In “Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse” #1 Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani bring readers everything they have been missing from comics since March of 2012. Filled with energetic drawings, imaginative stories and fun-loving characters, this all-ages issue is a welcome sight.
Baltazar and Aureliani make a point to keep the story upbeat and friendly to all audiences, like “Peanuts” with capes and masks. Readers who have enjoyed the duo’s previous comics are certain to find everything they like about Aureliani and Baltazar’s work with a decidedly friendly DC Comics twist, and vice versa. Terra and Beast Boy like each other, but in a grade school fashion, with Terra alternating between pelting Beast Boy with rocks and making kissy faces with him. Robin and Superboy are naturally pals, working together to try to find the treehouse. Beyond simply wearing adorable costumes and looking cute, the Tiny Titans have traces of their mainline personalities, like Brainiac 5 showing up, brimming with curiosity and itching to shrink stuff, for scientific purposes.
Like all bands of kids, the Tiny Titans’ secret headquarters is a treehouse. In a fun turn of events, “Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse” #1 is centered around the mystery of the treehouse’s disappearance. The creative partners give readers just enough mystery to construct a freewheeling story around the plot. That story spins outward, bringing in members of the Super Pets, another all-ages friendly interpretation of classic DC Comics’ characters infused with standard-issue Aureliani and Baltazar-infused energy and playfulness.
Aureliani and Baltazar keep the cast tight and simple, with Tiny Titans Robin, Raven, Beast Boy, Terra, Superboy and Supergirl romping through the pages, trying to return their treehouse. Beyond that, the creative crew makes no pretense about couching this resurrected series squarely in the DC Universe (or at least their version of it!). In addition to the Tiny Titans, and Super Pet representatives Krypto, Ace and Streaky, there is a significant appearance by Alfred, a reference to the duo’s “Superman Family Adventures” series and delightful cameo appearances from Swamp Thing and Metamorpho.
Readers of all ages have been hankering for more “Tiny Titans” and “Return to the Treehouse” #1 does not disappoint. While this isn’t ground-breaking social awareness stuff, this is the perfect gateway comic for the young and youthful as well as more seasoned readers celebrating the imagination that sparked four-color superhero adventures in the first place. Here’s hoping we get plenty more “Tiny Titans” where this came from.