Picture this, you enter a contest to screen a show that you already have some expectations about, very negative ones. Yet the pseudo journalist inside of you screams in excitement when you actually win because, “Wow, I get to see this before anyone else!” That’s how I felt going into the Titans early premiere.
Now, I’m not alone in being both incredibly underwhelmed and slightly embarrassed when the trailer was first released and it featured both that DC darkness coupled with some very cringe worthy moments. I’m looking at you Dick. Honestly, my mindset was pretty negative going into this premier. I think what made this night so memorable was the fact that my expectations of the series were completely blown away. The only negative thing I have to say is that now, I have to wait over 3 weeks to get new content. This is going to be a spoiler-free look at the series and both the announcements before and the Q&A after. It was just so good that I want everyone with my previous mindset to experience it as I did, with absolutely no preconceptions.
The night began slow, a long line in which certain VIP guests like James Tynion, Marv Wolfman, and George Perez walked about being noticed by everyone. My friend Scott and I managed to clear some pretty good seats on the side orchestra box sections in the Hammerstein Ballroom. The wait was long for the event to begin so we peered down into the VIP area where many actors, writers, and directors made conversation with one another. Once the event began, Geoff John’s walked on stage to offer his welcome and what was in store for us that evening.
Many were surprised when he decided to introduce a special talk about the upcoming DC universe series Doom Patrol followed by Brendan Fraiser coming out to talk with us! He gave us a little background about what he called DC’s most unknown cast of misfits and a brief history on why the title changed comics for a time. He also talked about the character he was playing the voice for, Cliff Steele or Robotman. He seemed super excited about it and even went as far as to introduce Matt Boomer as an exclusive cast release for Negative Man. (Though by now this is probably common knowledge.)
The second guest for the evening was Kaley Cuoco, who introduced herself as the voice of Harley Quinn while also taking some funny shots at Deadpool, though I’m sure you’ve all seen this teaser already.
After that the premiere began with yet another surprise: not only were we going to see the first episode of the series but also the second! As I said before the series completely blew my expectations away. The darkness that the Universes films are so associated with was there, but not without it’s charming style and an amazing chemistry between the cast. Mix in with some quality humor and it was a recipe for something brand new from DC.
What really sold me on this series was the cast. Granted we all felt a bit cringed out when we heard that certain line from Robin in the trailer. But as we move throughout the first two episodes, which are heavily centered on Dick and Raven, we see relationship between the two. It’s an archetype we’ve seen countless times but it doesn’t feel worn. As the series’ current unknown antagonist is clearly after Raven, it’s only natural that she would be seen the most. By the end of the second episode, we don’t have a full team yet but it’s clear Raven is probably going to be what brings them together.
Raven herself is portrayed as a teenager with powers she can’t control. They usually manifest themselves in an alternate persona, almost like another personalty that tries to influence her decision making. Her look, even though she looks like she was give too much money to spend at Hot Topic, was actually pretty standard when compared to her current iteration in the comics. She’s quiet and shy but also independent and very much like an average teenager.
Dick on the other hand is much changed. The violence he portrayed in the trailer only serves to show that he is going down a dark path, one very far away from Bruce Wayne. Why he broke up with the Bat is unknown, but it is clear it has something to do with how far one will go to execute pure justice. He’s stoic but not unemotional, very much like his mentor; maybe it’s that which is he trying to change.
Dove and Hawk are two lesser-known heroes from the Teen Titans, so it was a surprise when we saw them casted in the series rather than say, Cyborg or Kid Flash. Yet their realistic approach to how being a superhero can affect your mental and physical health, coupled with their charisma with one another and overall badassery, made me instantly fall in love with them. As of right now, they are my two favorites.
Starfire and Beast Boy got a lot less screen time in the premiere than I thought. Beast Boy barely got even five minutes, yet we got to see his transformation from beast to man in a way that was reminiscent to one of my favorite movies, An American Werewolf in London. However, that’s really all we saw.
Starfire had a little more screen time, but her character was just as confused as us due to some memory loss on her part. She’s on the hunt for them back while taking out some pretty angry mafia types. At this point the show does provide a reason for her outfit, which was pretty scandalizing in the trailer. Her reason for wearing what some one call typical sex worker attire was actually wrapped up in a role her character was pretending to be for some sort of infiltration. I guess this will make more sense once the third episode airs.
After the premiere, I was so pumped up for what was left come for the series. The Q&A picked up immediately after, moderated by Damian Halbrook. One of the first major questions he asked was about the whole, “F*ck Batman” line from Robin. This was apparently Geoff John’s idea in order to contextualize the relationship strain between Bruce and Dick. Early on, we were also given confirmation that season 2 is already in fact being made a reality.
The event was made up of a lot of questions asking the cast members how they felt playing their own new versions of their characters as well as what to expect. Brenton Thwaites said,
“It’s a great way to introduce the series to let audiences know about what time we’re going for. It’s really not a story about Batman. It’s a story about Robin trying to leave Dick Grayson…trying to leave that way of fighting crime…and basically try to find a new identity and through that he meets and forms the Titans which really becomes that new super hero he’s been looking for.”
Teagan Croft was also praised for her dual portrayal of Raven and asked which version of her Raven was harder to play. Starfire and Beast Boy’s lack of screen time was also mentioned. Ryan Potter’s responses still seemed to give us that in-character, Beast Boy humor and general wholesomeness that makes us certain that one of DC’s most beloved green heroes is in good hands. When Damian mentioned that we’re seeing a lot of damaged kids in this show and that Beast Boy seems like the one who will bring them together with humor, Potter’s reply absolutely cemented this opinion,
“That’s a lot of pressure bro…it looks like a dark hallway right now but there’s a tiny bit of team light at the very end of the hallway, and it’s in the form of a green haired kid who likes pizza, likes to dance, and likes to make people smile.”
The event itself wasn’t very long and ended with a wonderful teaser of Doom Patrol. It was quite the night, and I’m truly excited to see what else the show has to offer in the coming weeks.
Titans premiers on the DC Universe streaming service on Friday October 12th. You should definitely all check it out, you won’t be disappointed.