Today’s final entry in The 2020 PopCult Gift Guide is the perfect gift for fans of superheroes who don’t mind if they cuss a lot. I mean, a whole lot. It’s the DC Universe (soon to be HBO Max) series, Titans.
This is a very dark, grim and gritty take on the classic Marv Wolfman/George Perez version of DC’s Teen Titans, with elements of other takes on the characters mixed in. It’s not terribly faithful to the comics, but it is recognizable. It’s a super team comprised partly of sidekicks to the major DC superheroes.
Freed from having “Teen” in the title, the producers took some liberties, having characters who are roughly the same age in the comics be anywhere from 14 to well into their thirties here. This makes for a stronger take on the stories, which are presented in an ultra-violent manner, with so much strong language that, at times, you might think that they have a quota they have to meet, with a minimum amount of gratuitous f-bombs sprinkled throughout the show.
It’s really weird hearing Robin cuss.
I’m not exactly a prude. This is the first time I can recall watching a movie or TV show that struck me as having too many curse words. The problem with f-bombs is, if they’re overused, they lose all their shock value and effectiveness.
Aside from that quibble, and the first season finale, which was a mess, Titans is a decent action show with superheroes. The characters are nothing like their comic book counterparts, and there are a couple of highly-questionable wardrobe choices, but if you forget that you ever read the comic books, then it’s a good, adult, superhero melodrama.
In season two, following the aftermath of their encounter with Trigon, Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) reforms the Titans. Under his supervision in their new home at Titans Tower, Rachel (Teagan Croft), Gar (Ryan Potter) and Jason Todd (Curran Walters) train together to hone their hero abilities and work together as a team.
They are joined by Hank Hall and Dawn Granger aka Hawk and Dove (Alan Ritchson and Minka Kelly) and Donna Troy aka Wonder Girl (Conor Leslie). Although these original Titans attempt to transition into a regular life, when old enemies resurface everyone must come together to take care of unfinished business. And as this family of old and new Titans – including Conner Kent (Joshua Orpin) and Rose Wilson (Chelsea Zhang) – learn to co-exist, the arrival of Deathstroke (Esai Morales) brings to light the sins of the old Titans which threaten to tear this new Titans family apart once more.
It’s not for kids, but Titans presents a new take on a classic comic book with an R-rated slant that might be right up some fans’ alley.