Titans' Big Problem Is That It Isn't Really A Titans Series (Yet)

Titans Has No Clear Main Villain

A larger problem with the series is that the story lacks a central villain to tie the cast together, with one-quarter of its first season aired. While it seems likely, based on the central story's focus on Rachel Roth and her awakening powers, that the main antagonist will be Raven's father in the comics, the demon Trigon, there has been surprisingly little to suggest that in the show. In fact, Trigon's name hasn't even been mentioned once!

None of the bad guys from the first episode of Titans have carried over into the series at large. Robin easily defeated the child-beater he had been stalking. Starfire flame-broiled the Russian mobsters who threatened her life. And Rachel's darker self saved her from The Acolyte - a mysterious man who killed Rachel's mother and spoke vaguely about bad people using Rachel to bring about the end of the world and his need to kill her before that happened.

Related: Is Lewis Tan DC's New Batman in Titans?

The closest thing the series has to an on-going enemy so far is The Family - a quartet of assassins loosely based on a group of villains called The Nuclear Family from the Outsiders comics.  While The Family offer a menacing presence, with their facade of an ordinary American family that reeks of forced conformity, it is unclear if they are highly-advanced robots like their comic-book-counterparts or if they are humans enhanced by some form of super-serum, with electronic implants that might kill them if they fail in their mission, ala Suicide Squad. A meeting with their handler in the third episode does little to clarify matters, with the handler threateningly toying with some kind of electronic remote control, yet warning the children of The Family not to eat the (presumably poisoned) butterscotch candies they were given earlier after reporting their failure to capture Rachel Roth.

Titans Has Too Many Mysteries And Too Few Answers

Titans Teagan Croft As Raven

From a plotting perspective, Titans has serious problems with introducing mysteries and not resolving them. While exposition can be boring and a show can quickly grow tiresome if it attempts to explain every aspect of its world to its audience, Titans falters in that it explains very little and establishes even less.  We know that Robin had a falling out with Batman, for instance, but it is not explained why. There is also an interesting paradox in play, where, in their efforts to change up the characters from the comics in a way that might hold the interest of established fans of the Titans franchise and give them something new to enjoy, the show's writers have made the characters more inaccessible to newcomers.

Related: Superman Exists (In Some Form) In The Titans Universe

Starfire's story is a prime example of this. When we are introduced to Kory Anders in the first episode, she is waking up in a crashed car, next to a dead body, with no memory of who she is or anything beyond the fact that she is trying to find a girl named Rachel Roth. She has no idea how or why she is able to summon fire and can turn a living human into a charred corpse in seconds. All we really know about her, as Rachel says after Kory handily beats up three men in a fight in a diner, is that she is a "total badass." Unfortunately, she doesn't display much personality beyond that and the only relation between the character from the comics and the Titans version of Kory is that she has a short temper.

This lack of development and explanation is prevalent throughout the first three episodes of Titans. It is never made clear if Hawk and Dove, who have superpowers in the comics, have any metahuman abilities in the Titans universe. Nothing is revealed of just what exactly The Family are or the nature of the organization that is employing them to find Rachel Roth. And then there's the question of just what is happening to Rachel - a mystery that holds no surprises for fans of the original comics, but proves surprisingly underdeveloped from the perspective of a newcomer.

It's quite possible, if not likely, that many of these issues will fade away in retrospect after the full season is released and can be binged straight through, but the show's current slow-burn approach makes it hard to consume 45-minute increments once every 7 days. Titans shows a lot of promise for what it could become, eventually, but it's most certainly not there yet and needs to get there soon.

MORE: Titans Shows Why Batman is DC's Greatest Vigilante

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