Debuting last week, “Titans” is the long-awaited edgy live action reboot of everyone’s favorite super-powered teenage team. However, before anyone drops their money on DC’s new streaming service, there are some things you should know about the show, specifically how it differs from the popular cartoon series “Teen Titans” from the early 2000s.
This is not a show for kids
While it is no surprise the series would be darker in a live action setting, especially with it’s TV-MA rating, in the pilot episode they seem to be making it very clear that they’re not messing around anymore with Robin even dropping the infamous “F**k Batman” line during one of the fights. The action scenes are also brutal and fairly graphic with plenty of blood and mild gore to be found. It’s also apparent that the usual “no killing rule” is no longer in affect so be prepared to see some violent action resembling more of a Marvel Netflix show rather than one from the CW.
Changes to most of the heroes origins and overall characters
As many fans were quick to point out when the first pictures of the set came out, these new interpretations of the beloved Teen Titans team are far different from the ones many of us new when we were younger.
Dick Grayson (Robin) is a hardened police detective in his early to mid twenties who left Gotham city for Detroit and is much more brutal than the Robin we have become accustomed to.
From the pilot there’s little to no information about Starfire or what she’s doing aside from her waking up in a foreign country and possibly having a relationship to mobsters. She does however retain all of her alien powers so hopefully her character will be more developed as the series goes on.
Beast Boy was barely in the pilot episode but from what we’ve seen so far he seems to be similar to how he normally is — a nerdy teenager into video games and mostly a comic relief character with some darker character elements mixed in.
Raven is called Rachel as a cover name and is less rude and sarcastic and far more unstable and scared than her cartoon counterpart. Another deviation from the popular early 2000s cartoon is the nature of Raven’s powers as she has almost no control over them and when she uses them, it seems more like demonic possession than magic powers. Her character is also very emotional and vulnerable, making her very different from the brooding and sarcastic version of the character in most other media.
This show is not part of CW’s Arrowverse
Like “Black Lightning” and the DC Extended Universe movies, “Titans” is not part of the CW’s DC TV shows. This may be due to scheduling, marketing or creative freedom with the properties but whatever the reason is, you shouldn’t expect to see Robin and The Flash together anytime soon. While a crossover with one of CW’s DC shows is not completely out of the question, it does not seem very likely, given the drastic differences in style and tone of the shows. Also, it’s probably unlikely that a character like Kid Flash or Arsenal will appear in “Titans” as it would probably cause confusion to have two versions of the characters on different shows. Things could change in the future and “Titans” could join the DC CW universe but for now we’ll have to wait and see.
DC Universe streaming service
“Titans” is only available on the DC Universe streaming service and will not be premiering on network elevision. DC Universe premium memberships cost $7.99 or $74.99 annually. Included in the membership is a majority of DC’s animated content (Including “Teen Titans,” “Young Justice,” B”atman: The Animated Series,” “Batman Beyond,” “Static Shock,” “Super Friends” and many more), a selection of many vintage and modern DC comics and several retro DC live action movies as well as a couple of the “Dark Knight” movies and the animated “Teen Titans” movies. I would recommend this membership for any DC fan who has or wants an in-depth knowledge of the comics, however, those who are more casual fans of the company can probably live without this service.
Setting of Detroit makes for more realism
Unlike many of the properties of DC Comics, this show has opted to ground itself in the real world with the main story beginning to unfold in Detroit, Michigan. While this may limit the creative freedom of the show when writing some stories, it helps add to the realistic and darker tone of the series which is an interesting concept that will hopefully be further developed in the show.
Is Cyborg in Titans?
No, this is most likely to keep continuity with the events of “Justice League” and also so there isn’t two live action versions of the popular mechanical hero. His spot on the team is to be filled by newcomers Hawk and Dove.
What happened to Starfire?
I don’t think anyone knows why Starfire was designed in the show like this yet but, fortunately, she is an interesting character in the show despite being very different from her comic book counterpart.
Is “Titans” bad?
Based on the pilot, I wouldn’t say the show is bad at all. There are several aspects of the show that are below the expectations of most fans but the show is worth a watch. Overall, I would give the pilot episode a 6.5/10 as there’s plenty of room to grow but it seems promising.
When does “Titans” come on?
A new episode of “Titans” is available Fridays on the DC Universe streaming service.
Is “Titans” in the DCEU?
“Titans” mostly seems to maintain the continuity of the movies in the DCEU, however, it is a separate entity.