read, but it’s certainly not the worst either.  Read it, laugh, and be entertained.

SCORE: 7/10