Teen Titans Go! digital issue #53 review

A new familiar face comes to Teen Titans Go! as the group go in for annual health and wellness check-ups.  Writer Matthew Manning makes a pretty strong debut on the title with a story that is both hilarious and all too real.

When Robin is more obnoxiously full of himself than usual, he reveals that it’s all due to having a clean bill of health.  Seeing that he’s now at the peak of his physical potential (in his own mind, at least), Robin forces the rest of the group to have check-ups of their own.

Admittedly, there are a few gags that were maybe too easy, Beast Boy going to a vet instead of a doctor being a prime example.  Manning goes for broke with the references and jokes, though, and I found myself laughing out loud multiple times throughout the story.

My personal favorite gag was a recurring joke with Cyborg.  First he visits a doctor, who tells him to go to an auto mechanic, who tells him to go back to the doctor.  It’s so silly that I couldn’t help but laugh, and Cyborg just looks so sad during all of it.

Manning, who wrote the great Batman/TMNT Adventures miniseries (have I told you my pull quote is on the trade?  I have?  Well, it is), has a penchant for some pretty great zingers and one-liners, and successfully emulates a common trope from the television show: making a great all-ages story that focuses on the most boring of subject matter.  In this case?  Health insurance.

Robin… you’re dropping some truth bombs, my friend.

Bear in mind that this is a show that had an entire episode based around building up equity through real estate investments and it still managed to be hysterical.

Manning, artist Erich Owen, and letterer Wes Abbott all throw in a bunch of references in their gags, with more than one famous DC Comics doctor making an appearance.  The most unexpected and hilarious gag, though, involves the greatest member of the Legion of Superheroes: Arm-Fall-Off-Boy.

I was totally taken aback by that, in the best possible way.

The story itself ends a bit abruptly with, again, a fairly easy joke, but it’s all an enjoyable ride.  I laughed at the jokes and gags, and Owen’s visuals are very pleasing to the eye.  Adults will appreciate that all-too-relatable frustrations with insurance and copays, and kids will love the adventures of their favorite characters.  It’s fun for everyone.

And speaking of copays: again, Manning is great at the one-liner.

I want that on a t-shirt.

Recommended if:

  • You too have beef with health insurance copays.
  • You have kids who love the show.
  • You love the show yourself.

Overall: Goofy as it is, this series is a great entryway for young kids who want to get into comics.  At it’s best it can be enjoyed by both young fans and adults as well, and this issue is a perfect example of that multi-generational appeal.  Manning’s script is sharp and funny, Owen’s pencils are clean and his gags are great, and it all comes together to make this one of the best Teen Titans Go! installments of the entire series’ run.

SCORE: 8.5/10