Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans Review


It’s time to look at the most recent Teen Titans Go! movie. This one brings back the classic Teen Titans for a quick crossover event. While the film doesn’t manage to be quite as fun as the first Titans Go movie it’s definitely still a quality film in its own right. You’ve got action, comedy, and a final boss. What else would you even need right? One thing to watch out for is the opening credits makes the interesting decision of spoiling the entire film. It literally goes section by section from start to finish and shows all of the big scenes. It’s a very odd choice.

The movie starts off by showing us that the Teen Titans have still got it as they beat the Gentleman Ghost. People may doubt their abilities, but they shouldn’t because these kids are the real deal. Things get a little hectic when a portal appears and they’re all kidnapped. It turns out that the Master of Games is kidnapping Teen Titans from various universes to make them fight. The Go Titans are eager to start the battle while the modern ones just want to find a way to save their world. It looks like both of them may have to team up, but can the two groups possibly learn to work with each other in time?

Going forward I’m going to call the original Titans the Gen 1 crew and the others will just be referred to normally since they are the main characters here. The Titans act about as well as you’d expect them to. They’re still treated like comic relief because even they acknowledge that they aren’t serious the way that the Gen 1 guys are. They can’t help but constantly be at the center of the gags. The only one who tries to be serious is Robin and even then he is constantly overshadowed by his Gen 1 version. I’ll give him points for effort though and he’s the only Titan who really understands the gravity of the situation. He needs the portal device and he needed a win to secure the team’s confidence. It’s just a shame that he isn’t able to fight quite as well as the others. The other Titans are all on point except for the fact that Starfire was not taking this seriously enough. None of them were all that serious, but at least they tried in the tournament. Starfire was too busy trying to make friends to do much of anything which was disappointing.

As for the Gen 1 crew, it was fun to see them again. Robin and Raven probably get the most to do here. Raven has a lot of experience with the demonic realm so she coaches the kid version on this. Meanwhile Robin is ready to lead the team and he definitely does not like the baby titans. He’s constantly belittling them and when they don’t listen to reason he is quick to put them down. Gen 1 Robin certainly enjoys being the leader and makes sure to stretch things out when possible. After all this is his chance to lead two different teams to victory so you can bet that he is going to milk this as much as he can. It’s just an opportunity that he cannot miss.

The movie moves pretty quickly through the different phases to the climax so it never drags on. I didn’t feel like any of the humor was all that bad either. I would consider this to be one of the stronger Teen Titans Go episodes if it was on TV. The return of Santa Claus was also a lot of fun. It’s always great to see him as an antagonist and he is one of their tougher opponents. Of course taking on a group this large would be difficult even for the greatest of villains.

Then we’ve got more crossover appeal towards the end of the film. If you managed not to see who was included already then I won’t spoil it for you. Needless to say it’s a pretty solid lineup. I would have liked to have seen them all a little more to be honest, but what we got was pretty neat. Imagine if the whole film was the tournament though and we got to see a lot of different verses duke it out. That would have been really cool and then this probably would have beaten the original film. The animation here does look pretty good, but more standard than the first movie. The colors are a little brighter and there is extra detail either way. There’s no super catchy theme like we got in the first film, but I guess it’s hard for Lightning to strike twice.

Where the film really shines is in how absurd the whole thing is. The Go characters are in full parody mode and they just don’t care what the Gen 1 group thinks. They’re here to have fun and nobody’s going to stop them. That straight forward goal really keeps the film going and it’s why you don’t even need the crossover aspect for this to be a success. The group can hold their own as is. If anything I’m just glad that the Gen 1 group weren’t too obnoxious in trying to question the Go characters at every turn. They quickly learned that the Go characters weren’t going to change and just rolled with it.

Overall, Teen Titans Go vs Teen Titans is a fun film. While it’s a versus title there isn’t a lot of action between the two teams. A good chunk of the action scene is just comedy, but to an extent that is to be expected with these guys. It’s probably the only vs title I would give a pass to because of that. Whether you’ll enjoy this film or not is completely dependent on whether or not you enjoy the Go series. If you like the TV show then you’ll like the film and if you don’t like the show then the movie won’t be for you. This basically feels like an extended few episodes and it’s really a movie for the fans. It brings all the best qualities of the show together.

Overall 7/10

Animated Movie Reviews, Animated Movies, Reviews

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies Review


It’s time to look at the Teen Titans GO! movie that came out recently. I’ve watched the show ever since its beginning and it’s always been very hit or miss. It can have some decent episodes and then it can have some truly terrible ones. As a result the show is leaning towards a negative rating at the moment, but of course things can certainly change by the end. With a film I figured the writers would try to be on their best behavior and come up with a good story so as not to embarrass its viewers. Well, the movie is a considerable step up and I can happily say that it was a quality movie. I was worried for a little while, but it all turned out okay.

