I love the Teen Titans. I love the characters, I love the stories, I love the giant T-shaped tower; it’s probably my favorite team in all of comics. It’s a series for all ages, so when we have rumors of the very first live-action adaptation being in a TV-MA rating range, It makes me a little nervous. Titans tone is that of The Avengers, not The Defenders.
For those who don’t know, the Teen Titans are a group of young heroes (mostly sidekicks) who band together and form their own team. The team consisted of Robin (Dick Grayson), Changeling, Starfire, Raven, and Cyborg. With Kid Flash, Donna Troy and others joining later. It was a slice of life series. The kids felt more like a family than coworkers. That’s something that makes them stand out from the Justice League and The Avengers. Where the others constantly fight and team up when they must, the Titans have a family dynamic unlike any other. They deal with love triangles, homework, and have pizza parties. They are kids who happen to be super. That’s not to say the series doesn’t have its dark moments. They certainly did, but they had a decent amount of levity.
This brings us back to the live action Titans. With it being a live-action adaptation, there’s always room to deviate from the source material, but a drastic change in tone like this just seems asinine to me. We just had our first look at the series and my goodness, it’s worse than I thought. I don’t need to see blood and gore in the same series with a boy who can turn into a green monkey. People who watched the animated versions will be alienated; losing a chunk of their audience for no reason. Will Titans be DC’s version of the Inhumans? If you haven’t read my Inhumans pilot review, check it out here. In short, the Inhumans was a Marvel property that went horribly wrong. They had one of the more unique concepts in comics but it was wasted on a creative team that didn’t understand the characters. From everything we’ve seen and heard from the series, it feels like the Teen Titans are destined for the same fate.
Maybe I’m just being protective of characters I’ve known all my life. Warner Bros. is very reactionary when it comes to DC properties, they shelved Robin for almost two decades after Batman and Robin so if this fails will we have to wait another 20 years? Thankfully there’s a glimmer of hope. The series is being written by Geoff Johns, one of the best in the business, and legendary Teen Titans writer. He has written some of the best Titans stories of this generation. If the story is in his hands I wouldn’t get too worried.
Titans will be available on DC Universe this fall.