Teen Titans Go! digital issue #57 review

The Teen Titans are movie stars!

While I’m… pretty sure a similar scenario came up in a recent issue, it doesn’t matter.  With an actual for-real movie coming out soon, it only makes sense that the comic series would capitalize on their silver screen presence.  Yet even with a pretty foolproof concept from the usually reliable Sholly Fisch, this story doesn’t really deliver.

It’s a shame, too, because there’s some good stuff here.  There are some pretty sharp lines, and the idea of the Titans trying to cash in on fame long after their (literal) fifteen minutes are up is pretty funny.

There’s just… something missing here.  It feels too loose, like Fisch outlined the story and wrote in some gags but never really tightened it up after that.  It’s not a bad installment of Teen Titans Go!, just a disappointing one.

But, again, it’s not a total wash.  When jokes land, they land really well, and true to form there are some great in-jokes and sight gags.

First B’Wana Beast, now Ambush Bug.  I want to live in a world where these guys get their own movies.

The basic idea behind the story is that Teen Titans Go! To the Movies is a smash success.  Everyone loves it, and the Titans a critical darlings and adored by the public.  They’re the toast of the town, beloved by every man, woman, and child who encounters them.

And then the movie ends and nobody cares anymore.

That’s a funny idea, and if it had been explored more it could have been a fairly biting commentary on media consumption.  We live in a world where everything is either the greatest or the worst thing to ever happen… until the next great or terrible thing comes along.  Let’s face it: we’re fickle creatures with short attention spans.

The story doesn’t really go any deeper than that, though, which is a shame.  Fisch is a smart writer, and he could have made this story something special.  He does get in a few great lines (“Truly, fame is the most fickle of the extramarital partners” is particularly sharp), so it’s not a total loss.

Once the public turns on the Titans, they decide that the best thing they can do is go out and be real heroes.  They’ll take on real, serious threats, then surely the public will love them again.

Uhh, spoilers?

The only problem?  Even the bad guys want nothing to do with them.  So, they set their sights on petty crimes and… it goes about as well as you’d expect.  And escalates pretty quickly.

Not gonna lie: that is pretty despicable.  Orphans and puppies?  Monsters.

It all looks very, very nice, thanks to Erich Owens’ lovely artwork.  From the glitzy movie premiere that opens the story to the comical interlude where the Titans really let themselves go, it’s a great looking story.  The character models are on point and there are a few fun background jokes too.  Owens’ Darkseid in particular looks great, less “menacing god of Apokolips” and more “perturbed despot who just wants to be left alone,” and it’s fantastic.  Plus he has his fashionable skirt, so bonus.

It’s fairly funny and will no doubt serve as a good companion piece to the movie.  Yet even with some solid jokes and nice visuals, it’s not quite the best this series has to offer.

Recommended if:

  • You think too many jokes about too many dooky jokes are funny.
  • You can overlook a loose plot to appreciate some sharp dialogue and potential for deeper thematic weight.
  • You too think Ambush Bug should get his own movie.

Overall: Above average, though just slightly, this is a fine entry in the Teen Titans Go! canon.  Some of the writing is pretty smart and the whole thing just looks great, but it’s pretty loose and kind of meanders around.  While there are hints at a better story and some sharp commentary here and there, what we end up getting is a few funny moments in an otherwise standard installment.

SCORE: 6/10