The film starts with the Teen Titans being mocked by the Justice League. While Robin and co. aren’t thrilled about this it’s hard to deny that the League have a lot more going for them. They’ve got big budget films on their resume while the Titans haven’t got a clue. Robin decides that the only way their group will ever be respected is if they get a big budget movie. They head over to Jade Wilson to plead their case but she explains that she’ll never make a film about them. The only way around this is if the Titans can get rid of all other heroes or finally get an arch nemesis. Both options will be tough for these guys, but Robin knows that it’s time to step up. Can the team do it?

Slade gets a pretty big role here as you’d expect since he is easily the Titans’ most iconic villain. This film is the first time they’ve met in Go continuity so it was nice to see him arrive. He’s played in a much more comedic light here as you’d probably expect. It may take a little while to get used to him since his “Mind Manipulation” gimmick isn’t quite as humorous as most of the other Titans. Still, he does give us a pretty good twist by the end (Well, if you’ve read the comics you might not be fooled but the twist works to an extent regardless because there are two routes that the movie could have went with) and he can certainly fight. I was glad to have him on board here.

Where the film excels is naturally in the writing/humor. See, typically the issue with the series is that the humor is cringy instead of funny. Usually it’s very crude or just flat out gross. This film rarely goes there and instead the humor is in how crazy the Titans are and how unprofessional the team can be. A good example of humor is how the Titans go around preventing everyone’s origin. The humor can also be a bit dark in how they have to murder some people without going too far into dicey territory. As I mentioned the only gag that drags on is Slade’s. (Saying his name gets old as well) When Slade isn’t around the rest of the humor is fast and to the point.

I also liked the film’s soundtrack. Some of the songs were meant to be parodies of course, but they still worked very well with or without context. Robin’s song about being a real hero was awesome. Likewise I really enjoyed the Teen Titans opening song that was also used during the climax. It’s really impressive just how good the song is honestly. It’s the kind of song you could actually listen to in a serious context and still enjoy it. It helps that the graphics for both scenes with the song were quite impressive. It started the film out on a high note and right away you could tell that it was a bit of a step up from the show. Even the animation was quite on point here. While the style isn’t really different from the show, there is a lot more movement so I imagine that the animators had to use many extra frames. It allows for better visual gags and some nice action scenes as well. On a technical level the film had no issues and since the writing was solid as well you can see how this film got off on the right foot.

As far as the main characters go, Robin is certainly the best hero just like you would expect. He actually knows how and when to get serious unlike the rest of the heroes. He got the team their opportunity to get a movie and didn’t mess it up unlike the others. He really wants to be a good crime fighter and is just held back by the others. I’d go as far as to say that without the others he would have already had his movie. Still, he’s pretty patient with the other titans and has all the qualities of a good leader. Unfortunately the other four don’t look very good here. They actively try to wreck his movie in a fit of jealousy and rage. You could argue that it is quite personal since right after Jade tells the Titans to stop goofing around they immediately did the opposite. I think the implication here is that they didn’t like the way she said it, but it’s still awful petty of them. Cmon now guys. You really feel bad for Robin the whole time and even if he does get suckered by the end you can’t blame him for trying. This was his life’s dream and he may not have gotten the opportunity again otherwise. You go Robin!

Another strong area in the film is its ever changing plot. While getting a movie is the main focus of course the film goes into a few different segways where you think it may spend a lot of time doing something only to refocus. A good example of this is the heroes deciding to go back in time to change the superhero origins of the League to replace them. You’d expect this to be the bulk of the plot in any other movie but here this montage only lasts for a little while before the Titans go with plan B. I think that plot could have been its own movie as well, but the film could have potentially locked itself in a bit since then it would become a bit more predictable as to what would happen next. It still worked for the quick gags though. There’s just a lot happening in this film throughout and it has the kind of energy that you want to see in a movie like this. It embraces how crazy it is and ultimately ends up being the definitive comedy DC film.

Of course this wouldn’t be a true comic book film without a post credits scene right? It hints at a future project to come if you take the scene at face value. Honestly I wouldn’t have taken it very seriously myself since it would be the ultimate gag to get everyone’s hopes and dreams up. Of course, we do have a rumored crossover film coming up which is similar to a direct sequel so I guess in a way that does lend some credibility to the scene. Regardless it is a pretty fun scene though and one that I’m sure you’ll have fun with.

