After the “Teen Titans” television project had all but been scrapped on TNT, fans had lost all hope of seeing one of their favorite super-teams in live-action. But lo and behold, an announcement came that changed everything: DC will be launching its very own digital streaming service, headlined not only by the highly-anticipated third season of “Young Justice” but also a live action “Titans” series. Little is known about the series yet, if not for the fact that the team will feature Dick Grayson as either Robin or Nightwing, Starfire, Raven and Beast Boy.
The Teen Titans are a very popular team among DC Comics readers, a love-affair that started all the way back when Marv Wolfman and George Pérez re-launched the series in 1980 with a cast that most fans are familiar with to this day. Many characters have been a part of the Titans cast over the years and it will certainly be hard for the producers of the show to pick and choose. Today, CBR takes a look at eight characters we want to see on the show, and seven who should be left out.
15. SHOULD: BLUE BEETLE
Under the Blue Beetle mask, Jaime Reyes is a young Latino kid — usually younger than the main Teen Titans — who has had a very great power thrust on his back. Literally. With a powerful alien scarab attached to his spine, Jaime has no choice but to use his powers for good, no matter how many times the scarab tells him otherwise. Not only is he a popular character, he is also a very sympathetic and relatable one that is easy to root for, one that could also bring some diversity to the “Titans” roster.
The scarab on Jaime’s back is a powerful relic that can cover his entire body in armor, an armor that allows him to fly and generate all sorts of weapons. It is a powerful weapon that could bring some much needed raw firepower to the roster, and it could also prove crucial should some aliens come knocking. This power that Jaime possesses would set him apart from the rest of the cast, and it would also allow him to fill the robotic shoes of a character who shouldn’t be on this show…
14. SHOULD NOT: CYBORG
Of course, Victor Stone is an incredibly important character to the Teen Titans team. It is, after all, where he was introduced and where he started his superhero career. But there is also a little movie coming out later this year, a movie by the title of “Justice League.” Now Cyborg may not have been an original member of the Justice League in the old DC Comics continuity, but he was made one later on in “The New 52” and the movie looks set to partially adapt this story to the screen.
Therefore, Cyborg is poised to become a big and popular character already, one that the general audience will be familiar with. With his very own spotlight in the movies, Cyborg should then be left out the “Titans” show, so as to give some lesser known characters a chance to shine and come into their own. As mentioned in the previous entry of this list, Blue Beetle could be brought onto the team in a similar fashion to Cyborg, and he could fill his more technological duties.
13. SHOULD: DONNA TROY
The basic synopsis of the “Titans” series was light on information, but we do know that both Starfire and Raven will feature in the cast. Both are mainstay characters, incredibly important to the “Titans” roster as well as the “Teen Titans” comic history. But there is another popular female character that should also be included on this show: Donna Troy. Trained by the Amazons just like Wonder Woman, Donna, a.k.a. Wonder Girl, is both powerful and a strong female figure in the Titans team.
Donna’s history and origin story are a bit of a convoluted mess that has been changed many times over, something that the current “DC Rebirth” event is trying to fix. But that only means that the “Titans” show could easily create their own version of Donna’s origin, one that is more streamlined and that can easily fit inside the story of the series. And besides, the “Wonder Woman” movie is fast approaching and, with it looking like a great first outing for Diana Prince, this could be the best time to give fans and viewers even more Amazon action.
12. SHOULD NOT: SUPERBOY
Superboy is a character conflicted by his own D.N.A.. In fact, he was created by cloning Superman’s genetic materials, mixed in with those of a human. Which human? Why, Lex Luthor, of course. Considering that, and knowing that this duality inside of him fuels his emotional quest for a while as he struggles to be the best hero he can be, Superboy might be better off left out of the show. Mainly, it’s because it seems very unlikely that the show will ever have both Superman and Lex Luthor show up as would-be father figures to the character.
Besides, if Donna Troy were to be included on the cast of the show, a powerful warrior with super-strength, then the top spot of heavy-hitter on the team would already be filled. There wouldn’t be room for a half-Kryptonian clone with super-strength. Simply put, in a show that should highlight different power-sets from its cast, Superboy’s powers could just come off as redundant compared to Donna Troy’s, and the cost of those C.G.I. effects could be better spent elsewhere.
11. SHOULD: DEATHSTROKE THE TERMINATOR
Deathstroke is an immensely popular character, from comics to videogames, from animated to live-action. We have already seen him on our television screens, brilliantly portrayed by Manu Bennett on the first two seasons of the CW series “Arrow.” Already a fan-favorite to most readers, the general public is well aware of who Deathstroke is. But they don’t know him as he is truly supposed to be: The Terminator. For all of his scene-stealing presence on “Arrow,” we have never seen Slade Wilson face off against the team he is most associated with.
