When TBG first saw the initial trailer for Titans we were a little bit worried. The trailer gave the impression that it’d be a dark take on the characters for the sake of it. Dick Grayson wouldn’t be the same character that became probably our favourite comic book character ever and that they’d made him an ultra-violent vigilante in an effort to mirror what the Marvel Netflix shows have been doing.
We followed the buzz as the show aired in the states and it was reassuring to see that it was mostly positive which made us interested to see it when it was announced that it’d be coming to Netflix in the UK. We deliberately avoided reading too much into the plot but what we did catch reassured us, that actually, there was a method to what we perceived as the madness of changing Dick Grayson’s personality so drastically.
The first nice surprise on the day it was released was that all the episodes dropped at the same time on Netflix, meaning binge watching was a definite option. We hammered the first five episodes on day one and then got through the rest over the course of the weekend. The second nice surprise was that the trailer wasn’t really a true representation of the tone of the show and actually the production team pretty much nailed it.
Character wise alongside Dick you’ve got Rachel, Kory and Gar who in the comics are Raven, Starfire and Beast Boy respectively. There have been some pretty significant changes to each character in what feels like an attempt to ground everything as 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. The characters work well within the world the show builds, more so than it had any right too in all honesty.
Dick Grayson is very much the central character, and as we are huge fans of him, we desperately hoped the series did him justice. Thankfully we can report this has happened. The show picks up after he’s broken away from Batman but while he’s still using the Robin identity. 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.
We don’t want to go into too much in terms of the plot for fear of spoilers but it focuses predominantly on Rachel, and a prophecy about her, with the emerging team working to try and help as best they can. It’s nice that the show 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 any 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 we have with the season, barring the massive cliffhanger it ends on. That said the last episode of the season does give you 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 won’t be back for a while, it does leave the show in an interesting place going into season two, 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 we believe is currently pencilled in for later in 2019. We are really interested to see where they go with Titans as there are so many possibilities as it stands.
If you’re looking for something new to watch we’d definitely recommend giving Titans a go, the 11 episode run means it’s not too much of a commitment and it thankfully doesn’t outstay it’s welcome. We also think the showrunners have done a decent job of making it pretty accessible to everyone rather than just die-hard DC fans which is definitely another positive. All in all, we are pleasantly surprised and liked it a hell of a lot more about it than was expected.
Beard Score: 7.5/10