Overall, Teen Titans Go! really surprised me with this one. The humor is just so much better than you would have expected based on the show. We’ve gotten glimpses of what the show could be like from time to time, but to actually pull this off for over an hour straight? I couldn’t help but be impressed. Aside from the Slade humor being a bit weak I can’t think of any negatives for this film. Even if you haven’t seen the show before now I highly recommend checking this film out. It’s just a lot of fun and all you need is a basic understanding of DC comics or at least the comic book movie industry to really get into what’s happening here. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to accept Robin as a real hero!

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Teen Titans Go! Volume 4: Ready for Action Review


Time for a Teen Titans Go collection! Of course, I’m not talking about the current flash animated show, but the original Teen Titans Go adventures. It’s basically the classic TV show team with the original designs so you can’t go wrong there. The art can be a little sketchy at times, but it’s definitely a pretty fun collection. We get quite a few stories and always some action around. As always, Robin also manages to steal the show.

The first comic deals with a bunch of zombies attacking. They seem to attack every place where a musician takes the stage so that seems awfully suspicious. The Titans head over there while Raven goes to fight the mastermind directly. He seems to have manipulation over the shadows so he is someone that you definitely have to be careful with. Of course, Raven has a lot of experience in this field herself so she’s certainly not worried. A pretty good start to the collection. It may not have had a lot of action, but I liked the mastermind who was in the shadows. Raven taking care of him with minimal difficulty definitely makes sense since there is no way this guy should pose much of a threat to her. Raven is simply on another level when it comes to powers from the shadows.

The next comic had Raven fall inside the video game world when Atlas made his big return. Cyborg has apparently been hiding from him for a while, but you can’t escape Wifi and lag switches. A lot of technical glitches occur which is why people keep falling into the game. Can the Titans clear the game and get out or will a cop out occur? Unfortunately it’s the latter, but it’s still a fun issue. The original Atlas episode is actually one of the most underrated ones in the series if you ask me and I thought it was pretty good. I would have liked for Atlas to have actually fought here. So it’s not as good as the first story, but still solid.

Next up is the Beast Boy adventure. He gets turned into a Godzilla homage so the Teen Titans have to team up with the East branch to bring him down. They take out the Voltron robot that Cyborg had been saving and manage to really knock the fight out of Beast Boy. Who doesn’t like a giant monster comic right? I prefer humanoid opponents, but it’s hard to say no to a Godzilla homage. At the very least it was also fun seeing the East squad again. Speedy and Robin had a nice team up as well.

Things changed a bit with the next comic as it was actually two mini stories. The first story is about Raven lending all of the Titans her super spooky book except for Beast Boy since she figured he couldn’t handle it. He’s not mature enough. He decides to prove her point by breaking into her room and stealing her book. It’s the wrong one though so he unleashes a monster to the world. Pretty decent comic and I’m glad we got the moral at the end that Beast Boy isn’t ready for it. The second half story was a lot better though as Robin faces off against Slade and they have an epic battle until Starfire wakes Robin up from his day dream. Hey, it might not have been real but it makes for a fun adventure. The art got very water colored for some reason for this issue. I’m not really a fan of that style, I’ll take the classic look.

The next two comics are definitely the best in the volume. First off is the return of Red X. He’s here with a vengeance as he starts committing a lot of crimes. The strange thing is that when the Titans try to stop him, he seems to be in 5 places at once. Most of them are robots but is the real one the real Red X? He’s never used such a tactic before. The Titans assemble and get ready to take him down. It’s a pretty action packed comic with Robin as the focus, how could this not win? Robin is also the only member to do well against his Red X counterpart which is worth mentioning. Yeah, all told, I was pretty satisfied with how the comic went. Even the art seemed to be at its peak here.

Next up was a sequel to the Master of Games story. The Titans are taking down crooks as per usual when a red gem shatters and they all switch powers. Robin gets Starfire’s abilities while Raven gets Robin’s hand to hand skills for example. It’s a pretty interesting development and as expected, Robin and Raven handle the changes the best. The others have a pretty tough time of it but they’ll have to stay strong since crime never takes a holiday. It’s not a super action packed episode or anything, but swapping powers can always be an amusing plot line for an episode. This one handled it pretty well at that.

Finally, we end off with a Christmas episode. The team has to deal with the Multiple Man. (I’m not positive if that’s his name, but it would make sense) He’s ruining Christmas for everyone. Robin manages to stop him with a good trick, but Beast Boy is sad because Robin has to give his present to a random guy whose present was ruined. The secret santa may not have worked out for everyone, but it’s the thought that counts. It’s a pretty happy comic that is fitting for a Christmas story and it’s a reasonable way to end the collection. It captures the spirit of the TV show as an action packed adventure that had a good amount of humor.

