Thursday, July 17, 2008

Review: Tiny Titans 6

And now for something completely different ...

Tiny Titans is the new Johnny DC comic written/drawn by Art Baltazar. It has got fairly decent reviews for a Johnny DC title, being enjoyed by both kids and adults, but more on that in a bit.

In this issue, Supergirl and Blue Beetle join the Tiny Titans. This is some indeterminant incarnation of Kara, although it most likely represents the new Supergirl ... not that continuity means anything here. For example, the Robin in this book is written as though it is Dick Grayson (given the occasional disco Nightwing costume jokes) rather than Tim Drake. And the Titans here are an amalgam of all incarnations of the Titans that have existed.

This is Supergirl's first appearance in the title and she is in 3 short stories in the issue.

The first story called 'Meet ya, greet ya' shows Supergirl and Blue Beetle's arriving at Titans Treehouse (cute).

Together they enter, hoping to meet the core members of the team: Robin, Speedy, Cyborg, etc.

In their place are some second stringers: Kid Vulcan, Hawk and Dove, Power Boy, and a few others. Turns out the real titans are on a field trip.

Nonplussed by the also-rans, Blue Beetle and Supergirl resign themselves to a long day with some nerds.

The second story she appears in is more a Blue Beetle story in which she has a brief role. It is not worth a scan.

The third story is untitled but has the Titans bringing their pets in for a 'show and tell' style event. Supergirl brings in her pets, Beppo the Super-monkey and Streaky the Super-cat. Beppo and Streaky !!!

Any Streaky appearance is a good Streaky appearance.
Clearly the Titans are starstruck by Kara and her pets.

Later Blue Beetle accidentally steps on Streaky's tail and as a result he spills his pets - a case full of bugs. Some mayhem ensues until Raven uses her magic to gather up the beetles.

This is an strange comic for me in a couple of ways.

It looks as though it is aimed at a younger set of readers, younger than the JLU/Teen Titans Go! tweener set. And the short stories with their slapstick elementary school level humor fits the bill.

And yet, as a reader, you need to have a fairly comprehensive understanding of the Titans and their history and powers to comprehend what happens. For example, there are lots of Trigon jokes without much explanation why Raven has a demon father (not that little kids need an explanation). Baltazar has brought in dozens of characters over the first six issues and does little to discuss their powers or explain who they are. So when a little Jericho uses his powers on Deathstroke (who is the prinicipal of the Sidekick elementary school ... also cute), it is confusing unless you know that Jericho can take over people's minds. He includes both the Cassie and Donna and calls them both Wonder Girl. Kid Flash seems to be Wally, although it is never stated. That is a lot of Titans stuff for the young novice reader to grasp.

On the plus side, there is usually a game or puzzle page at the end. Also, this issue there was a code at the end so kids can translate what the beetle scarab is saying to Blue Beetle. Makes it a little fun.
I supose that children would be a better judge of this comic rather than a jaded veteran like me. But if you are not a comic fan and bought the issue as a lark for your kids, or if you bought this for a friend's kid as a way to introduce them to the medium, it might make very little sense to everyone.

Lastly, I am really glad that Supergirl is included in the title. Any time Supergirl is a featured character I am happy. And if introducing Supergirl in this comic makes a few young readers become lifelong Kara fans, even better.

Overall grade: silly enough to earn a 'B' from the kid in me


Heath Edwards said...

i've quite enjoyed the 'tiny titans' series, and all its tiny stars. i haven't gotten into the titans series, but this has been good fun...

Anj said...


I have enjoyed parts of it. The supergirls at home have enjoyed parts of it.

Strangely, we rarely enjoy the same parts.

Stil, it's fun.