Rating 2.5/5 – (This review for DC Titans, the premier show introducing us to DC’s streaming service, will be updated once all episodes from the series air. This review currently covers episodes 1 thru 5.)
So how do I feel about DC Titans? That’s not exactly an easy answer. We comic readers are told we should not be such purists, that the TV show will inevitably be different from the movies and they have to make changes because of the medium. One also has to be aware that there are special effects concerns and if you’re going to compete with Netflix you’re going to have budget accordingly. However, we are talking about a major media corporation so this isn’t exactly an out of the garage start-up. DC is owned by Warner Brothers and since we haven’t heard any major news about Warner Brothers going out of business anytime soon, let’s assume they have a bit more than a few bucks in their pocket. You’d think they’d put a little money on special effect, but they don’t.
Why can’t Garth be fucking green like Garth is always fucking green, and what’s up with him only turning into one kind of animal? The whole “I’ve got to get naked to here’s why I must do this trick off camera” thing gets old real fast. The explanation that he’s got a psychological problem that keeps him only turning into a tiger is stupid too. And the whole “let’s make it grounded in realism” might have been cute back in the 90’s but feels more like a cop-out in 2018.
DC Universe Streaming
CBS started their all-access streaming service with Star Trek Discovery and like it or hate it you can see they drop a few dollars into the special effects. DC is asking us to pay $7.99 per month or $74.99 annually for their service and through the DCUniverse.com we will get programs based on DC’s comics. For this price, I expect something a little better than Playstations first try at Super Heroes, which was uneven at best. Why? Because they’re competing with Netflix and even if their efforts can be uneven at least they put some heart into it. So let’s have a conversation about DC Titans and let’s talk about where they’re going wrong. DC getting a live-action that’s not on the CW wrong? Gee, what a bloody shock.
DC Titans – Realistic Super-Hero Stories
I am so fucking done with people trying to make Super Heroes realistic. I’m not kidding about that one, this is about the dumbest thing anyone can do. There are many movies and TV shows that made changes but also made their stories more interesting. Such as Blade, The Crow, or Spider-Man. I’m talking about taking their completely over the top characters and thinking you can ground them into the real world. They are not the real world, they are people with laser beams coming out their eyes who can punch through concrete and steel and fly in space without needing to breathe or protect themselves. They are not real so stop trying to make them realistic.
Don’t give me that bullshit about how not everyone knows who the Titans are. Teen Titans Go has been around forever. According to the sales figures, more than comic book collectors buy the animated movies. There is public awareness for the brand. We don’t need Raven (not fucking “Rachel”) throwing up black goo, we want the soul self which shouldn’t be that hard to do. Garr’s powers might cost them the budget for the special effects of Wayward Pines, however, why go through the whole transformation bullshit. Why not simply do what the comic and the cartoon does? Just let the changes happen without the drama of the major scene from American Werewolf in London. Why? because that’s what Beast Boy (or Changeling) does. Instead of all of that DC Titans has chosen to try to breathe some not needed realism into the show and the show suffers for that.
DC Titans – Koriand’r/Starfire
Starfire is an alien. That’s her whole story. She is gold-skinned, has green eyes without irises, long brownish/golden hair that projects a similar color exhaust when she flies. She’s super strong, maybe between Aquaman and Wonder Woman strong, and shoots solar powered energy beams which she draws from direct sunlight. Starfire is the victim of male writers and artists so they constantly draw her with the modesty of Vampirella and recently they turned her into an over-sexed Penthouse pet because of sexism.
This is Anna Diop, she’s now a veteran actress having been on Everybody Hates Chris and Messengers and 24: Legacy. Starfire tends to wear a one-piece skin-tight unitard and Marv Wolfman wrote her as an alien whose attitudes towards nudity is very different from humans. Instead of making her the gold alien she looks like a black girl with really bad hair and an even worse outfit. She does not look like a “hooker’ or a “stripper” she looks more like black Eurotrash with a horrible fur coat, this really dumb purple dress, and an even more terrible red wig.
DC Titans – Realistic?
