Titans has been one of the most divisive comic book shows of recent memory. When the first trailer debuted there was an outcry at the perceived grim n' gritty approach to the Teen Titans, whose comics are usually lighter in tone.
However, over the course of the 11 episodes that have been streamed on DC Universe the show has developed a passionate fanbase who have responded to the dark approach. The show couldn't be any more different from the Teen Titans Go! cartoon and also features many departures from the comic book source material.
10 SAME: ROBIN'S FALLING OUT WITH BATMAN
Dick Grayson is ostensibly the protagonist of Titans and his relationship with Rachel Roth/Raven is the heart of the show. This Dick is a Detroit police officer who stopped being Robin for an unspecified time but has taken up the mantle again in this new city.
It's hinted from the very start that he had some sort of falling out with Batman (hence the infamous expletive filled line that fans balked at in the first trailer) and struck out on his own because of it. In the comics Dick grew weary of being a teen sidekick to the cold and sometimes egotistical Batman and they clashed a number of times verbally and physically before Dick laid his Robin identity to rest.
9 STRAYED: WAS NEVER THAT EXCESSIVELY VIOLENT
In Titans, Robin is shown to have an outright hatred of Bruce Wayne and this is different than in the comics. This Dick Grayson is excessively violent and angry when we first meet him, seemingly getting a cathartic joy out of viciously maiming criminals (even if he feels self-loathing about it too).
His main beef is that Bruce fostered this darkness within him; he believes Bruce never really cared about Dick as a person, just as a weapon in his war on crime. This is very unlike Dick in the comics, whose lightness and belief in good always ensured he was different from Batman. He never gave in to the darkness or anger.
8 SAME: JASON TODD IS A VIOLENT LOOSE CANNON
Dick's anger and propensity for violence is much closer to that of the second Robin, Jason Todd. This Robin was a street kid who was taken in by Batman after Dick hung up his boots, but over time it became obvious that he didn't have the lightness Dick did and his anger would often overcome him.
Jason wound up being killed by the Joker but was later resurrected and now operates as Red Hood, a gun-toting antihero. Jason appeared in Titans and was his customary brash, petulent and ultra-violent self, so that was very accurate. It did mean there wasn't as big a difference between the two Robin's as there should have been, though.
7 STRAYED: RAVEN'S ORIGIN IS INVERTED AND SIMPLIFIED
In the comics, Rachel Roth/Raven grew up in the alternate dimension Azarath and was taught to control her emotions by pacifistic spiritual leader Azar. The idea was to suppress the demonic energies inside her, which were inherited from her father, a demon who mated with her human mother Angela.
Due to living in Azarath, Rachel grew up barely seeing her mother. The show inverts this origin, placing Rachel with her mother in our world, scared of the demonic personality inside her that is trying to get out. She doesn't have an Azar to help her control her powers, and instead experiences this growth during her time with the Titans.
6 SAME: TRIGON IS RAVEN'S DEMON DAD; HINTS AT HIS DEMONIC FORM
Raven's father in the comics is the demon Trigon, a powerful and sadistic inter-dimensional demon. He came for Raven after her 18th birthday, which prompted her to form the New Teen Titans, who helped seal him in an interdimensional prison. The main focus of much of Titans is Rachel struggling with her powers and demonic parentage, while a mysterious organization prepares for the coming of Trigon.
So, the Titans do form in order to battle him, which fits with the comics (even if it plays out very differently). The show also hinted at Trigon's comic-inspired demon form, although we only see him in human form in season one.
5 STRAYED: STARFIRE'S STORY IS VERY DIFFERENT IN THE SHOW
Starfire is arguably the least comic book accurate character in the show, although there are still elements of her canon story in there. When we first meet 'Kory Anders', she is an amnesiac who awakens in a crashed car and discovers she can project flames (powered by the sun) from her hands.
She uses this to grusomely barbecue some nefarious types and eventually finds out she is an alien from the planet Tamaran who was sent to Earth to kill Rachel Roth, in order to prevent the resurrection of Trigon. Comic book Starfire's origin is not connected with Raven in any way and she's also never burned anyone to death like Kory here.
4 SAME - BEAST BOY'S PERSONALITY AND DOOM PATROL CONNECTION
Even though Beast Boy's skin isn't always green like in the comics, his Titans incarnation is very close to canon. For one thing, his personality is the same; Garfield 'Gar' Logan has always been a funny and kind-hearted character, even if he uses humor to hide his inner pain (which the show hints at too).
The show introduces him as a member of the Doom Patrol, which is actually how he was first brought into the comics as well. Added to this, Gar and Raven have had a romantic relationship in the comics and the show charmingly includes nods to this, with the two teen characters displaying an instant afection for each other.
3 STRAYED: THE NUCLEAR FAMILY IS TONED DOWN
One of the main antagonists of Titans season one is the Nuclear Family, who are indeed characters from DC Comics. However, the TV incarnation is seriously toned-down from the comics, in which they were a group of androids created to look like Dr Eric Shanner's family and were each imbued with powers similar to different stages of nuclear bombs.
In the show, the family are depicted as a stereotypical 50's-style white picket fence family...who are also assassins! It is revealed they are brainwashed humans controlled by the Organization obsessed with resurrecting Trigon and their heads are all blown up when they fail their mission.
2 SAME: THE DOOM PATROL IS RELATIVELY COMICS-ACCURATE
The best episode of Titans' first season is episode four, which introduced the weird and wonderful Doom Patrol. Perfectly wetting the appetite for their upcoming DC Universe show, the Patrol's appearance is bizarre, hilarious and tragic all at the same time, just like their best comics.
Titans gave fans very accurate versions of Negative Man (who will be played by Matt Bomer in their own show), Robotman (Brendan Fraser) and Elasti-Girl (April Bowlby). It also hinted strongly that Niles Caulder, their leader, wasn't quite the virtuous father figure he appeared to be, which jives with the comics (where he was revealed as a villain).
1 STRAYED: HAWK & DOVE HAVE NO SUPERPOWERS IN THE SHOW
In Titans, Hawk and Dove are a pair of vigilantes who have a history with Robin. Hawk is a hulking, violent man on the brink of physical collapse, and Dove is less vicious but no less formidable (and she shares some sort of romantic history with Dick).
In the comics, both characters have superpowers: Dove has a 'danger sense' (which is very much like Spider-Man's spider-sense) and Hawk has super strength and stamina. Dove can also suppress Hawk's violent impulses with her powers; without this, his rage would become boundless. So there are similarities to the comics, but they've been toned down somewhat for the show.