TEEN TITANS GO! #9 (Sholly Fisch, Jorge Corona) is the most fun I’ve had all month.
With a premise based entirely on the Titans’ prank calls inadvertently sparking an alien invasion, TEEN TITANS GO! #9 isn’t exactly packed with the most thrilling of plotlines. But honestly, with humor like this, how much more of a hook do you need? The silliness is half the charm, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve laughed so hard at a comic, with the possible exception of TEEN TITANS GO! #8.
I’m aware that I already addressed this when I reviewed the previous issue, but I’d like to reiterate – I really, really enjoy the digital-specific nature of this title. In comics, timing can be everything, and from panel size to layout to page breaks, a tremendous amount of thought and care (ideally) goes into guiding the time the reader spends from panel to panel. Even the best writing can be ruined by poorly laid out beats and panel pacing. But even with so much care, there’s only so much that can be done in traditional comic media – a certain amount of action necessarily needs to be squeezed into a panel, and all the care in the world can’t stop the occasional reader’s wandering eye from spoiling a punchline or reveal.
Here, however, the creative team is able to almost completely control the pace, and in a book that takes off of a series of animated shorts and relies so heavily based on comedic timing, the effect is incredible. And it’s only getting better – while previous issues had a tendency to overuse it or mistime beats, as the writers and artists experiment more and learn what does and doesn’t work, they are missing the mark less and less. It’s a series that works in traditional media, sure – obviously, as it is indeed later released in printed form – but I honestly can’t imagine that it could be nearly as fun as a digital read, even with the various flaws and foibles of the Comixology reader.
And the book is fun, tremendously so. This is not only a series I wouldn’t hesitate to show to my young nephews, but one I enjoy myself, unreservedly and wholeheartedly. With the dark and frequently humorless nature of so many of even the best books, it’s nice to be able to relax and just laugh as Starfire offers cookies to alien invaders while the rest of the team frantically plans to flee the country before Batman discovers their antics. There’s not a serious moment in this, and I love it.
Finally, it’s nice to have a series that isn’t so, well, serial. While I enjoy a well-laid plot spanning multiple issues as well as the next person, the sheer amount of continuity backlog in even the New 52 can be a huge barrier to jumping into books partway through. With TEEN TITANS GO!, however, every issue stands alone, and any time is the perfect time to start picking it up.
Honestly, I don’t have a lot to say against this book. TEEN TITANS GO! is one of the funniest comics currently being released by DC, and it’s all-ages humor to boot. But if you’re not a fan of comedy books, there’s nothing here for you. There is no deep thought or complex characterization, and while it’s great for what it is, it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea.
TEEN TITANS GO! #9 is a book I’d recommend to anyone looking for a laugh – while appropriate for young children, it’s a book whose humor does not rely on cheap kids’ jokes, and is so much the better for it. It’s a light read, and not one that will leave you deep in thought or desperate for the next issue. But as a humor book, it’s one of the best out there. And at $1.99, it’s more than worth the price of admission.