This is what I mean by them trying to make Super-heroes “realistic.” DC has this problem with their movies where they feel they need to ground them and make them dark and gritty. DC refuses to give up on this and it’s why they fail with Batman V Superman and eventually Justice League. Marvel doesn’t ground their super they just go with it, That’s what DC never seems to get. They don’t have to hold back on Koriand’r/Starfire. If Star Trek the original series can make blue and green and black/white aliens, they can make her fucking gold. They don’t have to make her outfit some kind of really bad looking dress, and the amnesia thing has been done to death.
DC Titan – Violence
The biggest problem with this show is that they seem to have violence only for the sake of having violence. Robin acts like Red Hood instead of Robin. It’s Dick Grayson Robin using Timothy Drake’s tricks. He has to throw “R’s” which always go through his opponent’s eyes or chest and he kills without remorse. What the fuck is it with DC movies, and now streaming shows, where every hero is a killer? Why do they have to make every damn thing a Martin Scorsese scene of violence? It’s just so pointless. In the first episode, Dick Grayson is established as a police officer who is upset a guy who kidnaped a child got off. He goes and pretty much murders his fellow criminals in the most violence and bloody way possible. Then comes the line from every trailer, “Fuck Batman.”
DC Titans – Adult Language
Remember turning 12 and how you and your friends started testing out cursing? Even better, remember that South Park that did the episode where everyone said “shit” and they had a counter? That’s what the cursing on DC Titans feels like. Not a natural effect of dialogue, but as if the writers are little kids snickering in the dark saying as many curses as they can get away with before mom and dad catches them. The third episode had more ‘fucks” in it than Scarface, a movie that has an actual “fuck” count. Word of advice to DC, you suck at cures and you suck as violence. Batman doesn’t kill and he teaches this to his Robins. There’s a reason Batman doesn’t kill and contrary to popular belief the goddamn general public knows this reason and accepts it. This is supposed to be DC Titans, not Sin City.
DC Titans – Once Upon a Robin
What the fuck are they doing with Dick Grayson? Obviously, he’s heading towards the Nightwing name, but why does everyone know he’s Robin? This is something both Marvel and DC do. I’m not sure where or when both companies decided that secret identities were no longer a thing. In some ways, I can understand it. Sometimes a secret identity is stupid. People accept certain things from stories where people fly under their own power or come from hell demons. Let’s pretend there’s a reason why a multi-billionaire would not want people knowing he puts on a bat suit and beats up criminals all night long. Let’s also pretend that the general public is not stupid and if every villain knows Dick Grayson is Robin it’s not that much of a stretch to know Bruce Wayne, who adopted Dick Grayson, is Batman. No one is THAT stupid.
DC Titans – Raven
Raven is the half-daughter of a very powerful demon, and her powers have always been a bit dark. However, this Exorcist meets The Conjuring bullshit is irritating. Not because it doesn’t completely work, in the hands of the right writers it could work very well. DC Titans are not in the hands of the right writers so the choices they make are dumb as shit.
Instead of the soul-searing dark raven silhouette that comes out her body can cause damage, they turned into block slop that comes out her mouth and works like a physical thing that throws people around. Instead of being a highly sensitive empath she has psychometry meaning she picks up images about people by touching them. When she uses her powers her eyes turn black and get these veins and cracks around them. Worse yet she doesn’t teleport. It feels like they looked through the comics instead of reading any of them. They are doing what they think is Raven instead of it just being Raven.
As you can tell from this lengthy review DC Titans irritate the hell out of me. Starfire looks like a hot mess, Dick Grayson is the worse version of Robin ever. Gar and Raven’s powers are handled badly and the villains are just stupid. The scary “wholesome” family has been done better. The leader tried his best to do a comes off as an old ass Don Draper. I’ve read many reviews that have been very positive. DC Titans have an 84%/81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That bodes well for the series.
I get this is for a general audience I’m not going to back down on this one. DC’s seems to run away from the comics whereas Marvel embraces theirs comes. If this is the show that’s supposed to make me decide to make a monthly payment it’s not working. I think they should put more fun in the damn show, give us real Titan villains like Dr. Light or Brother Blood or H.I.V.E. DC Titans is not the worse TV show but it could be much better. It should have been much better.