Title: Titans “Titans” Review
Release Date: October 12th, 2018
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
(Spoilers Ahead for the series premiere of Titans)
Titans has the unfortunate burden of being one of the few flagship products on DC’s streaming service, DC Universe. Not only that but Titans isn’t your typical binge show as DC has decided to air just one new episode every week.
This is Titans biggest flaw. This show feels like it is meant to be binged. Of course, DC wants you to continue to spend money on their service every month and other than Titans, there isn’t a lot of new original content to watch at the moment.
So, if I’m being honest, I came into this season premiere with extremely low expectations and a bit of resentment for the service it was on.
Despite this, the first episode of Titans was surprisingly enthralling. I have to give a ton of credit to the main cast, especially Anna Diop’s Starfire. She shined throughout the episode and although I’m still not a fan of her costume, Diop had me glued to the screen every time she appeared. Seriously though, if people were up in arms about Robin potentially killing people, I can only imagine what they think about the creative decision to make Starfire a killer.
As I’ve said above, I’m still not a fan of Starfire’s outfit, for obvious reasons that I’m sure you’ve heard before somewhere on the internet. However, considering the way her story has progressed thus far, it does make sense why she’s dressed the way she is. Not only that but Diop has confirmed that Starfire would receive a new suit later on this season so I’m fine with building it up. I would say that it worked nicely for Marvel’s Daredevil so I can’t see any reason why Titans can’t deliver too.
Robin and Raven’s introductions were also nicely done. Robin (played by Brenton Thwaites), in particular, was a delightful surprise. I’m ecstatic that the show’s initial trailer was misleading on the former boy wonder’s personality and motivations (the $&#@ Batman moment was very misleading, instead it acted as a more comedic scene). Dick Grayson thankfully doesn’t kill but he is a more brutal vigilante than we’ve seen from past iterations of the character.
It was a little ridiculous though that none of Dick’s coworkers at the Police Department thought to ask him about Robin at all, seeing as they all know Dick is from Gotham. Despite that little nitpick, it was nice to see a semi-retired Dick Grayson, even if it was for a short amount of time. He still wants to help people, even though he is out of the vigilante business.
It seems that this season will center around Raven and her powers, which is fine. This is Titans’ first season, I don’t need to see Deathstroke or The Judas Contract story just yet (it would have been nice to see Cyborg on the team though). Let’s focus on the actual Titans and their origins for now.
I’ve seen some criticisms that Teegan Croft’s take on Raven is horrible and I don’t know. It’s the first episode. I didn’t really have any issues with her acting (yet) so I don’t really see where these complaints are coming from.
Rounding out the Titans team is Ryan Potter’s Beast Boy. Man, I wish he was in more than just the last scene but his introduction was perfect for his character. His CGI also looks more polished as well compared to previous trailers.
Now that we’ve gotten the Titans out of the way, I wanted to touch on the show’s greatest strength. Titans doesn’t hold back in the graphic violence or intense language departments. It isn’t dark and edgy for the sake of being dark and edgy. It kinda gives me a Daredevil type of vibe and that’s the best case scenario DC could’ve had with this tone. In the first 15 or so minutes, we not only see Raven’s mother get gunned down in front of her but we also see Robin brutally drag a guy’s face across broken glass. It was jarring but in a good way.
Another thing Titans does well is building intrigue. I want to know why Robin hates Batman. I’m interested in Raven’s story and how Starfire fits into all of this. Now to be fair. Building interest and paying off those questions are two completely different situations, just ask Lost.
I’m also interested to see how Titans depicts Batman. It appears that we won’t actually see the World’s Greatest Detective until late in the season, if at all. Bruce Wayne is fundamentally important to Robin’s growth into Nightwing and his origin. It would be a costly mistake to use him as a faceless figure for the majority of the series.
Verdict: Overall, Titans was a welcomed surprise for me. DC has had so many missteps over the past few years and with Titans as the main reason to purchase a $7.99 a month streaming service, I expected to be disappointed with the show. However, the interesting story, harsh tone, and the Titans themselves all make this series premiere work.
- The Titans themselves
- Anna Diop as Starfire
- An interesting mystery for the season
- Dark tone that pulls no punches
- The alley fight with Robin
- Beast Boy's introduction
- Starfire's costume
- No Cyborg on the initial Titans team
- Worried that Batman will be a faceless figure in the series
- Feels like this is a series that is meant to be binged