The following contains some spoilers.
The pilot episode of the DCU’s first original series, Titans, opens with a young teen girl visiting a ghostly looking circus. She watches the Flying Graysons…in their final performance. Then she wakes up from her nightmare to be comforted by her mom. The girl, Rachael, asks her mom to lock the bedroom door. On the other side, the door is covered in crosses and religious items.
Detroit, Michigan: Detective Dick Grayson checks in at the office, exuding angst.
When Rachael returns home a man is waiting for. The man kills Rachael’s mom (who isn’t her mom) and Rachael unleashes what looks like some kind of demonic force.
That night in Detroit Detective Grayson goes on patrol. He changes into Robin and confronts a gang that are more worried Batman is around somewhere. Finding the “little bird” to be alone the gang attacks Robin who takes down the whole bunch very violently. Walking away he mutters “F— Batman” from the infamous trailer.
Later in the episode, a black woman with purple hair dressed like a hooker wakes up in Austria with men chasing her. She seems unaware of what she’s doing there and even who she is. She makes her way to a nightclub and meets up with a Russian. When the Russian tries to kill her she goes all fiery and incinerates him. She leaves the carnage with a photo of Rachael Roth.
The "plot" is rather unclear in this episode but seems to revolve around Rachael Roth ("Raven"). As with most of the recent DCU movies, Titans is dark and gritty...except a little darker and grittier. And also dark as in the episode has an incredible lack of light to see the thing. When Robin appears it's very difficult to see his costume. Except for one shot the episode doesn't even get around to Beast Boy.
I was not at all impressed with this pilot. It's just too darn dark and gloomy. The person I viewed the show with, a Teen Titans fan, was equally unimpressed and a little let down but still willing to watch another episode. As far as the characters, and I'll admit I have a little knowledge of the comics, we have an angst ridden adult with a grudge against his ex-partner, an angst ridden, purple haired teen with some sort of demonic possession going on and a purple haired (ok, it's a different shade but still...) woman who looks like a hooker who just stepped out of a 70's blaxploitation film. From what I can remember, Raven was some kind of sorceress and I think Starfire was an orange alien with green eyes (they did get the eyes). My viewing partner remembered them pretty much the same way, pointing out that Starfire did look like she had her purple suit on under the fur coat (what the heck is it with all the purple?), but laughingly wanted to know where Raven's hood was! He also didn't remember Raven being possessed. The look of the characters or even whether they are being portrayed accurately -- usually a huge deal for me -- didn't bother me as much as the dark, gloomy feel of the episode. There wasn't a single upbeat moment. Yeah, I'll watch another episode, mostly to see Beast Boy, but I can imagine a lot of unhappy month-to-month subscribers cancelling their subscriptions after this. And we still have several more months before we get another new series (which should be Swamp Thing).
- Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Acting - 8/108/10
- Music - 8/108/10
- Production - 6/106/10
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