Review: Teen Titans GO! #19

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writers: Paul Morrissey & Heather Nuhfer, Ivan Cohen
Artist: Marcelo Dichiara

Summary
The first story of this issue starts with the Teen Titans playing pranks on each other, but it seems that Beast Boy has somehow avoided becoming the victim of any pranks. He explains that this is due to his ability to “smell into the future.” Raven quickly realizes that Beast Boy was lurking near her room while she was performing a temporal smell, and inhaled the odours emanated by the spell.

The other Titans laugh at this situation, but the levity is broken when Beast Boy smells a horrific smell that Raven identifies as the smell of the apocalypse. Then he smells into the near future to try to identify how the apocalypse will be caused, and smells the cheap cologne worn by Raven’s father, Trigon.

Beast Boy uses his nose to track down Trigon, who is riding around town in his SUV. Trigon invites them to get in the vehicle with him as heads home to a party he has planned.

On the way in, Beast Boy gets another precognitive smell – failure, and inside we find out why. The party, supposedly already two hours in progress is deserted. This gets Trigon angry and he decides to bring about the apocalypse that Beast Boy has predicted.

 

The second story begins with Beast Boy bemoaning the imminent death of his pet fish, Sven the herring. However, Sven isn’t really sick, but just homesick. He longs to return to the country of Springenstadt and start a family.

So the Titans set off by plane to Springenstadt, although Robin is forced to ride coach due to there not being enough seats in first class.

Arriving in Sven’s home country, Beast Boy changes into a herring and gets in Sven’s fishbowl to comfort him.

 

Positives
Both stories are amusing diversions, more meant to be humorous than tales of superheroic adventure, but the real fun is the little references to other parts of the DC Universe. For example, the group refers to an issue of “Coming Soon Comics” (i.e. the DC section of Previews), and Robin wonders who this vaguely familiar Damian character is that is featured on the cover. Also, the cover depicts Beast Boy as the Last Boy on Earth, poking fun at DC’s Kamandi.

Negatives
There’s not much to complain about. The stories aren’t terribly deep, but as this is meant as a children’s comic, they aren’t intended to be.

One thing that makes me wonder is that Robin seems to be the butt of an inordinate amount of the jokes. It seems a bit unbalanced against poor Robin. However, it may be that with Beast Boy being in the spotlight this issue, a lot of the dumping on him had to be shifted a Robin, who is usually at the center of the team.

Verdict
This issue is a fun look at the Titans. I admit that I haven’t been following this series until recently, but maybe that was a mistake. It’s an interesting and amusing diversion from the regular serious interpretations of the Teen Titans.

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.