It’s always nostalgic seeing the old cast. The Titans Go series was definitely a blast so it’ll be cool seeing the other issues at some point. The art could use a bit of a tune up at times, but I like the overall color scheme and character designs. The author just has trouble with the faces from time to time. Either way it is certainly a style that is easy to read and stands out though so I’d call that a win in my book.

Overall, You should definitely check this comic out. Think of the issues as the lost episodes that you never got to see when you were a kid. Hopefully the series got quite a few more volumes before ending. The array of stories is pretty solid and it felt like a good amount of content was squeezed into the volume. In these troubled times of Chibi Teen Titans Go episodes, it’s always helpful to remember the original. Perhaps these stories will be adapted into a one season sequel show someday. You never know…it could happen.

Overall 7/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Teen Titans Go! Volume 1 Truth Justice and Pizza Review

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Teen Titans was a great TV show and I definitely enjoyed the animation and action scenes back in the day. It was so good that I still consider it to be better than Young Justice and is the best DC show that wasn’t in the DCAU. Teen Titans Go, the current comedy show is pretty bad, but this comic is about their normal return so it’s still shown seriously and the characters are in their original designs. The stories are fun for the most part and it’s great to see the old characters back, but the art is verry wonky. It feels like the artists are either very bad or some of the illustrations were done on purpose because some of the pictures feel like they must have been on purpose…right!?

There are quite a few stories here and each one is a stand alone, which naturally means that some will be good and some will be bad. One of the decent stories involved Cyborg feeling bad because some kids thought that he was boring. His reaction to this was very overblown though and the plot could have been a side issue instead of the whole issue. It seemed to be a little out of character if you ask me. It was a decent story aside from Cyborg randomly getting a crush on the teacher. That basically wrecked the story and destroyed the moral at the end. Cyborg shouldn’t have needed to be reminded that he’s a cool fighter.

The worst story of the bunch involved Raven getting a zit and having the rest of the Titans tease her about it. That’s something that I would expect from their parody selves in the flash cartoon, not the characters form the real deal. Even Robin and Starfire get in on it at one point and the whole thing is pretty grating. The Trigon appearance comes out of nowhere and even though we did get a little action, there was nothing that could save the story at the end. You could tell that the writers were simply desperate for attention at that point.

The best story was the first one, which is pretty good from the writer’s point of view since it means that you can hook the readers in very quickly even if the stories go downhill from there. The Teen Titans had a blast playing video games, but little did they know that the HIVE was using the intel to see how the heroes were able to fight. It’s pretty ingeniious and computer software can help villains to try and anticipate what the heroes will do next. That being said, the villains have to still be strong enough to do something about this and I feel like Gizmo and his little crew will never be a match for the Teen Titans. Even Slade gets a small appearance here, which was neat. Action and video games make for a deadly combo and that’s really why this story could not be beat.

Another story featured the Gordanians. As I had just seen Justice League Starcrossed, it was neat to see them again. They arrive on Earth looking for the Dodo birds, but as the creature is basically extinct, that will be tough. Beast Boy must get his teammates to trust him so that they can all stop this alien menace. Unfortunately, BB has a tendency to lie for fun and his teammates can’t be sure if he’s telling the truth or not. It wasn’t a bad comic, but Beast Boy was way too mean and there’s no way that Starfire should have brought him a pizza at all since he tricked her in such a mean way. There was some action though and that’s always good.

There was also a Valentines comic where Robin had to take Starfire to an amusement park to show her why the day isn’t celebrated quite as nationally as days like Christmas and Thanksgiving. Unlike Teen Titans Go, this version of Robin isn’t interested in romance and it was a nice contrast to his parody self. He was too busy breaking high scores in DDR to worry about anything else and that’s the Robin that I remember. A fight is squeezed in there somewhere I think, but it was only a decent comic. Not a bad one though since Robin looked quite good and that’s always a big positive.

Finally, Thunder and Lightning returned as they had an argument with each other. It’s pretty nonsensical and they start fighting for no real reason, but the Teen Titans decide to join in and the big brawl starts very quickly. It’s mainly through misunderstandings, but it was good to see Robin charge in to stop the nuisances. Thunder and Lightning made for good villains in the TV show, but as heroes they aren’t very interesting and don’t add anything to the table. They certainly won’t be the next Dynamic Duo.

