DC Comics kicked off New York Comic Con with a bang, premiering not just one episode of the new DC Universe series Titans but two! This past summer at San Diego Comic Con, DC Universe released the first trailer for the show. Most fans weren’t happy with the trailer and that was a topic of conversation at the premiere. On top of that, everyone was desperately waiting to see the “F*** Batman” scene in context, as that was the most talked about part of the trailer.
After seeing it for myself, I can say that Titans is unlike any DC show on television. If anything, this show falls in line more with Marvel’s Daredevil and The Punisher on Netflix. The action is right up there with any Daredevil fight scene. Titans is brutal and bloody like The Punisher; they did not hold back on the action sequences. In fact, there is a Robin warehouse scene that reminds me of the fan-favorite moment from Batman v Superman!
While Gregg Berlanti is involved in the development of this series, there is nothing “CW” about Titans. This “team up” show is pretty refreshing. Robin isn’t out to form the Titans from the get go. It seems like this will happen naturally as they cross paths, as if it was destiny. Visually, the show is very dark and honestly reminds me of a Snyder/Fong production. I feel that it works for what this series is trying to achieve. This is a show for mature audiences and is definitely not something for children. “F*** Batman” was not he only expletive; there are quite a few, and at times it felt like a Deadpool movie with lots of cursing and humor, but it’s not too over-the-top. Hawk (of Hawk and Dove) was the comic relief in most of the episode and every joke hits; everyone in the audience was having a good time with it.
The first two episodes center around Raven and Dick Grayson, along with a heavy dose of Hawk and Dove. There is a bit of Starfire who steals every moment she’s on screen and a brief moment with Beast Boy. The show portrays the Titans as broken characters. Each has their own issues and demons to face. As the two episodes progressed you do feel for the characters. Whether it was Dick Grayson talking about his old partner/mentor in Gotham, Raven trying to find her place in the world, or Dove trying to be the voice of reason, there is a deep history in each character that we will see unfold.
Not only is the show visually dark but the characters are dark as well. Raven is homeless and on the run, Starfire is on the other side of the globe on the run. Grayson/Robin is doing his best Batman impression while trying to distance himself from the Dark Knight. Hawk and Dove are trying to retire while dealing with their relationship issues.
The Titans themselves looked great. I wasn’t impressed by the first looks that were released outside of the Robin suit, but seeing the final product on screen made me think: WOW! This looks like movie quality costuming. The functionality of Robin’s suit and his gadgets really impressed me. Hawk and Dove look phenomenal in costume! For those of you worried about Starfire’s “look,” let me tell you that when she needs to be, she’s orange with green eyes and you will be very pleased.
Fans should totally go into this with an open mind; these adaptations of the characters are fresh yet familiar. While some may say “same old DC, dark and gritty,” the show works really well with that tone and uses it to its advantage, setting up arcs for characters and situations that we all can relate to. Titans brings our favorite group of young heroes to the forefront in a mature way. This isn’t a Saturday morning cartoon or a lighthearted superhero show. These are characters trying to figure out everyday life in an extraordinary DC Universe and it looks like it will be a blast! – Pete Verra