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The title screen of the Titans show on DC Universe

THE TITANS OFFICIAL TRAILER DEBUTED AT SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON!  HERE’S WHAT IS IN IT.

I had a lot of people on July 20 via social media asking me what I thought about the trailer to Titan. Titans is a show to debut on the DC Universe streaming service based on the comic of the same name.  However, I was knee deep in nerds and deadlines, so I have not spent much time thinking about it.

That changes here.

So we are all on the same page, here is the trailer.  It is rated TV-MA, so you have been fairly warned.

Now that we have all seen it, let’s go through it on a character by character basis. Then, I will give my opinion in it.

STARFIRE

I know this is going to be one of the hot button issues in this trailer. So, I want to get it out of the way.

Starfire has no dialogue (one of two-out-of-four main characters with no dialogue) in this trailer.  I have no clue what kind of personality they’re going to give her.

A close-up of Starfire – DC Universe

The fire/energy effect of her looks good with what little we get.  Meanwhile, I have to bring up this outfit.  I have heard that she gets her first human clothes in a disco, so that is why she looks like that.  I have to ask… “Disco?”  Does the U.S. even have discos anymore?  I don’t even know of any retro disco events in Los Angeles.  I’m in my 40’s, and I’m aware of clubs.  I’m hoping this is a bad interpretation relayed to me and she was in a club.

Additionally, I am going to say this now.  The race of the actress, Anna Diop, plays no factor in my opinions.  I just want a good portrayal of the character and the skin color just is not important to me.

Starfire – DC Universe

But her look is bothering me.  Her dress in the trailer is cheap-looking and I cannot ignore that wig!  Starfire’s hair in her pre-2000 appearances is always bouncy.  I get that, however that wig looks seems like their costumer wasn’t trying at all on this one.  I have seen the memes comparing this look to cosplayers, and I must say they have a point.  A simplified wig or even one with a little bit of red/orange fading into yellow would have helped a lot.

STARFIRE’S GRADE:  D-

Unless they change her wig and outfit, this version of the character is going to be poked at endlessly online and the actress is not at fault.

RAVEN

This character has  lot of exposure in the cartoons, comic books, and video games.  With that said, the bar on making her a TV character isn’t set terribly high.  This is her first appearance in a live action show, so there is room for interpretive license.  Moreover, her look is usually very simple, so it may be hard to let people down.

Raven – DC Universe

Personally, I am let down.  The visuals when she is using her power are similar to some low budget horror films I have seen. And, the character came across as very bland here.  I know the comic book version is very reserved- due to her capabilities-but there is a big difference between reserved and bland.  For a girl in trouble at the beginning, she seems more bemused than troubled.

Raven powered up – DC Universe

Moreover, the effect of her powers creating the black eyes and miasma has been seen a few times before.  I was hoping they would go the extra mile and give her red irises or something to indicate pupils and where she is looking.  Solid black eyes can skew expressions when the eyes appear blank.

Finally, it is unfortunate that this show is coming out after Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger.  Raven’s past-reading abilities manifest in ways similar to Cloak and Daggers with the immersive walk through, although Raven’s is missing the color pallet Freeform has given her Marvel counterparts.

A look into Dick Grayson’s Mind – DC Universe

RAVEN’S GRADE:  C

For a lynch pin character, she doesn’t seem like she will have a lot of personality in the early going.  Meanwhile, if she can’t hold people’s attention through the first season, they won’t tune in for a second one.  That and her appearance is devoid of any kind of indication who she is.

BEAST BOY

The Titans’ resident green machine is my greatest worry before the show starts.  This is a character that alters his DNA to transform into any animal.  That has to be an expensive special effect.

My worries are compounded by how little he is in this trailer.  There is one scene of his leaping.

Beast Boy mid leap – DC Universe

And another of him.  What is that?  Grimacing?  Growling?  I can’t tell.

Beast Boy goes “Grr!” – DC Universe

The look is so-so, but I am concerned with production photos showing that he will probably have normal skin 90% of the time, not his green skin.  That green usually sets him apart and shows the world how different.  Without that, he’s a kid that blends in well on any street and takes away a lot of story potential.  I know, you’re probably saying, “The green hair lets people know he’s different.”  Well, hair dye has come a long way.  A lot of people I know have vibrant green hair.

BEAST BOY’S GRADE:  INCOMPLETE

The trailer showed us less on Beast Boy than on Starfire.  I don’t feel comfortable giving a full opinion… yet.

HAWK & DOVE

These are not going consistent characters in the first season, however they will appear on a reoccurring basis.  They are avatars of war (Hawk in red/white) and peace (Dove in blue/white).  In the comics, Hawk is the one that goes to the edge of extreme justice whereas Dove prefers to pacify enemies with as little pain and time as possible.

The glimpses of their costumes show that they have a more armored looks than the simple suits in comics.  This makes sense.  Spandex comes across rather harshly on film.  It is a compromise I can live with

Now, I have to ask … Is Dove taking criminal amounts of caffeine in this story?

Dove slicing an enemy’s knee – DC Universe

She is slashing enemies with her wings and raking her claws across people’s faces!  Whatever “peace” she is supposed to bring must be a piece of her enemies’ Achilles tendons!

HAWK & DOVE’S GRADE:  C-

They have great costumes.  However, these are more characters that do not speak in the trailer and the action I’ve seen has me scratching my head with more questions.

ROBIN

Robin – DC Universe

This one is controversial on social media.

He has the look down.  The costume designer on the first Iron Man movie worked on this costume and it looks almost movie worthy.  His tragic back story with his parents is intact.  He has a little bit of dialogue in this trailer and he is a desk jockey cop, from my estimation.  He means well, however, this version of Dick Grayson is trying to leave the costume life behind.

It is inevitable that Robin goes back behind his mask to dole out some street justice.  Although, the action is where I have a big problem.

He crushed his throat! – DC Universe

Robin cuts, impales, shoots (with a criminal’s turned gun) and crushes, LITERALLY CRUSHES, the thugs!  That is way beyond most of the things Grayson has done in any version of the character!  According to people in the Titans’ panel at San Diego Comic-Con, somewhere in that scene, Grayson says “F*** Batman.”  Robin and Batman have had their disagreements in the past, sure, although, I have never seen that kind of character turn.  Are the writers trying too hard to make Grayson edgy?

ROBIN’S GRADE:  C

They could have fixed a lot of issues with the fan reactions to Robin by changing a couple details and naming him “Jason Todd.”  The actions of this Robin are extremely suited to the second, more dangerous and devil-may-care Robin who later became the Red Hood than the one who became Nightwing.  It is a shame, because that is a waste of a great Robin screen costume.

Do you have any opinions on the trailer?  Let us know in the comments below!  In the meantime, enjoy our latest comic reviews and our weekly comic news and reviews podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!

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