Without a doubt, the DC Universe series, Titans, has been one of the most talked about comic book properties of the year. With a Comic-Con trailer that divided fans, controversial set photos leaking online, or the overall darkness of the series has truly made this series one that I myself have been looking forward to. As a fan of the DC films, I am no stranger to divisiveness among a darker adaptation of DC characters. For better or for worse, DC has been taking many of there properties in live action and throwing a darker or more serious twist on them following the success of The Dark Knight. With Titans’ premiere episode now available to stream, what is the verdict of this highly talked about DC adaption?
This episode begins with the focus on Rachel Roth (Raven) experiencing the events of the night Dick Grayson’s parents fell to their death in what appears to be a vision or dream. This vision makes Rachel have a drive to find the boy who watched his parents . Rachel’s arc through this episode really is intriguing, knowing her backstory in the comics as the child of the demon Trigon. This series really takes her character and adds a real horror element to her which I find perfectly fitting given who she is. As the episode goes on we see that she’s just trying to seek help from this darkness that resides in her. It’s in that search that leads her to finally find the boy in her vision.
We then find Dick Grayson, now a detective for the Detroit PD following his fallout with Batman. You can tell there’s an uneasiness to his character here. He’s been trying desperately not to have a partner on the force but right away we meet Amy Rohrbach, his newly assigned partner who sees that there’s more to Dick then he’s letting on. Dick is already showing a lot of resentment towards Batman in this episode. While we don’t get too much backstory, there is a scene with Dick and Amy towards the end of the episode that sheds light on why exactly him and Batman ultimately went their separate ways. That scene barely scratched the surface on what we can expect from Dick and where he is at this point in his life and where he’s ultimately going in this series and I can’t wait to see what happens next with Robin.
One of my favorite moments of the episode is that ally fight scene that was briefly shown in the trailers. As Dick is investigating this criminal, he realizes that the only way he can do his job is to take them down as Robin. After crashing their party (no pun intended) it’s made clear that without Batman, the criminals don’t take Robin seriously. He quickly makes them regret that notion and within minutes he takes down the group of thugs in a very brutal manor, ending the scene with the now iconic line, “F***, Batman”. The fight scene here felt very reminiscent of some of the fight scenes that were featured in Marvel’s Daredevil. With this series having the freedom to show more brutal fights than we normally see on the CW or other DC properties, it give the series a sense of realism. These fights throughout the episode really made the stakes feel so much higher, that some of these criminals might not make it out alive. While the amount of death and killing in this series might turn off some of the hardcore Teen Titans fans, it does not bother me in the slightest.
Now you can’t talk about this episode without talking about Starfire. With so much hate aimed towards actress Anna Diop, mainly because she’s not actually orange and is an African-American actress, I was hoping for her to steal the show. She was easily the best part of this episode for me. Each scene she was in was electric, and the camera work in her scenes made them feel like truly cinematic moments. While we still don’t know too much about this iteration of the Starfire character, I’m really excited to see what they do next because Anna Diop brings so much to this role. While I’m not going to spoil what happens with her in this episode, what I will say is that there’s one scene in particular that will absolutely blow everyone away. That is all I’m going to say about that. After watching this episode I cannot wait for her to get the recognition she deserves for this performance.
Overall, this premiere episode showed a lot of promise. While it was not a perfect episode, I thoroughly enjoyed watching it in its entirety. For those fans who might have been turned off by the initial trailers, I would say give this series a chance. It already stands out as one of the most unique comic book series to come out over the last few years and this is only a taste of what is to come. I will for sure be tuning in next week to see what happens next with these characters and I hope you will be too!