Titans has been a strong source of buzz since it was initially announced. The release of the show’s infamous first trailer generated even more publicity because fans were divided over Dick Grayson’s line about Batman. Even then, it was clear that the show would feature a dark and gritty take on the Titans. Some fans were worried about this choice because the DC Extended Universe ultimately failed, among other reasons, due to its excessively dark tone. But other fans were hopeful for the live-action debut of this famous team and the multitude of ways it could connect to the greater DC Universe.
With the release of “Dick Grayson,” the first season is Titans is complete. From start to finish, the show was pretty inconsistent; it offered many compelling reasons to keep watching but it had just as many flaws. Dick Grayson received a lot of character development but this emphasis was detrimental to his teammates. The whole season established the problematic nature of the relationship between Batman and Robin and, when the trailer for the finale revealed Batman’s debut, many fans were excited. But Batman’s on-screen presence was somewhat underwhelming. Finally, an unconventional finale was followed by a promising post-credits scene that gives fans a reason to tune in next season. With 11 episodes to evaluate, fans can give a comprehensive verdict as to the successes (and failures) of Titans Season 1. That analysis is exactly what this list is meant to assist; here’s a list of 10 things fans loved about Titans and 10 things they didn’t.
20 LOVED: ROBIN'S COSTUME
Many fans were psyched to see a comic-accurate version of Robin’s costume in several episodes of Titans. Until Hawk and Dove showed up, the Boy Wonder’s costume was the show’s strongest connection to the comic book world. Unlike other live-action costumes, Dick Grayson’s supersuit looked realistic while it stayed true to the comics. But the inclusion of the costume led to a thought-provoking moment when it was destroyed.
When Dick burns his costume, Titans delivers a poetic scene meant to show that the former Boy Wonder is truly moving past his time as Robin. The development didn’t really pan out; Dick still struggles with his past. But this scene was one of the season’s best.
19 DIDN'T: NO COSTUMES FOR THE OTHER TITANS
It was disappointing that, in the first season, Dick Grayson was the only Titan to get an actual costume. (Hawk and Dove are exceptions.) Gar, Rachel and Kory seemingly always wear the same outfits but they can’t be classified as costumes. This shortcoming will likely be addressed next season but it’s still disappointing.
To be fair, it’s not surprising that the characters don’t have costumes yet. They barely understand their own powers and their identities as potential heroes. Plus, given they haven’t genuinely formed a team yet. But it is odd that, after 11 episodes, none of them get a legitimate costume (Dick destroys his).
18 LOVED: JASON'S RELATIONSHIP WITH DICK
Of all the relationships introduced in Season 1, Jason Todd and his dynamic with Dick Grayson was of the most popular connections. Jason, just like his counterpart in the comics, was portrayed as a cocky, brash adolescent that served as a complete opposite of Grayson’s Robin. In the finale, Jason seemingly showed some character growth but, because it happened in a dream-like state, it’s fair he’s still the same guy showcased earlier in the show.
That being said, fans want to see how the relationship evolves while Dick gains more distance from his time in Gotham and Jason gains more experience as Robin.
17 DIDN'T: JASON STILL ANNOYING
The accuracy with which Titans characterizes Jason Todd is both a strength and a weakness. If Jason was completely likable, some fans would have been upset. But the show captures Jason as the off-putting, annoying kid he can be, which is why so many fans voted for his demise in the ‘80s. Titans had a chance to make the viewer like Jason more than those harsh readers did. Unfortunately, the show failed to deliver.
While Jason’s relationship with Dick was fascinating, the new Robin came off as a brainwashed soldier fighting Batman’s war (with his own twists on Bruce’s code). The character can still be redeemed but it can be hard to overcome a disappointing first impression.
16 LOVED: DICK'S TRAUMA
Titans was at its best when it analyzed Dick Grayson’s view of his time as Robin. Being Batman’s sidekick clearly traumatized Dick and the former Boy Wonder never really overcame this emotional turmoil. Even after several episodes of development, Trigon was still able to use Dick’s pain to manipulate him. Many fans often view the idea of being Robin with rose-colored glasses; who wouldn’t want to be Batman’s sidekick?
But Titans delivers a less optimistic take on the lifestyle of the Boy Wonder. Dick, in many ways, has been turned into a violent monster by Bruce Wayne and the ex-Robin’s attempts to heal from his past will probably continue to define the series.
