EFF BATMAN – TITANS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED – EPISODE ONE SPOILERS

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Titans is finally here. The new DC UNIVERSE platform launched September 15, and the new show featuring the would be B Squad of Justice League side kicks was released Friday, October 12.

The title header alone gives hope that DC is moving towards a coherent universe, but that hope is fleeting, especially with the cinematic universe already losing its two leading men.

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The tone of this show does reflect a Zack Snyder take on the DC Universe, far darker than the animated movies – and my fave DC project in the past decade “YOUNG JUSTICE”, which is 10 tones darker than the other animated TV versions of these characters.This take is a bit conflicting. Titans is truly in the cable/streaming vain of comic book heroes.

This is the first DC property to take its cues from the Defenders on Netflix. In this world, heroes curse. In this world we see real blood, real anger, real out of control anti heroes.

It is only a matter of time before parents rant about their five year old Teen Titan Go fans getting the shock of their lives.

While I have mixed initial impressions, the show does set up a world where these heroes could easily become a villain. This is a better attempt by DC to show the more Marvel Style antihero in live action.

Titans introduces Raven

Titans introduces Raven

As we meet Raven the dark world is revealed, first in a dream of Robin’s origins – although when I first saw this tent I am reminded of the Teen Titans animated movie carnival scene. Rachael Roth, played well by Teagan Croft, is living in her own nightmare, trying to not to let her literal inner demon hurt others.She is a teenager on the brink. Very believable and relatable to too many real teens out there.

Twin Peaks

Hey look, Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn  from Twin Peaks) is Raven’s mom. That makes sense.

Titans

Brenton Thwaites feels a bit too pretty boy for the brooding Dick Grayson, that will soon become Nightwing.To his credit this actors seems to nice. He is playing the dark and brooding Robin that is sick of being a side kick, but I am not sure I believe it – yet. Dick is never supposed to be as dark as Red Hood – Jason – or the Demon’s grandson, Damien. So maybe this works out. Lets revisit ow I feel about Robin after a few more episodes.  Perhaps the actor, like the character, is doing his best to escape the shadow of their type.

Titans

There is a dark mysterious cloud surrounding Starfire’s specific backstory – due to apparent amnesia – but I am curious to see how the die hard comic fans respond

Instead of coming to earth in a space ship, it almost appears that the Kory Anders, played by Anna Diop, is possessed by the alien princess’ powers- unless they are totally ditching that other world backstory. We see a powerful mafia queen, living in a Vienna Penthouse Suite, trying to figure out who she is. She speaks at least two languages and is strong. Her powers seem to surprise her. \

While totally unexpected, Anna Diop’s Starfire origin/arc is my favorite so far. If we did not know Starfire from the comics and other incarnations, we would think Kory Anders to be the Villain of this story. Her path of discovery is quite entertaining.At times Raven has fallen prey to her evil side, serving as the antagonist. Might Starfire be getting a similar treatment. Starfire often gets embarassed regarding her lack of Earth knowledge. Here, Koriand’r is amused by her discovery process. She is powerful beyond her abilities. .While unaware do to memory lapse, she is in no way ignorant, rather whimsically self aware as she uncovers her reality..

It should be of note, that the mafia boss, played by Mark Antony Grupa, is Konstantin Kovar, a character that plays a big roll in CW’s Arrow.

Titans

We finally see Raven come out to play. After learning Kory Ander’s mafia friends are behind the team trying to capture Raven in Detroit…

  • SIDE BAR – YES, DETROIT – Think we will see any of these heroes? Or just a nod to Geoff John’s hometown?

Image result for justice league detroit

…sorry, I get side tracked…. As I was saying, for the entire episode there is a team of bad guys trying to capture Raven.It is revealed – SPOILERS – that this team is working at the behest of the Vienna based crime boss Kory Anders is involved. Raven comes out to play when Rachael is challenged by the apparent religious zealots bent on sending the demon child back to papa.

Titans

Oh, and Beastboy steals some video games from Vision Electronics, a Canadian Chain.

QUICK NOTE ABOUT DC UNIVERSE

Titans is being released on a weekly basis. Smart. Like CBS’s Star Trek you cannot simply get the episodes by getting the 7-day free pass unless you wait till the end.

However the rates are cheaper than other platforms and for die hard DC fans there is some other fun content. I grew up watching reruns of George Reeves as Superman. Last night I watched the pilot episode, which I do not remember at all, showing the end of Krypton. Different parent names in Smallville really messes up the big reveal in Zack Snyder’s BvS – which I shorten to simply BS.

Also caught the pilot to Birds of Prey. I missed this when it aired. Not great. Not Terrible. Better than 1980s Superboy, perhaps…

I started to watch 2018’s Batman: Ninja. Interesting but fell asleep (it was late – nothing against the movie – lol).

I think if they pull the CW shows over form Netflix and other platforms, post the new animated movies (Reign of Superman on its way soon) and then add new episodes of Young Justice Season 3, the annual subscription starts to justify itself.

Of course CW Seed may have something to say about some of that.