The biggest problem with Titans to date is that it doesn't actually feel like an adaptation of DC Comics' Teen Titans. The reasons for this go beyond a lack of the usual trappings one expects to see in a superhero show, such as costumes and grand displays of superpowers. The show is also hampered by slow pacing and more mysteries than there are solid facts that the viewer might use to consider answers to the questions raised by the story so far.
A look at the first issue of Marv Wolfman and George Perez's New Teen Titans reveals a stark contrast between the source material and the Titans show. The comic book introduced its seven main characters and a common enemy within a span of 25 pages. The television show has yet to develop most of its core cast and has barely started to bring its protagonists together after three episodes. It has also failed to reveal a clear villain for the heroes to rally against.
This pacing might have been tolerable had the entirety of Titans' first season been released all at once, as with Netflix's superhero series such as the recent release of the third season of Daredevil. Indeed, the series seems to have been written and filmed with the binge-watcher in mind. Unfortunately, the weekly broadcast network scheduling favored by DC Universe seems to be at odds with the intentions of the show's creators, resulting in these incongruities when one watches the episodes one at a time.
- This Page: There's No Actual Team And Little Teamwork
- Page 2: Titans' Slow-Burn Approach is Too Slow
There's No Actual Team And Little Teamwork In Titans
The largest single issue with Titans is that there still isn't a proper team after three episodes, much less one that calls itself The Titans. In fact, most of the series' announced protagonists haven't met yet. It is also unclear precisely how the whole team will come together and why they would need to do so.
Perhaps the best example of this is Beast Boy. Though he figured heavily in the early advertising for the show, Beast Boy barely appears in the first three episodes of Titans. His total screen time barely totals over two minutes, even including a scene involving a CGI green tiger breaking into a big box electronics store. Gar's only interaction with another member of the team so far is his introducing himself to Rachel, as she plays pinball in the arcade at a skating rink.
Even those characters who have met in the show don't act much like the Titans from the comics and barely seem to tolerate each other's existence. Even early on, while the heroes in Marv Wolfman's comics frequently butted heads, their arguing had an undercurrent of respect and love under it all. In the show, Hawk seems to be one step away from punching Robin at all times, and while this does fit his combative attitude in the comics no explanation is given for it on the show save for the revelation that Dove once had romantic feelings for Robin. Then again, it is hard for the characters to develop engrossing relationships when half of them are suffering from identity issues (i.e. Kory's amnesia and Rachel's fears over what she is becoming) and the other half are introverts who don't open up to others easily, like Robin.
Robin is The Only Core Character With A Costume In Titans
Visually, the show suffers in that Robin is the only one of the main cast who has a traditional costume. This is something of a flaw in what is nominally meant to be a superhero show. While Hawk and Dove have costumes, we only see them in action for one episode and they are only supporting characters in the story so far. We know from images from the set that Starfire and Raven are supposed to get costumes at some point, although we don't know when.