15 DIDN'T: DYNAMIC DUO
Dick Grayson’s relationship with Bruce Wayne is one of the most iconic connections in pop culture. They’e the Dynamic Duo, Batman and Robin. At times, Bruce is like a father to Dick. At the very least, they have a strong bond as a mentor and his protege. Titans stripped this relationship of its positivity.
Dick moved away from Gotham and viewed his time as Robin with disdain. The viewer doesn’t really get to see how Bruce views Dick but the show consistently paints their relationship as one that is strained, if not broken. Season 2 could heal the connection between Dick and Bruce but, right now, their relationship is disheartening.
14 LOVED: HAWK AND DOVE
Both iterations of the Hawk and Dove duo offered fans a promising relationship between two heroes. The (chronologically) first version of the pair introduced fans to Hank and Don Hall, two brothers who decided to fight crime in order to protect others, with some revenge added in as an additional motivation for their actions).
Then, Hank teams with Dawn Granger after the two of them experience tragic losses. The relationship between Hank and Dawn is an intriguing romance, especially when you factor in Dawn’s previous involvement with Dick Grayson. For a while, Dawn was seemingly written off the show. Thankfully, she’s back and she could be a main player in Season 2.
13 DIDN'T: AGE GAP BETWEEN DICK/RACHEL
In terms of age, Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth are technically 15 years apart. Dick’s nearly double her age. This difference is somewhat jarring as it creates an odd wrinkle to the relationship between these two characters. Dick seems closer to the age of Rachel’s father than that of a potential friend. In the comics, the members of the team tend to be much closer in age, which is why their bonding makes sense.
In this show, it’s weird to rationalize the pairing between Dick and Rachel. This aspect of the show is set, so fans will have to accept it. Still, the age gap qualifies as one of the worst parts of Season 1.
12 LOVED: DOOM PATROL
“Doom Patrol” was one of the best episodes of the first season of Titans. The episode organically brought in the notable team by connecting it to Gar’s backstory. Subsequently, the viewer met Niles Caulder’s band of misfits, many of whom will return in the Doom Patrol series. Most notably, Matt Bomer and Brendan Fraser were brilliant as the voices of Negative Man and Robot Man, respectively.
The episode smoothly set the stage for the series and made many fans excited to see more of these characters. Hopefully, the teams will cross paths again in the future. If not, fans can remember “Doom Patrol” as an enjoyable crossover between two of DC’s most notable teams.
11 DIDN'T: LACK OF KID FLASH/CYBORG
Titans featured some of the most famous members of the team and brought in other notable members like Wonder Girl, Hawk and Dove. Superboy also seems likely to join the show. While the second season will likely expand on the team’s roster, two of the Titans’ most crucial members were notably missing from the first season. Cyborg and Kid Flash were both left entirely out of the show.
Speedsters were never mentioned so, as far as the viewer knows, Kid Flash doesn’t exist yet. Cyborg will be part of Doom Patrol so he could join Titans eventually. Still, these glaring emissions hurt the show.
10 LOVED: SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF POWERS
Plenty of superhero shows immediately show the viewer what powers the characters have. Titans took a different approach. Even after the finale, the viewer still doesn’t fully understand what these heroes are capable of. Dick Grayson demonstrated plenty of his fighting skills but he didn’t showcase the acrobatic athleticism he’s known for in the comics.
Rachel only scratched the surface of her powers, though she’s clearly a dangerous force. Gar only turned into a tiger, so his powers still have plenty of room for growth. The viewer also doesn’t really know what Kory is capable of. Titans made the right call handling the heroes this way and fans can expect Season 2 to expand on the power sets of these characters.
9 DIDN'T: LACK OF EMPHASIS ON GAR
The lack of emphasis on Gar in Titans was one of the most frustrating parts of the show. Other than “Doom Patrol,” Gar often got the short end of the stick. The show didn’t really develop his character and, even after a full season, the viewer still doesn’t have a solid grasp of who he is.
He’s friends with Rachel, he was in the Doom Patrol and he felt guilty when he attacked someone; this facts are the only things the viewer knows about him beyond his backstory. If the show gives Gar more attention going forward, it’ll help alleviate some of the other shortcomings seen in the first season.
8 LOVED: SLOW TEAM DEVELOPMENT
It would have been way too easy for Titans to quickly bring the members of the team together and have them fight a common enemy from the start. Instead, the show builds the relationships between these characters very slowly. By doing so, this process felt fairly realistic. The connection between Dick and Rachel drove the show early on but, later, Dick’s brief romance with Kory was emphasized, too.