In fact, the character was introduced in the pages of “Teen Titans” and it was there that he carved his place as one of the best and deadliest villains in the DC Universe. Deathstroke is an assassin, a mercenary, one who uses his enhanced and deadly skills to take out anyone he his hired to. “Titans” would greatly benefit from introducing a new version of Deathstroke, and focus on the “Terminator” moniker. We need to see him as his most classic: a villain of the Teen Titans.
10. SHOULD NOT: JERICHO
As the youngest son of the Teen Titans’ enemy Slade Wilson, Joey Wilson joined the Titans team in “The Judas Contract” storyline from the comics. Mainly raised by his mother, Joey is goodhearted and earnest, and he only wanted to help the Titans from falling at the hands of his murderous father. Going by the codename Jericho, his power to take control of another’s body through eye-contact was very useful to the Titans on many occasions.
If the show is to include Deathstroke as one of its main villains, it could be easy to consider adding Joey Wilson to the cast, as a Titan who has a deep and personal relationship with a character who is trying to kill them. But considering that Jericho was never on his father’s side and considering he is such a good individual, there wouldn’t be much in the way of emotional conflict for him. Instead, the series would be better off introducing another of Slade Wilson’s children, such as…
9. SHOULD: RAVAGER
Compared to other “Teen Titans” characters, Rose Wilson first appeared much later in the comic books. But her inclusion in the universe and her story is one that is just as important as any other fan-favorite character from the comics. Rose’s existence was kept a secret from Slade, but when he came to find out about her, he took her under his wing and trained her to be just like him: a fearsome assassin. But eventually, Rose would come to turn against her father, and instead join the ranks of the Teen Titans.
Such a story would make for some very fascinating drama to see unfold on the screen. With Deathstroke appearing as a villain, we could follow his own story as he trains his daughter to help him on his fight against the Titans, something that would lead to Rose fighting and almost killing her enemies, only for her to eventually join the team. This could be a long and emotionally complex story that could unfold over many seasons. Should the show last that long, this is definitely something we would want to see.
8. SHOULD NOT: TERRA
Tara Markov was a powerful Teen Titan with the power to control and move not only rocks but the earth itself. She was mostly made infamous in the classic “Teen Titans” story “The Judas Contract,” where she was revealed to be a spy for Deathstroke. Unstable and quite brash, her betrayal nearly cost the lives of the Titans. If this story sounds familiar, it’s because it was also adapted in the most recent animated movie in the DC Animated Movie Universe series.
Her inclusion on the team would therefore not lead to much in the way of surprises, as her most famous role is to betray the Titans. The idea of a Titan secretly working for an enemy is an interesting one that could definitely be featured in the series, but this role shouldn’t be filled by Terra. Instead, the show would be better off focusing on the rest of its female cast to give both the comic and casual fans many more new super-heroines to believe in.
7. SHOULD: BUMBLEBEE
With her power to shrink down to the size of an insect, fly and generate energy blasts, Karen Beecher has been a part of the Teen Titans universe ever since she was introduced in 1976. Never the most popular character, Bumblebee has recently seen a focus shined on her thanks to her inclusion in the “DC Super Hero Girls,” a new venture that focuses on the female characters of DC Comics. She has also appeared in the second season of “Young Justice” and has recently made her return on the comic page in the “DC Rebirth” event.
It is then time for the character to reach its full potential and appear in live-action as part of the team. After many iterations of super-hero movies and shows that focus on male-driven characters, “Titans” could do well with letting all of its female stars shine. With Starfire, Raven, Donna Troy and Bumblebee, the cast would have very strong female leads to share the screen with their male co-stars. “Titans” has the chance to be a different kind of show that could bring some characters that the movies never would, and Bumblebee is a perfect choice for that.
6. SHOULD NOT: DAMIAN WAYNE
In the new “Teen Titans” comic book series under the “DC Rebirth” banner, this new version of the team is led by Bruce Wayne’s young son — and deadly assassin — Damian Wayne, the current Robin. He is a character that has as many fans as detractors, one that has seen quite the spotlight as the star in many entries in the DC Animated Movie Universe. Even just recently, he was featured in “The Judas Contract” movie, even though he had nothing to do with the original comic story.
It is a very interesting dynamic to have Damian Wayne lead his own Teen Titans team, but it is not one that should be featured in the “Titans” show. Fans have waited a long time to see Nightwing in live-action and the focus should definitely be on him, not another Robin from Gotham City. For fans of Damian, there is plenty of him to be found in any medium, considering he will also be a playable character in “Injustice 2.” It’s time for Dick Grayson to have his time to shine.
