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Created By:
Greg Berlanti, Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns
Teagan Croft, Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop
Writing Credits:

A team of young superheroes led by Nightwing (formerly Batman's first Robin) form to combat evil and other perils.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 501 min.
Price: $29.98
Release Date: 7/16/2019

• 13 Featurettes


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Titans: The Complete First Season [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 17, 2019)

An update on the old Teen Titans comics, Titans ran on the “DC Universe” streaming site. Season One includes 11 episodes, all of which appear in this 2-disc Blu-ray set. The plot synopses come from the official site.

Titans: “Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft), a teen haunted by dark visions and powers, falls under the wing of Detective Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites). We also meet Kory Anders (Anna Diop) and Gar “Beast Boy” Logan (Ryan Potter).”

When I followed comics in the early 1980s, Teen Titans aimed for a younger audience, as do the modern-day animated Teen Titans Go! series and film.

Titans pursues a completely different approach, as it brings us an “R”-rated take on the team and the characters. How well that works in the long run remains to be seen, but the pilot sets up the squad and their universe in a reasonably effective manner.

Hawk and Dove: “In search of a safe haven for Rachel, Dick arrives on the doorstep of vigilante heroes Hawk and Dove (Alan Ritchson and Minka Kelly).”

As the series progresses toward the team concept, we get an intriguing glimpse of Dick’s past via his connection to Hawk and Dove. The episode proves unusually introspective, as it mixes action with reflection in a satisfying way.

Origins: “Rachel and Kory travel to the convent where Rachel was raised, while Dick compares his own orphan experience to Rachel’s. Meanwhile, Rachel befriends Gar Logan.”

Slowly, the Titans come together, though I admit the formation of the team takes longer than I’d expect. “Origins” provides some good moments but it feels a little more expository than I’d prefer, so it’s an inconsistent episode that works less well than the exciting “Hawk”.

Doom Patrol: “Gar brings Rachel home to his ‘family’, a group of misfit medical experiments we’ll come to know as The Doom Patrol.”

The introduction of the Doom Patrol adds an interesting element to the series. I still wonder when the Titans will form their own squad, but at least “Patrol” brings a fun episode.

Together: “When the Nuclear Family tracks them down, Dick, Kory, Rachel and Gar decide to stop running and work together – and the team that will be known as ‘The Titans’ is formed.”

Finally! It’s satisfying to finally see the gang come together, and this episode explores the new relationship well. Add developments from the creepy Nuclear Family and this becomes a pretty good show.

Jason Todd: “Before he can reunite with The Titans, Dick reluctantly teams with new Robin Jason Todd (Curran Walters) to catch a serial killer targeting people from Dick’s past.”

The addition of Jason works in two ways. He helps flesh out more of Dick’s backstory, and he also adds a nice spark to the proceedings. These factors allow “Todd” to deliver a solid episode.

The Asylum: “The Titans set out to rescue Rachel’s birth mother from a mysterious psychiatric facility, but find themselves confronting their deepest vulnerabilities and fears.”

All that acts as an excuse for a fairly expository episode, one that offers additional insights into the characters’ backstories. It manages enough action to overcome the stagnation typical of such a tale, so it works well as a whole.

Donna Troy: “As The Titans go their separate ways, Dick turns to old friend Donna Troy (Conor Leslie) for answers.”

Though Season One deals with issues related to all four Titans, it doesn’t distribute story elements evenly, and Dick’s tale gets the most attention. This seems a bit unbalanced, but given his greater prominence in the DC universe, it makes sense.

“Troy” manages a good examination of this domain, mainly because Donna – Wonder Woman’s one-time youthful sidekick – brings novelty to the tale. Her interactions with Dick add spark to the show.

Hank and Dawn: “The origin story of Hank Hall and Dawn Granger’s relationship and the loss in each of their pasts that brings them together as vigilante superheroes Hawk and Dove.”

Given the fairly tangential relationship of Hawk/Dove to the Titans, it seems surprising that they’d get another episode. The show works pretty well, though, even if it seems absurd to see 34-year-old Ritchson as a college-aged Hank.

Koriand’r: “As Kory’s memories come flooding back, she discovers her true mission, regarding Rachel. While Dick and Donna discover Kory’s alien origins, Rachel uses her powers to save Gar.”

As the title implies, this episode gives us revelations about Kory, but it also invests in Rachel’s journey. The various sides connect well to set up the finale.

Dick Grayson: “Dick takes a dark journey back to Gotham.”

Gee, who do you think he might meet there? The S1 conclusion certainly teases some intriguing possibilities.

For reasons I can’t discuss due to spoilers, though, the episode falls a little short. It also acts as a teaser for Season Two, which makes it slightly anti-climactic. On its own, “Dick” comes with a lot of excitement, but some factors impair its overall impact.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C-

Titans appears in an aspect ratio of 2.00:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Season One produced fine visual quality.

Sharpness consistently worked well. Despite a few slightly soft wide shots, the majority of the material came across as concise and well-defined.

I saw no signs of moiré effects or jagged edges, and edge haloes remained absent. Source flaws also failed to create distractions.

The series’ palette leaned heavily toward teal – really, really heavily toward teal. Spinal Tap would refer to the tint as none more teal. This seemed like an overbearing choice but the Blu-rays replicated the tones as desired.

Blacks appeared deep and dense, while shadows offered smooth, clear delineation. All in all, the episodes looked very good.

In addition, the series’ DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio opened up matters well. Given all the action on display, the tracks boasted a lot of side/rear usage and blended these elements in a satisfying manner. Everything melded together to create a lively soundscape with plenty of pizzazz along the way.

Audio quality also pleased. Music appeared full and rich, while speech seemed distinctive and concise.

Effects demonstrated accurate, dynamic elements with nice low-end response. The soundtracks suited the shows well.

On Disc Two, we find 13 featurettes, most of which boast short running times. An exception, Dark Rebirth lasts eight minutes, eight seconds and includes comments from co-creator Geoff Johns, show runner Greg Walker, executive producer Akiva Goldsman, and actors Brenton Thwaites, Teagan Croft, Alan Ritchson, Anna Diop, Conor Leslie, Minka Kelly and Ryan Potter.

“Rebirth” examines story, characters and cast. It provides a fairly general overview without a lot of depth.

All the rest bring briefer segments, so I’ll view them as one large package. We find Hawk and Dove Origin Story (2:35), Igniting Starfire (2:15), Becoming Beast Boy (2:01), Conjuring Raven (2:22), Meet the Doom Patrol (2:15), The New Robin (2:17), From Page to Screen (2:23), The One and Only Wonder Girl (2:13), The Redemption of Robin (2:29), Team Titan (2:25), What Does It Mean to Be Cast As Starfire? (1:53) and Anna Diop Having Fun with Teagan Croft (3:10).

Across these, we hear from Ritchson, Kelly, Johns, Walker, Diop, Croft, Thwaites, Potter, Leslie, and actors April Bowlby and Curran Walters.

The various programs examine story and characters, cast and performances, stunts and action. The featurettes offer superficial takes on the topics, so don’t expect much from them.

A dark take on the youthful superhero squad, Season One of Titans proves largely satisfying. The year doesn’t totally succeed, but it becomes a good collection of episodes. The Blu-rays offer strong picture and audio with lackluster supplements. Titans turns into a fine addition to the genre.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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