When I first saw the initial trailer for Titans I was worried. The trailer gave the impression that it’d be a dark take on the characters for the sake of it and that Dick Grayson wouldn’t be the same character that became my favourite comic book ever, and that they’d made him an ultra violent vigilante in an effort to mirror what the Marvel Netflix shows have been doing.
I followed the buzz as the show aired in the states and was reassured to see that it was mostly positive which made me interested to see it when it was announced that it’d be coming to Netflix in the UK. I’d deliberately avoided reading too much into the plot but what I did catch reassured me that actually there was a method to what I perceived as the madness of changing Dick Grayson’s personality so drastically.
The first nice surprise on the day it was released on Netflix was that all the episodes dropped at the same time meaning binge watching was a definite option, so I hammered the first 5 episodes on day 1 and then got through the rest over the course of the weekend. Te second nice surprise was that the trailer wasn’t really a true representation of the tone of the show and actually the makers of the show pretty much nailed the tone.
Character wise alongside Dick you’ve got Rachel, Kory and Gar who in the comics are Raven, Starfiire and Beast Boy. There’s been some pretty significant changes to each character in what feels like an attempt to ground everything and not get too bogged down in the pre-existing lore of each character, though it could also be that it’ll introduce this in future seasons. For me though the characters work well within the world the show builds, more so than I expected in all honesty.
Dick Grayson is very much the central character, and as character I’m a huge fan I was hoping he’d been done justice by the series. Thankfully I think he has been, the show picks up after he’s broken away from Batman but while he’s still using the Robin identity, and the reasons for his break are interesting and his arc works well as he struggles to be his own man rather than the one intrinsically linked to and raised by Batman.
I don’t want to go into too much in terms of the plot for fear of spoilers but it focusses predominantly on Rachel and a prophecy about her, and the team working to try and help her as best they can. It’s nice that it’s set in a world that already has certain characters such as Batman established as it makes it fairly easy for other characters from the wider DC universe to drop in at point, Jason Todd as the second Robin being a prime example of this.
The show is paced quite well, barring the ninth episode which, while interesting, detours from the main narrative to focus on two characters introduced in the second episode at the expense of the core group. That’s actually probably the biggest issue I have with the season, barring the massive fuck off cliffhanger it ends on. That said the last episode of the season does give you a look at an unusual glimpse at a Batman very different to what people are potentially used to.
While the cliffhanger is infuriating, as they normally are with any series that then won’t be back for a while, it does leave the show in an interesting place going into season 2, something that is further reinforced by an intriguing post credits scene. It’s going to be a hell of a wait for the second season, which I believe is currently pencilled in for later on in 2019, but i’m really interested to see where they go with it as there are so many possibilities as it stands.
If you’re looking for something new to watch I’d definitely recommend giving it a go, the 11 episode run means it’s not too much of a commitment and it thankfully doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. I also think the show runners have done a decent job of making it pretty accessible to everyone rather than just diehard DC fans which is definitely another positive. All in all I was really pleasantly surprised and liked it a hell of a lot more than I was expecting to.
For reference this was originally written for my mates website http://www.twobeardgaming.com