Fans got a treat late last week when Warner Bros. Television released the first official image from its Titans live-action series. The photo, featuring series star Brenton Thwaites suited up as the Titans’ leader Robin, indicates that the show’s versions of the characters will be pretty comics-accurate.
Recreating costumes for superhero TV shows can be hit or miss, and the results can sway public opinion on whether or not a series will be a success. If we judge Titans based on this Robin image, it appears the people behind the camera will do their best to bring the most accurate comic book adaptation it can to the DC digital subscription service.
That said, let’s tackle the elephant in the room: Yes, the Robin costume is more Tim Drake than Dick Grayson, though it’s the latter who is actually starring in Titans. The italicized “R” emblem on the chest, the green exterior and yellow interior of the cape, dark red chest plate, gloves, and bow staff are all associated with Tim’s version of Robin.
This wouldn’t be the first time Warner Bros. has chosen to dress Dick in a variation of Tim’s Robin suit. When Dick Grayson appeared as Robin in the popular Batman: The Animated Series, his visual look was more in line with Tim’s Robin from the comics, with the short sleeves and long green tights.
If you remember Dick’s time as Robin, then you can understand why these changes were made. Today, a lot more thought is put into a superhero costume than when Robin first appeared in 1940’s Detective Comics #38. Fighting crime in short shorts, legs exposed, elf shoes and bright colors aren’t the safest options when you partner with someone who dresses in all-black. Factoring all of that in, and Titans made the right visual choice for the Boy Wonder.
Now, we can begin to speculate on what Robin’s costume means for the rest of the Titans cast. Joining Thwaites on the superhero team is Anna Diop as Starfire, Teagan Croft as Raven, Ryan Potter as Beast Boy, Alan Ritchson as Hawk, and Minka Kelly as Dove. Each character has a distinctive appearance, which should allow the costume department to dive into the comics for inspiration.
Two characters that will likely prove the most difficult to interpret to the satisfaction of fans are the alien princess Starfire and the changeling Beast Boy. Not only does the makeup department have to contend with giving Diop and Potter orange and green skin, respectively, the choice of clothing given to Starfire in the comics has been questionable at best, with some artists leaning into her exotic nature by giving her less and less to wear. In October, we did get a behind-the-scenes look at the lengthy visual effects process that’ll be used to bring Starfire to life, though it offered little to hypothesize about with regard to her final look.
Beast Boy presents an entirely different set of challenges, mainly due to his ability to morph into different animals. With Robin’s authentic-looking outfit, WB doesn’t appear to be skimping when it comes to putting money into the Titans, so it’s pretty likely we’ll get to see some of Beast Boy’s transformations on screen. The CW’s The Flash has done an admirable job with its animal-based characters (ex: Gorilla Grodd and King Shark), so there’s no reason to think Titans will cut corners when it comes to Beast Boy.
The live-action Titans should be able to replicate the comic book accuracy of the remaining members of the cast. Aside from her pale skin, Raven’s gothic theme is manageable with dark clothing, and it remains to be seen how much screen time Hawk and Dove will have as recurring characters. Will they even have superhero costumes by the time the first season ends?
For now, we’re left to wait for Warner Bros. to release more images of the Titans to dissect and compare.
The Titans series was first announced as in development in 2014, at the time targeted for TNT. Earlier this year, news broke that it had moved to DC’s digital service, along with Young Justice: Outsiders, the third season of the fan-favorite animated series, which is making its return after ending in 2013. Last month, a Harley Quinn animated series was announced for the service.
Titans is executive produced by genre veterans Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter. Back in April, Johns — DC Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer, and a writer of a memorable run on the Teen Titans comic book series — revealed on Twitter that he was writing for the series. Keep reading CBR for the latest on Titans.
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