Move over, Arrow. And The Flash. And Constantine. And Gotham. And maybe even Supergirl or whatever it will end up being called (probably something that tries too hard to be hip and clever like “Super. Girl.”). Oh and even Smallville, and Birds of Prey – that show that nobody watched but which Trevor keeps telling us was awesome. Yeah, all of you need to move the hell up. The reason for this mass relocation? Looks like there are a few Titans on the way, in the form of another DC Comics TV series that won’t have anything to do with the other series or Warner Bros’ DC Comics movie universe, because reasons.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Warner Bros are currently in talks with US cable network TNT – who is also owned by Time Warner, just like WB – to air a TV series adaptation of the classic team-up comic book Titans.
Originally named “Teen Titans”, the comic – featuring a team of mainly the teenaged sidekicks to such big time heroes as Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman – would make its debut in 1964. The team originally consisted of Robin (Dick Grayson), Kid Flash (Wally West), Wonder Girl (Donna Troy) and Aqualad (Garth), but eventually they would be joined by other teenaged heroes like Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy (Roy Harper) and the Doom Patrol’s Animal Boy (Gar Logan).
However, in the mid-1980’s, writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez relaunched the book as “The New Teen Titans”, which not only further expanded the team’s roster with the likes of the cybernetic Cyborg, alien Starfire and half-demon empath Raven among others, but more importantly, eventually also featured the now-twenty-somethings versions of some the original heroes, who had since stepped out from under their mentor’s shadows. Robin had become Nightwing, Kid Flash had become the new Flash in the place of Barry Allen, Aqualad became Tempest, Speedy became Arsenal, Beast Boy became Changeling and Wonder Girl became, well, Donna Troy… and Dark Star… and Troia… And then Donna Troy again… Let’s just say that she he had a bit of an identity crisis as a result of another Crisis. The team would go on several adventures together, including having a number of run-ins with the actual titans of Greek mythology, and would become a firm favourite with fans before disbanding and going their own separate ways eventually.
And although the Teen Titans has since been relaunched again over the years (a few times in fact), with a popular team currently in the the comic books, as well as a lighthearted, more young kids-oriented animated adaptation Teen Titans Go! currently airing on Cartoon Network, it’s this New Teen Titans incarnation that will apparently be the main inspiration for the show.
Screenwriter/producer Akiva Goldsman (I Am Legend, I, Robot, A Beautiful Mind) – who was actually involved in a previous attempt to adapt the New Titans for TV that ended up falling through, as well as having the misfortune of writing Batman Forever and Batman & Robin – will be penning the pilot for the show with the help of Marc Haimes (Men In Black II, The Legend of Zorro).
As cool and full of potential this is, I can’t help but feel the same sense of despondency I feel every time I hear about another DC property being adapted for television that won’t have anything to do with the rest of their universe. I completely understand that this form of insular approach makes for easier, self contained storytelling and require less continuity oversight, but Marvel has proven it can be done rather successfully.
Actually, scratch that last thought, it could actually lead to the need for more continuity management, because now you’re dealing with characters that are tied to the origins of characters that either they’re not allowed to reference, or they have to come up with their own versions, totally different from the movies. Now I don’t expect something as dark and supernatural as Constantine to cross over with the comparatively grounded and realistic Arrow, but having one show featuring a team led by Batman’s sidekick, while another show has Batman in the same time era as just a 12-year old boy, might be a bit confusing for the average audience member.
All of this feels to me like WB\DC are just throwing all their properties against a wall, and seeing what sticks. Well, as long as they don’t get stuck on the same spots already covered by the movies.
Last Updated: September 16, 2014