The following Blu-ray set was provided to me by Warner Brother for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
I began reading and collecting comic book 38 years ago, yes I am old. When I was a kid a comic came out in 1980 from DC called New Teen Titans. It took a group of younger college aged heroes and sidekicks and showcased them as a team. Clearly as a way to combat Marvels X-Men comics. I read these books but thought nothing of them until a storyline called The Judas Contract was published. It put a different layer on each character, turned a throw away villain into a major player (Deathstroke) and really showed that even colorful and young characters can have an edge to them. DC adapted the story line into an animated film a year or so back that was changed for time and continuity but still very good. Before this however we had a fantastic Teen Titan cartoon that ended to soon. We then got treated to Teen Titans Go which I personally find hysterical, and that introduced these characters to another audience.
With not only the success of superhero films and tv shows it came as no surprise that DC would be starting a live action streaming service. They in fact had many cartoons, shows, and comics they could offer online. Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and more were gracing our evening on the CW Network so to entice subscribers DC created their own line of Shows for the service. Not facing network censorship they were able to go a bit edgier and more R rated in terms of themes. There first show out of the gate was The Teen Titans. A live action update of the groups core characters. Robin, Raven, Beast Boy, and Starfire. It was an odd choice but when the first trailer hit people were blown away buy how good it looked. I just completed watching season one and let me tell you, its one of the best superhero shows I have ever seen.
Titans is at its truest form a gritty mystery series. It centers on Dick Grayson, who we all know is the original Robin. He’s no longer in Gotham City, he’s now living in Detroit as spends his days as a police detective and nights fighting crime as Robin. He encounters a young runaway named Rachel Roth (Raven) who has some type of psychic power. She has had dreams of Grayson but before he can try and figure out what’s wrong with her she is kidnapped. She wakes up to find herself impressed by the man who murdered her mom but all at once she turns into a demon, kills the would be kidnapper and goes back to normal. Robin arrives after this to save her and find out what is going on.
As this is happening we are introduced to Kori Anders (Starfire), who when we first encounter her she had no memory of who she is. She was hired to locate Rachel and has the ability to shoot fire. She continues on her way to Detroit to find the girl after killing the gangster who hired her. We also meet Gar. A green kid who is able to transform into animals (Beast Boy). He’s only seen for a second in the first episode but he as well as Starfire also head to Detroit. The group all converges and team up to find out who wants Raven dead.
This is a violent, well-acted, slow burn of a series. Its exactly what it needs to be. We are introduced to the Doom Patrol, The Nuclear Family, The new Robin, Trigon, Batman, Hawk and Dove, and more. The show takes the time to explain all of these characters, and in the case of The Doom Patrol give them a spinoff show, to start building a universe. This show is so well crafter DC will be able to launch an entire universe off of Titans, much like they were able to use Arrow to bring in a series of other shows and spin offs. The show has a very impressive budget as the costumes, which are very comic accurate look better than lots of the big screen films.
The chemistry is great between all involved. Brenton Thawaites as Grayson and Teagan Croft as Raven as my two personal favorites. Everyone involved does a fantastic job. From the acting to the costumes, to the effects, and especially the action choreography everything about Titans is top notch. It was an amazing first season, that like I stated moves slow and methodical but is never boring. Its done to build a universe and introduce all these characters to you. It was a fantastic choice as the series to launch the channel.
If you do not have the streaming service, first of all get it, second Warner Brothers is releasing Titans on Blu-ray with all the episodes of season one on a gorgeous Blu-ray set. Its worth buying even if you have watched the show as not only is the Blu-ray transfer amazing in terms of audio and video quality but its loaded with special features.
· Raven and Robin Dark Rebirth
· The Story of Titans
· The Characters of Titans
· The Making of Titans
· Dick Grayson’s and Rachel Roth’s Dark Past
· A Look at Vigilantes Hawk and Dove
· The Identity of Titans Kory Anders/Starfire
· Gar Logan’s Journey
· Rachel’s Powers
· The Doom Patrol Meets the Titans.
· Jason Todd’s Robin
· From Comic to Live-Action Adventure
· Meet Wonder Girl
· Dick Grayson’s Dark Past
· World of Super Heroes and Vigilantes
Top to bottom this is what a superhero series should be. Great acting, story, and effects make this one of DC’s best works to date. I cannot stress enough how much comic fans, and non-comic fans alike will enjoy watching this. Pick it up and add it to your collection.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!