5. SHOULD: ROY HARPER
As Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy, Roy Harper was an original founding member of the Teen Titans. He is a character that has gone through many ordeals and changes in the comics and a character who perfectly embodies the “teen” aspect of the Titans. Roy is eager to prove himself, but he is also impatient, audacious and sometimes even arrogant. It’s a cocksure attitude that has led to many disagreements and drama with his mentor, and even with the Titans themselves.
But Roy is still a part of this young family, and he would do anything to protect them. The “Titans” show would make great use of such a character, one whose anger can as much lead to his downfall as to his heroic arrival. While we have seen the character of Roy Harper in the first three seasons of the CW’s “Arrow,” the character sadly never got to fully embrace his heroic career. Roy never got his rightful due and it only left us wanting to see much more of the character. And “Titans” is the best way to give us that.
4. SHOULD NOT: ARTERMIS
In the “Young Justice” animated series, viewers were introduced to a new Green Arrow sidekick, a mysterious girl who went by the codename Artemis. It wasn’t long before Artemis carved her own place on the team and in the hearts of fans. With an intricate story that involved her father Sportsmaster and sister Cheshire, Artemis proved herself as the hero she claimed to be, and not the villain her family wished her to be.
It would be easy for the producers of the “Titans” series to transition the character to the screen, to add a female archer to the team instead of Speedy, but with an already strong female cast, the show would be better off leaving Artemis to the animated screen. It’s doubtful that her story could be as captivating as it was on “Young Justice,” and “Titans” would only run the risk of retreading the waters of a story fans are already familiar with. Instead of Artemis, the series should focus on bringing another character from “Young Justice.”
3. SHOULD: KALDUR’AHM/AQUALAD
Before Kaldur’ahm was introduced as the new Aqualad on “Young Justice,” there was another Teen Titan who bore that name, another original founding member of the team, in fact: Garth, Aquaman’s sidekick. But over the course of “Young Justice,” Kaldur carved his place as a recognizable member of the team, a strong leader with a strong moral code and sense of justice. He hit such a strong note with fans in fact that he was later introduced in the pages of the comics.
As an Atlantean skilled in sword and hand combat with the same powers as Aquaman, he can also control water to create constructs, and he has the ability to generate bio-electric blasts. Such powers would make him a great addition to the cast of “Titans,” an addition that would aslo bring with it more diversity. And if all of that wasn’t enough, there is also the added visual bonus of his tattoos lighting up electric blue whenever he uses his powers. Simply put, Kaldur belongs on the screen.
2. SHOULD NOT: H.I.V.E./DAMIAN DARHK
Standing for Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination, the organization known as H.I.V.E. was introduced in the pages of the “New Teen Titans” comic by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez. They were the ones responsible for hiring Deathstroke to defeat the Teen Titans. They have also devised plans against Superman and many other DC heroes, even going so far as creating the villain Killer Frost. But if the name sounds familiar, it’s because the H.I.V.E. featured very prominently in the fourth season of the CW’s “Arrow” under the leadership of Damian Darhk.
In fact, they had such a big role on “Arrow” with such a long and convoluted devious plan that we don’t need to see them appear on any other television show for a very long time. “Arrow” viewers have more than heard their fair share of H.I.V.E. and the “Titans” series would do well to use another evil organization if they should ever need one. The DC Universe is a very large place with a very large number of evil conglomerates. The H.I.V.E. might be the most closely associated with the Teen Titans, but right now they are better off back in the dark.
1. SHOULD: WALLY WEST
Wally West is of the rare breed of characters who have come to outshine their predecessors in some aspects. When Barry Allen died in the pages of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” in 1985, Wally donned the Flash mask and he became the one true Flash for many comic readers for a very long time, until Barry made his long-awaited return many years later. He is such a popular character, in fact, that after being missing from the comics for the entirety of the “New 52,” he was brought back in the pages of “DC Rebirth” in a very big way, and returned to his rightful place among the Titans.
Wally was the third original founding member of the Teen Titans, a fan-favorite on and off the page, appearing in both the “Flash” comics and television series, and in the animated “Young Justice” series. He is a crucial member of the team and he absolutely needs to be featured in the “Titans” television series, with his ginger hair, bright and hopeful attitude and all. Many characters have been members of the Teen Titans over the years, but there are few who represent exactly what the team is: heart.
Which character do you wish to see on the “Titans” series? Be sure to let us know in the comments!