Time to face it: our world judged this show far too fast. “Titans” has turned the tables on what was initially thought to be a dreadful idea.
“Titans” is the new live-action adaptation of the popular 2006 animated show “Teen Titans.” So far, DC’s adaptation of the series has a well-deserved 84% in Rotten Tomatoes. Though the series includes most of the same characters of the powerful team of young superheroes, “Titans” follows a completely different plotline from the original show.
Dick Grayson, a.k.a Robin (Brenton Thwaites), has abandoned the bat cave and revealed against his mentor hoping to find his own identity and way of fighting crime. He has traded Gotham City for Detroit, and his nocturnal fighting routine has now become a full time day job as a police detective. He meets a mysterious, empathetic teen named Rachel Roth, a.k.a. Raven (Teagan Croft), who struggles with her own dark, supernatural powers and who is being pursued by a dark cult. Dick Grayson immediately finds himself protecting her from danger and trying to find a way to help her understand and control her powers.
Though the focus of the first episode of the series is Dick and Rachel’s meeting in Detroit, the show isn’t afraid to quickly jump into the introductions of the rest of the characters needed to assemble the powerful team. While Dick and Rachel meet, we are introduced to a mysterious, yet powerful, woman named Koriand’r, commonly known by fans as Starfire (Anna Diop). Later in the episode, we meet the team’s green-skinned metahuman named Garfield, a.k.a Beast Boy (Ryan Potter).
The new adaptation is nothing like the beloved 2006 show, which actually turns out to be not a bad thing. Despite the first episode’s unexpected success, fans and critics remain split over DC’s dark turn from the once lovable team of superheroes. In this new adaptation, we get to see the characters as they try to build their future from the ashes of their once dark and troubling pasts. Rachel Roth is the main focus during the first three episodes of the first season, which brings a spooky and violent element to the superhero genre. Seeing Rachel as a teen, trying to understand her own powers and wanting to have a normal life makes it easy to adore her and feel empowered by her. An additional difference from the origin of the animated team is that Rachel becomes the one who has an instant connection to all of the members of the group. She is the inspiration behind the creation of the team. Rachel and Dick rapidly form a unique bond in the first episode based on their shared experiences and internal struggles. Their dynamic pushes the series forward and keeps the audience’s interest on the show. Robin is alone and frustrated with what he has now become, and while Dick becomes Rachel’s protector, she becomes his support.
Koriand’r is the show’s golden puzzle. Not knowing who she is, where she exactly comes from or what role she has in this world, she keeps the light shining on Diop’s character. Despite last year’s backlash for the casting of Anna Diop as the outsider beauty, Diop makes haters eat their words with a powerful and fearless change of image of the once sweet and peaceful Tamaranean princess.
Beast Boy brings lighthearted humor to the violent world of DC, which helps the audience catch a breath after a nerve-wracking situation. Though his appearance has been brief during the first three episodes of the show, fans are already loving every inch of his character. The ending scene of the first episode gave us a glimpse to his first animal transformation to a tiger. His transformation takes a lot more time than the original Beast Boy, and as he transforms back, we hear the cracking of bones and we see a detailed transformation of his whole body. Though there is still a lot to learn about his future in the show, his transformation and character essence seemed to be everything that mattered to fans. Still, audiences wait anxiously for his character journey and famous one-liners.
Despite the originality and execution of the plot, there is no denying that the show moves at a slow pace throughout the first episodes. The characters are introduced separately, but connected at the same time. As the characters are introduced, more questions are asked and more are left unanswered. Since the show is just taking its first steps into the world, it should come as no surprise that these questions will purposely be left unanswered for quite some time. Despite the wait to see all the pieces come together, the nail-biting plot and action of the show will keep the audience anxiously waiting for the next episode.
Though ‘Titans’ isn’t liked by everyone, there is no denying that it is a show that really has it all. It has superheroes, mystery, horror and, what could be the best of all, hate toward Batman courtesy of Dick Grayson. Since the release of the first trailer, ‘Titans’ made it clear that this is not a show for kids. ‘Titans’ is a show that is mad at our world and prepared to fight it, fire against fire.