Probably the biggest early news of an already busy San Diego Comic-Con has been the release of the first trailer for Titans, the original live-action series created exclusively for DC’s new DC Universe streaming service. The show stars Brenton Thwaites and Anna Diop as Robin and Starfire among others.
If you haven’t watched it yet, check out the SDCC trailer below:
Now that you’re all caught up, it’s time to break down this trailer to find all of its secrets. There will be spoilers and baseless speculation starting now:
We start in Haly’s Circus, returning to the scene of Robin’s parents’ deaths. Haly’s is where Robin grew up as a member of the Flying Graysons, a trapeze act, until they were killed by a mobster who was extorting the circus.
Raven (Teagan Croft) is our first link in the trailer to the seminal Marv Wolfman/George Perez New Teen Titans run that is basically the foundation for everything we know and love about the team. She was introduced by the duo in 1980 as the daughter of Trigon, a giant badass demon who ruled his own realm. Raven is an empath, with the power to sense other people’s emotions. But that’s not the only way that power has been portrayed in the past…
I’m not sure if it’s the way they cut the trailer or if it’s actually how the show is going to go, but Dick Grayson (Thwaites) is apparently a cop or a tech for the cops in this show. This wouldn’t be the first time he took up that gig. In the comics, Dick Grayson was a member of Bludhaven PD back around the turn of the millennium.
Robin’s outfit is very Tim Drake. Drake, the third and best Robin, was also the first to dramatically redesign the Robin outfit away from the booties and tights outfit, and into something more functional. And by functional, we mean “the R is a throwing star.” This redesign was handled by a team of artists, but it was eventually Neal Adams and Norm Breyfogle who contributed the most.
Starfire (Diop) is another character created by Wolfman and Perez. Koriand’r is an alien princess sold into slavery by her sister who escaped and came to Earth, and eventually found her way to the Titans.
Intellectually, we knew it was coming, but still, seeing a live-action Hawk (Alan Richtson) and Dove (Minka Kelly), especially Dawn Granger as Dove, is nuts. The original team of Hank and Don Hall was created by Steve Ditko back in the ’60s. They showed up a bit and never really took until Don was killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Following that reboot, Karl and Barbara Kesel and Rob Liefeld reimagined Dove as Dawn Granger.
We also get a good look at Beast Boy! Created as part of the Doom Patrol in the late ’60s, Gar Logan changed his name to Changeling when he joined the Titans, but he went by Beast Boy in the enormously successful Teen Titans cartoon of the mid-aughts, so that seems to have stuck. He’ll be played by Ryan Potter.
As we started to talk about before, Raven’s empathy powers have occasionally veered into “emotional vampire” territory. That seems to be the case here.
There’s a strong horror vibe running through this entire trailer. Raven’s backstory lends itself to it, coming almost straight out of a set of horror tropes. It’s going to be interesting to see how the team follows through on this.
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