Teen Titans Go! digital issue #54 review

Look, comedy is incredibly subjective.  One person may laugh uncontrollably at a joke while another is left wondering why anybody would find it even remotely funny.  Not every joke will make everyone laugh, but every joke is bound to make someone laugh.

I did not laugh very much at this comic.

Which is a shame, because I’d enjoyed the previous few installments of Teen Titans Go!  This time, though, I chuckled a few times but overall just didn’t get it.

The problems are two-fold: concept and execution.  The central ideas here just aren’t very funny, and any attempts to draw laughs generally fall flat.

The basic idea: Cyborg creates a machine that will print pizza (which is, admittedly, amazing and we need to throw some research money at this), but the Tower is so dusty and dirty that it breaks.  So, the Titans need to do a bit of spring cleaning, which results in the dust and dirt around the Tower becoming sentient.

Eh.  I’ve heard worse, but that’s pretty thin.

From there, most of the jokes center around “look at how crazy this situation this is!” and “nobody listens to Robin!”  The latter is always good for a few laughs, but it’s just not the funny here.

Thought Robin’s passive-aggressive attempts to get people to clean are pretty funny.

That’s not to say there aren’t any funny moments in the issue, of course.  I chuckled a few times, especially with Cyborg’s dead-serious proclamation that they may not ever have pizza again.  Ever.

Jeremy Lawson always turns in serviceable work, and it’s no different here.  It’s fine and it works, with a bright, clean aesthetic that evokes the spirit of the show without imitating it outright, but the pencils are still pretty much workmanlike.  There aren’t any background gags or any really exciting layout choices.  It’s all very straightforward and lacking any great detail.  There are even a few pages with tons of negative space around the frame, large black fields that surround a single centered panel.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s lazy, but it is curious that this choice was made.  Even making the backgrounds another solid color, like pink or green, would have been a bit more pleasing to the eye.  As it is, it just looks unfinished.

Bringing it full circle, it all comes down to delivery.  The visuals don’t quite deliver due to some questionable layout choices, and the jokes don’t really land because the delivery is off.  The most important part of telling a joke is in the timing, and Ivan Cohen’s is off.  He’s written some really funny installments before, so I know he’s capable of telling some good jokes.

Proof: this line from Robin toward the end of the issue.

While a few of the gags I used as example may have made me chuckle, I thought this was a pretty solid line.  It made me laugh out loud.  Not particularly hard, but I still laughed.

Here’s hoping Cohen and Lawson’s next crack at the book is more successful.  What they’ve done here isn’t offensive in any way, and it’s a perfectly serviceable read if you have kids.  It’s just dull and, yeah, not particularly funny when it really, really wants to be.

Recommended if:

  • You read it anyway.
  • You need something to read with your kids that might be passably entertaining.

Overall: Harmless and completely forgettable.  The concept is uninspired, the jokes aren’t particularly funny, and the visuals are just fine, nothing more.  I chuckled a few times, perhaps in spite of myself, but this installment of Teen Titans Go! is not indicative of how entertaining it can actually be.

SCORE: 4/10