Teen Titans Go!/DC Super Hero Girls: Exchange Students! | Review
Teen Titans Go!/DC Super Hero Girls: Exchange Students!
Writer: Amy Wolfram
Artist: Agnes Garbowska
DC Comics; Gr 3-7
The Teen Titans Go! cartoon features a silly, self-parodic version of Teen Titans characters in fast-paced, joke-filled, often surreal adventures. The current incarnation of DC Super Hero Girls features a line-up of teenaged versions of various DC Comics heroines engaging in often comedic adventures. It was, perhaps, only a matter of time before the two cartoons crossed over…and, in fact, that time has passed. Repeatedly. But they haven’t crossed over in comics form yet, which is where Teen Titans Go!/DC Super Hero Girls: Exchange Students! comes in.
For the purposes of this original graphic novel, written by Amy Wolfram and drawn by Agnes Garbowska, though, the characters have never met one another, as they have repeatedly in animated form.
The adventure kicks off in the Teen Titans Go! universe, when our heroes defeat their TV fandom-themed villain Control Freak, and Beast Boy picks up his discarded multiversal remote control. With it, the Titans are able to pick up villain Livewire’s live-streamed crime spree from the Super Hero Girls’ universe, where they note something amiss: Starfire’s evil sister Blackfire is hanging out with the gang of villains.
Using the remote, they decide to visit the Super Hero Girls’ universe, but they decide to do so undercover. Hence, five of the six Super Hero Girls are each assigned an exchange student, each of whom is actually a Teen Titan in a very poor disguise (“Have any of you ever seen a teenager before?” Raven asks when she sees her teammates’ ideas of a typical high school student).
Hijinks ensue as the girls try to integrate the Titans into their day-to-day lives after school with varying degrees of success–Starfire and Green Lantern get along famously, for example, while Raven and Zatanna don’t seem to see eye-to-eye on anything—and still more hijinks ensue when the two hero teams try to disentangle from one another in order to go on their nightly patrols and, in the case of the Titans, search for Blackfire.
Eventually, the exchange students find their secrets spilled, and the two superhero teams team up to stop Blackfire’s evil plans, which imperil the entire world.
While half the fun comes from Wolfram’s mixing the two teams, and the two rather different comedic styles, together, Garbowska’s art is incredibly impressive. While at first glance the styles of the two franchises—both in terms of designs and rendering—aren’t all that far apart (they are certainly closer than the older, previous incarnation of the DC Super Hero Girls), at second glance the differences are far more apparent, and Garbowska does a masterful job of keeping the looks of the two universes and the two groups of characters completely distinct, despite sharing panel space with one another.
Fans of either franchise should find plenty to like in this crossover. Fans of both franchises, it should go without saying, should be perfectly satisfied.
Filed under: Reviews
About J. Caleb Mozzocco
J. Caleb Mozzocco is a way-too-busy freelance writer who has written about comics for online and print venues for a rather long time now. He currently contributes to Comic Book Resources' Robot 6 blog and ComicsAlliance, and maintains his own daily-ish blog at EveryDayIsLikeWednesday.blogspot.com. He lives in northeast Ohio, where he works as a circulation clerk at a public library by day.
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