Teen Titans Go! digital issue #58 review

Or perhaps “Riddles” would have been a more appropriate title, as that’s what this story consists of: a series of riddles where the Titans try to one-up each other.

Not a bad concept by any means, and there are a few nice moments here and there, but overall this is a pretty average installment of Teen Titans Go!

The main problem is that the riddles, as presented, are pretty standard fare.  They’re the types you’d find in any number of “Big Book of Jokes and Riddles” that litter the children’s and humor sections of your local discount book store.  Sure, this is a light book.  It’s always been a light book, one that goes for laughs above deeper meaning.  I don’t think a book like this should talk down to its readers, nor do I think it should be condescended to for delivering precisely what’s expected of it.  In this case, that’s an enjoyable book for young readers.  To that end, I suppose it succeeds.

Still, I’ve seen this book get pretty sharp at times, and while there are some pretty smart moments in this issue, it’s pretty by the numbers.

A lot of the problem is it’s incredibly straightforward.  This is literally just the Titans proposing riddles to one another, hoping to outsmart their peers.  This could have led to some pretty fun shenanigans, but it just never really goes anywhere.

Part of that, I think, is that Raven is the one who is stumped by the main riddle.  That’s all well and good, as she’s set up as being “better than” the games the others are playing yet still casually figures them out almost immediately, but there’s too much here that makes her come across as just dense.  After Beast Boy and Cyborg exhaust their riddles, Robin comes forth with one that the other Titans are fairly quick to pick up on, but Raven can’t get it.

He also test drives a new catchphrase, which… needs another pass or two.

This would work better if she wasn’t standing literally a few feet away when Cyborg explains the answer to Beast Boy.  It’s kind of sloppy writing.  I know that riddles are hard.  It’s why the writers on Batman: The Animated Series wrote so few episodes featuring the Riddler.  So while I can hardly fault Torres with wanting to try something a little different, I wish there was more to the story than what we got.

There are a few moments of bizarre silliness that made me crack a smile, more for how out of the blue they were than any genuine hilarity.

There’s one scene that did make me laugh pretty hard: Raven, obsessed with solving the riddle, barges into Robin’s room in the middle of the night.  There he lies in bed, disturbed from his slumber, dressed in jammies that match his costume.

The fact that he’s still wearing gloves just makes it better.

Most of the visuals are a bit odd, though, with some really strange faces in particular.  It’s odd, because Sandy Jarrell is a great talent.  Typically, I really love his work, and he hits on some great moments here.  There are times that his character work is really square and blocky, though, especially early on in the issue.

He really shines when he’s allowed to let loose, like when he exaggerates Robin’s features so as to tower over Raven:

He throws in a pretty solid Easter egg too, plugging the original Ray’s new venture as a purveyor of fine pizzas.

Really though, it’s a one-joke story that goes on for too long.  Had the riddle been a subplot running concurrently with a more interesting story, it might have worked.  As it is, this is one installment of Teen Titans Go! that’s fine, and nothing more.

Recommended if:

  • You really, really like riddles.

Overall: It’s fine.  Perfectly average.  While there are a few moments of inspiration, both in the writing and in the visuals, this is mostly a pretty-okay installment of Teen Titans Go!  I laughed a few times, and there are some fun sight gags, but there’s really not enough content here to justify an entire story.

SCORE: 5/10