Plus, the show gradually built the bond between Rachel and Gar, which made the payoff even more rewarding. With the way the season finale ended, the Titans still don’t quite feel like a team but they’re on the right track.
7 DIDN'T: REVEAL OF KORY'S BACKSTORY
Kory Anders received a fair amount of attention in Season 1. The show draws out her trait as an amnesiac relearning who she is and where she came from. When Kory began to learn the extent of her background, the payoff was somewhat satisfying and the incorporation of the alien spaceship was one of the most visually stunning parts of the show. The possibilities are endless.
But the season took a long, winding and confusing path to reveal Kory’s background. As with the slow development of the team, Titans had the right idea but the show didn’t quite execute it. Hopefully, next season will dig deeper into Kory’s background.
6 LOVED: DONNA TROY
Donna Troy was one of the most compelling characters in Season 1 and many fans want to see more of her in Season 2. The former Wonder Girl had “gotten out.”She didn’t quit her job as a hero but she moved on to helping people in other (more legal) ways.
The contrast between Donna’s civilian life and Dick’s continuing struggle with the impacts of Batman’s training was a dynamic that deserved more attention and, hopefully, it will be revisited next season. The relationship between Dick and Donna is clearly meaningful so most viewers expect it to be fleshed out in Season 2.
5 DIDN'T: LATE REVEAL OF TRIGON
Early on, Titans set up Trigon as the main villain of the show. Rachel’s mysterious father lurked in the shadows and connected various plot threads throughout the season. Gradually, the viewer learned about Rachel’s parentage but Trigon didn’t actually appear until the season neared its end.
With this delayed reveal, the Titans didn’t successfully defeat a villain by the end of Season 1. Instead, the conflict with Trigon is just beginning. Grayson and his teammates didn’t even meet the demon until the last few episodes. Therefore, when evaluating the weaknesses of Season 1, the lack of a direct conflict with a “big bad” ranks near the top of the list.
4 LOVED: DCU CONNECTIONS
One of the best things about the first season of Titans was its various connections to the greater DCU. The show brought in the Doom Patrol, Donna Troy and Jason Todd. It established Hawk and Dove as legitimate supporting characters. Various references to Batman villains further tied the show to DC Comics. The finale also showed glimpses of Harvey Dent and the Ventriloquist. Plus, the post-credits scene teased the presence of some Kryptonians.
All in all, Titans linked itself to the DCU without going overboard with fan service and, hopefully, Season 2 will continue this trend. It’s refreshing to have a show successfully build its own story while acknowledging the world around it.
3 DIDN'T: TEAM DEVELOPMENT TOO SLOW
There’s something to be said for taking it slow in the development of a team. Forcing the members together would have felt inaccurate. Titans gradually brings the team together but this approach has some downsides. By the end of the season, Dick Grayson and his allies didn’t feel like a team.
Dick developed relationships with Rachel and Kory while Gar has a solid connection with Rachel. But, altogether, the group doesn’t seem like a solid unit (at times, they barely feel like friends). In conjunction with the show’s inability to tell a typical “big bad” story, the failure to establish the team feels like another misstep.
2 LOVED: ON-SCREEN BATMAN...
All season long, Titans explored the relationship between Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne. For the duration of the show, the viewer didn’t get to see Batman; instead, through dialogue and flashbacks, Dick shared his thoughts and feelings. But, in the season finale, the Dark Knight himself appeared.
After “Elseworlds” danced around the actual inclusion of Batman, it was exciting to see the hero show up here. The finale wasn’t a perfect way to use the character and he barely had any lines. Still, Titans proved that it’s willing to use the Caped Crusader so, hopefully, a future episode will do him justice.
1 DIDN'T: LACKLUSTER USAGE OF BATMAN
Fans were buzzing about the fact that the season finale of Titans would feature Batman. But, to be fair, the finale was an odd time to bring the Dark Knight directly into the show. “Koriand’r” set up the last episode of season one to be a showdown with Trigon. Instead, the vast majority of “Dick Grayson” focused on a dream about Batman’s descent into madness.
Titans didn’t effectively build up to the on-screen debut of Batman; despite consistently focusing on Dick’s relationship with Bruce, the finale, in some ways, was disappointing because it didn’t live up to the hype Batman generates. As a result, it may have been better to delay Batman’s inclusion in the show.