REVIEW: Tiny Titans #50

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AW YEAH FINALE! All good things must come to an end, and tragically that includes one of the best all-ages comics of our era, Tiny Titans. Thankfully, as we see in this issue, it is ending to make way for another all-ages comic by the same creative team!

Tiny Titans #50
Writers: Art Baltazar and Franco
Artist: Art Baltazar
Editor: Kristy Quinn
Price: $2.99
Publisher: DC Comics 

Previously in Tiny Titans… The students of Sidekick Elementary have gotten up to 49 glorious issues of mayhem, relevant bits of which include Beast Boy’s unrequited love for Terra, which is typically responded to with the bestowing of rocks to Beast Boy’s head.

A FITTING END TO THE STORY

There hasn’t been a large overarching story to the Tiny Titans books; they’re clearly aimed at children and designed to be picked up by anyone at any point. Yet this episodic nature doesn’t mean there’s a lack of continuity–in fact Art and Franco have developed an incredibly rich continuity for their characters, and this issue ties some things up while being perfectly accessible for new readers. Beast Boy decides he wants to relaunch his personal continuity in such a way that Terra will like him more; he knows that Terra likes Superman, so Beast Boy puts on a Superman costume so he’ll look like Superman, and gets help from Cyborg and Robin to tie himself to a rocket so he can fly like Superman as well. As anyone who’s ever read a comic book could probably predict, the plan backfires a bit and Beast Boy’s rocket overshoots his target and lands in Smallville, on the Kent farm.

A FITTING BEGINNING TO ANOTHER STORY

Over the span of this issue, we see nearly every character who has appeared in the Tiny Titans series–very few of them get lines (which is inevitable considering the massive cast the comic’s seen) but it’s nice to see creators clearly passionate about the characters they’ve played with. The scene at the Kent Farm sees a crowd of Titans gather around Beast Boy and Superman, and Terra comes up and shocks the crowd by kissing Beast Boy. This is the sort of apocalyptic event that can only happen at the end of the series, coupled with the first time we’ve seen a full head-to-toe shot of an adult (other than Alfred) on panel, as Superman comes down from his usual position of hovering with his head out of the panel. For someone new to the comic, all these would seem like average, everyday occurence, but for someone who’s been reading Tiny Titans as long as I have (in the “original issues,” with all the spluttering that phrase entails) these are obviously signs that something is special about this issue. If it hadn’t already been obvious this was the last issue (what with that information emblazoned on the front of the book), a veteran would’ve quickly realized something was different.

The scene at the Kent farm involves Superboy, Supergirl and Superman getting new costumes to look more like their post-relaunch selves, and then the book transitions into a preview of Art and Franco’s new project, Superman: Family Adventures. When I heard they were going from Tiny Titans, month in and month out one of my favorite comics, to a book called “Superman: Family Adventures” I was heartbroken. While I knew it would be a book my wife and I would someday get in trades for our future children, I don’t have enough of a passion for the Superman Family that I thought I would enjoy an entire book related to the characters. But Art and Franco’s passion for all things Superman is infectious in the preview; from page one, I was hooked. This is the wink-wink nudge-nudge tongue in cheek Superman that is incredibly fun, rather than a Superman that decides to walk across America because it had been 17 years since Forrest Gump. While I thought the end of Tiny Titans would be reducing my pull list by $3 a month, I am happy to say it looks like it’ll be staying at its current level with this replacement.

THE VERDICT: Fun Final Issue with an Equally Fun Preview!

Tiny Titans #50 does everything a final issue is supposed to, ranking it favorably with other recent finales such as those for Bryan Q Miller’s Batgirl and Gail Simone’s Secret Six. Even if you haven’t been reading this title, if you are interested in all-ages comics (and keep in mind all-ages doesn’t mean it’s just for kids–this book has plenty of jokes for adult comic fans as well!) you should pick up this issue and Art and Franco’s next venture, Superman: Family Adventures! I give Tiny Titans #50 a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars for concluding one of my favorite series and making me believe Beast Boy can fly (even when he’s not a Pterodactyl)

Rating: ★★★★½