As the stars of Titans prepared for their roles, they turned to the classics. According to Raven actor Teagan Croft and Ryan Potter, who plays Beast Boy, they picked up Marv Wolfman and George Perez's Teen Titans run for inspiration.
"As soon as I found out about the audition, I went straight to a comic store with my dad and my dad came with me and we got the first volume of the 80s Teen Titans comics and we devoured it and we also got the new volume of the spinoff Raven series, also written by Marv Wolfman, which was good to read because it's closer to my age," Croft shared at New York Comic-Con. "It's closer to the way I was portraying the character."
"So I got both of these, and then of course I also watched the cartoon a little bit," she added. "So I had all of these different sources to pull from, and from that I picked and chose what I thought was really great about the character and what worked in the script and from that I think I created a really authentic and real but also going in a new direction for Raven."
"I watched the animated series growing up. I went out and I bought the [Marv] Wolfman/[George] Perez series," Potter shared. "I got one through eight, and someone told me I think it goes up through 12. It could go further than that -- like the volumes, not the individual. As many Beast Boy comic strips exist online, I pulled up as well, because finding physical copies of the slightly more obscure comic issues of like Doom Patrol, where the Changeling disappears for an episode. It's a lot harder to find that now, simply because this title, this almost-franchise, has history and it goes back and some of these are collectors' items now.
"I want to do as much research as possible, but spending $48 for a single volume -- not a collection, but a single issue -- is a little out of the price range when there's 90 issues," he said with a laugh. "So I did as much research as I possibly could."
Hawk actor Alan Ritchson, however, had a different experience. "You know, I asked for some comics because I didn't know a lot about Hawk and so Geoff Johns was like, 'Yeah, cool. Yeah. We'll take care of it. We'll send you some stuff.' And so the package arrives and I was like, 'Oh, cool! I'm going to get to work. I'm going to tell my wife I'm going to be a few hours. I've got to read.' And it was one comic!" he recalled. "I was like, 'Okay, I guess there's not a lot on this guy.' And I read it. Cool. I got it. Okay, I think I get who this guy is."
"You know, he's brash and you don't have to guess what he's thinking and loves justice. All that. I mean, I get it. And I show up and I'm getting to know Minka [Kelly] a little bit and I was like, 'So what did you do to get to know your character?' She's like, 'Oh yeah! Well, they sent me all the comics!' And I was like, 'Cool, you got that one too?' She's like, 'No, they sent like 80.' And I was like, 'You got like 80 comics?! I got one!' They don't give a shit about Hank Hall, I guess. I don't know. But I read one comic, so now I feel like I'm under-prepared, but I did my best," he concluded.
Now streaming on DC Universe, Titans stars Brenton Thwaites as Robin, Anna Diop as Starfire, Teagan Croft as Raven, Ryan Potter as Beast Boy, Alan Ritchson as Hawk, Minka Kelly as Dove and Lindsey Gort as Amy Rohrbach. A new episode debuts each Friday.