It’s no surprise that DC Comics and Warner Brothers are increasing their domination of the TV comic adaptations, with news coming from different networks about new series like Supergirl and iZombie to join the already successful Gotham, Arrow, The Flash, and to a lesser extent, Constantine. Marvel has been playing catch-up with Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter, plus the four Netflix series currently in development (You didn’t miss the first Daredevil trailer, did you?), but DC still holds the advantage. Especially with news of the most recent adaptation in development.
Now TNT is producing a live action adaptation of the Teen Titans simply titled Titans, with Akiva Goldsman and Marc Haimes acting as writers and executive producers of the series (or at least the pilot). The team have had a place in the animated world for years, with two related Teen Titans series, as well as the fan favorite Young Justice series that also focused on the sidekicks of the DC Universe.
The Teen Titans first debuted as a small team full of sidekicks, namely Robin, Speedy, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl. Over the years their roster changed slightly, and then received a massive overhaul with Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s New Teen Titans, which brought the team to a new level of popularity among comic readers. In fact, New Teen Titans was one of the only comics of the era to rival the success of Chris Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men, a feat which was celebrated with a fantastic team-up comic between the two teams back in 1982.
The New Teen Titans introduced new characters like Cyborg and Starfire, who would all become long-time members of the Titans as the team and members grew over the years to adulthood. From the rumored series synopsis, it looks like this might be the era of the team that the series will focus on.
Based on characters from DC Comics, Titans revolves around a group of young superheroes-to-be who are recruited from every corner of the DC universe. The action-themed drama centers on Dick Grayson, who emerges from the shadow of Batman to become Nightwing, the leader of a fearless band of new superheroes including Starfire, Raven and more. The show is described as a dramatic adventure series that will explore and celebrate one of the most popular comic book titles ever.
It appeared from the earliest news that the show would center on the character of Dick Grayson, who started his career as Robin, under the tutelage of the one and only Batman. Recently a new report came out that, while unconfirmed, sheds some light on the characters joining Grayson, and at what stage in the hero’s career we will be introduced to the team. According to the report from Nerdist, Dick Grayson will start the show as Robin, and then transition into his adult role of Nightwing. Joining him will be fellow Bat-family member Barbara Gordon, who is described as the wheelchair-bound super hacker that was known as Oracle in the comics, though that version of the character no longer exists in the New 52. Interestingly, Barbara Gordon has never been a member of the Titans in any incarnation, though has helped on occasion with her Oracle persona. She has also been involved with Grayson in the comics for years, though in more of an ‘on-again off-again’ situation.
They will allegedly be joined on the show by Starfire and Raven, who both featured heavily in the Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go animated series. Starfire also developed a romantic relationship with Dick Grayson, stemming from her first contact with Grayson and the Titans. Koriand’r AKA Starfire is an alien warrior princess from the planet Tamaran, who learns languages through physical contact (she kissed Grayson to learn English, for example). She is also an immensely powerful energy wielder and has been a member of almost every iteration of the Titans since her first appearance.
Raven is another long-term member, and was actually the sole reason for the New Teen Titans to come together in the first place. Raven is the daughter of the demon known as Triton, and rebelled against her father’s evil plans with the help of the Titans. She was given the secret identity of Rachel Roth in Geoff Johns’ run on Teen Titans, which is given in the character descriptions for Titans. We can expect her presence to also bring the threat of Triton to the series, which could prove a very interesting first season villain to deal with.
Finally, it was also announced that Hawk and Dove will be joining the series as well. Hawk and Dove are indeed members of the Teen Titans, though they don’t operate with the team too frequently. The report states these will be Hank Hall and Dawn Granger as Hawk and Dove, respectfully. These are the modern versions of the pair who are romantically connected, and given powers by the Lords of Chaos and Order. The two seem like an odd choice for the TV team, especially considering the huge number of characters that have been Titans over the years.
Of course, we can’t ignore the fact that there are a few big names missing from the TV roster. Most notably are Cyborg and Beast Boy, long time members who also played a large role in the animated series. Cyborg has recently been elevated to the big guns as a member of the Justice League, and with plans for a big screen version of the character in the Justice League as well as his own movie, it isn’t a surprise that they have decided to keep him in the League instead of confusing their dual universes. Beast Boy is an understandable omission, considering the visual effects needed to effectively duplicate his animal shape-changing powers. Some members of the original team like Speedy (Roy Harper AKA Arsenal) and Kid Flash (Wally West) might be avoided due to their presence on The CW’s Arrow and The Flash (assuming Wally West has a place on the series in the future). The same goes for Wonder Girl (Donna Troy), who TNT might not want to touch until we see the big screen debut of Wonder Woman first.
An interesting cast of characters for the series, but really, with the inclusion of Dick Grayson AKA Nightwing, we would have been happy with almost anybody joining him on the team. The pilot is expected to film later this year, but we have little confirmation on that, or a possible premiere date either. Chances are TNT will confirm both the team roster and start making some casting announcements in the next few months, which we will of course keep you posted on here at Grizzly Bomb.
What do you think of this possible Titans team? Are you excited to see yet another network bring some DC characters to life? Let us know in the comments section below, or join the discussion on the GrizzlyBomb Facebook page!
Images: DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Cartoon Network