TV Review: Titans (DC Universe)

The DC Universe kicks off with it’s first in original programming with a live action Titans! ” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″] Titans are not new to other forms of media […]

The DC Universe kicks off with it’s first in original programming with a live action Titans!

Titans are not new to other forms of media besides comic books. The first Titans cartoon was in 1967 as a segment on the Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure. From there they have had 2 successful cartoon series, several straight to home movies, and a full-length feature film this summer. But this is their first time as a live action show. Originally it was going to be a show on TNT, but it fell through. So with the launch of the new DC Universe streaming channel, Warner Brothers Television decided to launch a new live action show.  

Warner was kind of enough to send me the first 3 episodes. I have to say, it’s different from what I expected. Titans is a true re-imaging of the New Teen Titans. 

We are introduced to a Dick Grayson that’s tired of living in the shadow of Batman. He’s ventured out on his own as both a Detroit detective and as the costumed crimefighter Robin. He eventually finds himself as the guardian of teenager Rachel Roth, who has a darkness growing inside of her. Dick realizes that the best way to protect Rachel is to take her on the road.  Elsewhere a woman with no memory other than her name is Kory Anders and with a fire burning inside of her. She finds out that she too needs to find Rachel, and is soon searching for her. What will happen when Kory finally tracks down Rachel? And will Dick be able to protect Rachel without succumbing to the darkness inside of him?

This is an adaptation of source material and like any adaptation of comics to TV there are always some changes. Some of them work and some of them don’t. Knowing this, I have to admit I have some mixed feeling on this show. 

The cast is pretty solid. Brenton Thwaites is good a Robin. He’s trying to venture out on his own. Tired of being the 2nd half of “Batman and”. We get the impression there was a huge falling out between the 2 of them but it’s not fully explained. We do get that Robin is sick of the violence. But this is where the problem lies. As Robin, he fights more brutally and sadistically than Batman ever did. In one scene he scrapes a villains head against broken glass, then against a brick wall. In another, he pretty much castrates another criminal. I really don’t care that this is an adaptation when you lose the core of the character, it’s a problem. Robin says he doesn’t want to be like Batman, but Batman was never this violent. On the other hand, he does talk about something inside of him, so we’ll just have to see.

Anna Diop plays Kory Anders (otherwise known as Starfire), does a decent job. Her background is still developing, but she’s not the innocent that we see in the cartoon. She’s a warrior born like in the comics. Instead of energy blasts, she has fire powers. That’s a minor change. What bugs me is the pseudo-costume that she wears in the 3 episodes I watched. I couldn’t stand that non-sense in Smallville and find it hard to tolerate now. Several days pass in the series and she can’t change her clothes once? And quite honestly she looks like a street walker. That needs to change.

Teagan Croft plays Rachel Roth, AKA Raven. The way they do her is a Goth kid, which makes the most amount of sense. Teagan does a great job playing the troubled Rachel. There’s such an innocence about her. And the world that Dick introduces her to is just new to her. 

I really can’t say much about Ryan Potter who plays Beast Boy. He was only in 2 short scenes, so it’s hard to play any judgment on him. They did show him transform from a tiger back to human, and for a TV show, the effect were pretty cool.

But let’s get to the real problem of the show. There is swearing, violence, and a little gore only because Warner Bros TV can. There is no reason for it, it’s all for unnecessary shock value to just show how “adult” the show can be. I’m far from a prude and do believe it does work for other characters, but not Titans. 

Overall the slow started off slow for me, but by the middle of the second episode, it started to hit its stride. At the end of the 3rd episode, I’m really curious where’s it going. But there seriously are some improvements that need to be made on this show. 

With an exception of Robin, I really don’t have an issue with the changes they’ve made to the characters. The core of the characters still seems to be there, and quite honestly, that’s what matters. 

Titans premiers on the DC Universe Friday, October 12th.

 

Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

About Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

An avid comic collector/reader for over 40 years and self-proclaimed professor of comicology, Brian original started up the site Pendragon's Post to share his voice. Well that voice has been shared, and evolved into The Fanboy Factor. Brian is an advocate for remembering comic roots, and that we don't forget what was created in the past, and encourage everyone to read it as well. When not swimming in geek culture, he can be seen corrupting..introducing his young son to comics, much to his wife's chagrin.