The first episode of DC Universe’s new show Titans is a very slow burn. The majority of the episode is setting up Rachel Roth and Detroit detective Dick Grayson. Dick is stand-offish to his new partner, Amy Rohrbach, but is secretly beating up child abusers as Robin at night. He’s angsty about his former “partner”, but unlike the unfortunate trailer, “Fuck Batman” makes much more sense in context. He just seems frustrated in his everyday life, but it doesn’t stop him from being a hero, especially to kids that need help (like Rachel). Brenton Thwaites does a good job with what he’s given, but I think his character is the weakest of the group we’ve seen so far.
Rachel runs to Detroit after mysterious baddies upturn her life. In a move that only a child as pale as her could do, she throws a brick at a cop car to get arrested for her own protection. She meets Dick and tells him she’s been having dreams of his parents’ deaths and that she needs help from not only these bad guys, but her equally mysterious and destructive powers. She’s believable and Teagan Croft does a good job portraying both the desperate Rachel and the terrifying Raven.
The b-plot of this episode has to do with Kory Anders as she wakes up in a bullet-ridden car in Vienna, not knowing who she is or why she’s there. She quickly realizes that there are people after her and that they stand no chance because she has super strength and fire powers. Though we’ve yet to see her interact with the others, Anna Diop absolutely steals the show. Unlike most superheros who discover they have powers, Kory is excited, even when she fries an entire room of goons in an instant. She’s funny and playful, and a bright light in his dark show.
We don’t see much of Ryan Potter’s Garfield Logan just yet, but the little we’re given is great wordless characterization. He can’t fully control his powers yet, but he’s still going to use them to steal video games. Yup, sounds like Gar alright.
Overall, not much actually happens in this episode. It seems like Kory is on her way to Detroit, but we have no idea how Gar is going to fit in, and they’re definitely not yet a “team”. The show is dark, quite literally (no one has a lamp anywhere in Detriot I guess), but I think it works for Robin and Raven, as they’re both in a very bad spot emotionally. Maybe once the team comes together things will lighten up. The writing isn’t fantastic or ground breaking, but it’s nothing worse than what is seen on the CW every week. The same can’t be said for the visual effects. While Raven’s still needs working out, Starfire’s lit-up skin looked amazing, and we got an on screen transformation from Beast Boy that looked awesome and sounded gnarly. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long for everyone to come together, but I appreciate that they’re not rushing it. It’s not a bad first outing for the DC Universe, but it’s not yet enough to justify buying a membership just for the original programming. Wait until the end of the season or until Young Justice Season 3 comes out.