As for the art….it’s pretty bad. I still feel like it must have been at least partially intentional because of how bad it was. Seriously, I’ve seen fan art and fan comics that were drawn more accurately than some of these issues. The issues have many artists so the style keeps changing, but most of them turn out to be subpar. The anatomies will be seriously out of proportion in some moments and then the characters will have odd facial expressions in another. There is no sense of consistency and this also makes it difficult for any fight scenes to gain a whole lot of traction. The first issue was the best and had the best art, I don’t think that this is a coincidence. The art is clear and easy to read so it automatically beats some other styles like, dare I say, The Dark Knight Returns? Still, it’s way too spacy for me to call it anything other than bad art. It may not take a full star away, but coupled with the fact that the stories don’t knock it out of the park, I can’t give this comic the usual 7. It’s just not fun or good enough to get that kind of praise.

This is much better than the new Teen Titans Go and I’ll look forward to reading future collections of this series, but Teen Titans can do so much better. The series had a rich cast of super villains to choose from and the characters are also interesting enough to hold their own stories so the comics shouldn’t be afraid to give us some epic battles. The art needs to improve though and in this modern age there is no excuse for the art to not be dynamite. Daredevil and Black Widow’s new series may have bad art, but in their case it is completely intentional. For this collection, it’s just hard to say for sure if that is the case.

Overall, I recommend this comic to Teen Titans fans and to people who enjoyed the TV show. It’s nice to see the old characters back and that they are in character. Unfortunately, the stories aren’t the greatest and while some are good, others are downright bad. It’s the problem with stand alone stories since the quality always varies. The next comic that I’m reviewing has a similar format, but it works a lot better since the stories are all decently action packed.

Overall 6/10

Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Teen Titans GO and Scooby Doo Team Up Review

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It’s time for DC’s counter to the Marvel comic! This is a double comic as the title suggests and those can always be interesting, but they also mean that each story will be a little on the short side. In this case, I wish that the Scooby Doo comic could have gotten more pages as it was infinitely better than the Teen Titans adventure. Ah well, it can’t be perfect right?

In the Teen Titans comic, the girls decide to have a slumber party. Naturally, no guys are allowed so Beast Boy and Cyborg decide to have some fun bowling. Robin disappears…to do some spying. His role is pretty bad here and it is sad that he would go to such lengths to spy on Starfire. His help is almost valuable against Trigon, but not quite. In the end, we realize that even Trigon can’t infiltrate a slumber party and get away with it!

The art was decent I suppose as it looks like the TV show. Teen Titans GO is a cartoon that really varies from episode to episode. Some episodes can be genuinely good while the majority of them range from decent to downright terrible. This would be one of the weaker episodes if it was animated. There are no scenes that will get you to laugh and seeing as how this is a comedy…that’s a bit of a bad thing. The sideplot involving bowling was better than the main one for me and that’s considering that the food distractions weren’t up to snuff. Cyborg should have led off with pizza and donuts!

The Scooby Doo team up is worlds better than the Titans story. The Mystery Gang are enlisted by the Super Friends to vanquish the ghosts that have taken over the headquarters. They would do it themselves, but even Superman was no match for these guys. The Man of Steel was disintegrated by a single ray blast. Impersonating former Super Friend members, (From the big Showcase book that I read, which was neat since I apparently read that collection in the nick of time!) the mystery gang must stop the ghosts at any cost!

The body count continued to rise in that story and the whole group of Super Friends was taken down. The ending is both startling and unsurprising. It’s still a superb ending and you can bet dollars to donuts that I am interested in finding out how the story ends. Scooby Doo Team Up looks like it has the makings of an incredible comic series and I hope that it goes on for a long while. This story was just about perfect and it was both interesting and funny. The Mystery Gang were all in character and they have always been enjoyable individuals to have in an adventure. Since I also like all of the Super Friends, it makes sense that this comic would be an all star.

The art was very good as well as the issue looked like a retro Super Friends adventure. It’s not quite as high budget as those comics, but it looks fairly authentic. You’re definitely missing out if you don’t read this half of the comic so don’t let Teen Titans GO stop you. This story is worth it even if it is just to see Superman get taken down by a ghost. Who would have ever thought that Scooby Doo and friends would save Earth’s mightiest heroes?

Overall, This was a collection that was hampered by the first story. The Scooby Doo one could have gotten an easy 8, but it will have to sacrifice 2 stars to hang onto Teen Titans. Teen Titans wasn’t terrible so you shouldn’t get that impression, but it just wasn’t that good. I probably would have given it a 5 on its own. I’m still glad that I’m watching Teen Titans Go as it has certainly had its moments, but the comic would likely work better if I was reading a whole collection. That way there’s more of a chance that there would be good stories along with the bad ones. Just grabbing a random story is like gambling. You don’t always come out on top.

Overall 6/10