In defense of Titans

In defense of Titans

First, I want to apologize for indulging my geekier side lately. I’ll hopefully be getting back to my crime side shortly, but without superheroes, I would have no crime side. Secondly, I wanted to write this post last week after the first episode came out but the second episode hasn’t really changed my opinion on the matter. Anyway, on to the matter at hand.

When the trailer was first released for Titans, there was a lot of trepidation on the internet because it looked like the fun and lovable Teen Titans were being turned into grim and violent characters and it would ruin the childhood of everyone who watched the early 2000s cartoon. It didn’t help that the trailer contained the infamous “Fuck Batman” line uttered by Robin.

That line has become almost as famous as “I’m the goddamn Batman!”

I get it though, I was a fan of the cartoon too. As a matter of fact, I was a fan of the 1960s Filmation Teen Titan cartoons where everything was “Gee whillikers” and they called Kid Flash ‘Twinkle-Toes’.

When I watched those episodes as a kid it was less than ten years after their original airing and I thought it was the best thing ever.

What I’m getting at is, not everything stays the same way as you remember it. The Titans have been around for 50 years and in that time they have gone through some drastic changes both in the comics and on-screen.

The other argument I keep hearing is that the Teen Titans are supposed to be light-hearted and fun. Yet if you dig deep into their history, you’ll find that many of the Titans come from tragic backgrounds. Robin’s parents were killed in a horrific accident that he witnessed. Starfire’s entire race was enslaved by an invading force. Beast Boy was abused by his parents who experimented on him. Most importantly, Raven is the daughter of a literal demon. That’s not even taking into account Speedy/Red Arrow/Arsenal who became a heroin junkie in a seminal 1970s comic storyline, although I’m pretty sure Speedy isn’t going to be in the Titans series. Let’s also not forget that the most well-known Teen Titans comic storyline, The Judas Contract, had a number of adult themes that weren’t exactly kid-friendly. As far as the level of violence in the show goes, without getting into spoilers, is an ongoing issue through the first two episodes.

Then there are those who argue that the series is not faithful to the comic. I never understood this argument because a lot of things that work in comics don’t work in movies or TV. Comics and live action are two entirely different mediums and have to be treated as such. Besides, taking characters out of their normal routine have led to some of the greatest graphic novels such as Superman: Red Son and Kingdom Come.

So far, the two episodes of Titans that have aired have been enjoyable for me. The series so far has done the one thing that a lot of TV series fail to do and that’s to keep me coming back for the next episode. Something that Luke Cage and Jessica Jones could not do. While it’s too early to call Titans my show of the year, as of right now that goes to season one of Cloak and Dagger, it has the potential to be a really good show.

Then again, I liked the Green Lantern movie so take that for what it’s worth.

5 thoughts on “In defense of Titans”

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