Last week, the DCUNIVERSE Streaming Service wrapped up the first season of it’s flagship original program, Titans. Considering that, initially, there was some negative buzz about the project, Titans turned out to be a damn good superhero show with a unique take on the DCU and a killer teaser for Season 2. There really isn’t a superhero show quite like Titans airing at the moment.
One of the coolest parts of the season was how the show alternated episodes by focusing on the overarching, season-long story in one episode. While the next showcased great, but more obscure characters from DC lore and giving them time to shine. We met characters like Jason Todd (the new, borderline psychotic Robin), Hawk & Dove, Donna Troy aka Wonder Girl, and Doom Patrol.
DoomPatrol popped up around the 4th episode of Titans and was a early highlight in Season 1. Raven is rescued by Garfield Logan aka Gar aka Beast Boy in his tiger form and then takes her to see the rest of his “family”, The Doom Patrol. The Doom Patrol lives in a mansion under the eye of The Chief whose real name is Dr. Niles Caulder. Each member of the Doom Patrol had been in some kind of sever accident and Dr. Caulder’s very bizarre methods saved their lives. However, though his strange methods saved their lives, the side effects of his treatments gave them special abilities. Some are so extreme that that they see themselves as freaks and become more or less shut ins. When Raven is ready to leave, Beast Boy decides to strikes out on his own with the Titans. The Doom Patrol will always be his family, but he needs to start his own journey. As happy as the rest of the Doom Patrol are for him, there’s a sense of tragedy because none of the rest can ever do that themselves. Gar’s the only one of them who can remotely pass as human. They want Gar to have what they can’t: Freedom to live his own life. Basically DoomPatrol is really, really, fucking weird.
I can’t say I was much of DoomPatrol fan or knew that much about them besides Grant Morrison’s acclaimed DoomPatrol run from the comics years ago. Seeing an episode with those characters front and center made me kind of like them. They’re kind of goofy, but if you don’t take it too seriously the DoomPatrol characters are a lot of fun.
For the moment, the plan for DCUNIVERSE is to make at least one episode of an original series available on the app each week. Of course, all of the the content the app provides, like free comic book downloads from DC’s library, DC films, and more.
YoungJustice: Outsiders (Part 1) will be available on DCUNIVERSE January 4, with 3 episode blocks coming out each week. YoungJustice returns for Part 2 of the seasonthis summer.
Shorty after Part 1 of YoungJustice: Outsiders finishes up, the DoomPatrol series will premiere on February 15th. Even though these are the same characters, in the same universe, there are 2 big differences from the DoomPatrol series and the DoomPatrol episode of Titans. The Chief, the somewhat menacing Dr. Caulder, will be payed by Timothy Dalton.While Cyborg has been added to the team in Beast Boy’s absence. Out of the many comic book series premiering in 2019, this has the potential to be a very fun and weird superhero show, so make sure to keep an eye out for this one.
Check out the teaser below and these cool character posters in our first official look at the series. I’ll sat this it looks weird as hell and I really dig that.
What do you guys think of DoomPatrol? Are you going to give it a try? I’d love to hear your comments below.
I have some pretty surprising news to share with you good folks today, Titans, on the DCUNIVERSE streaming service, is pretty fucking great. Of course, like many of you, I was skeptical going into this show. It seemed like the negative buzz began when the first trailer dropped (I kind of dug it). I really don’t mind dark and gritty, I also know that you can’t judge a project by it’s trailer. So, a lot of people hated this show before it even premiered, based on what they saw in promotional material and trailers. Many felt it seemed reminiscent of the overly serious and violent DCEU, excuse me, The Worlds of DC (good luck getting that to stick). Personally, I don’t dislike the recent DC superhero films nearly as much as most fans do. Besides their only real critical and commercial success, Wonder Woman, I really like Man of Steel and though it’s hugely flawed, I kind of love Batman V Superman.
So why was I skeptical about the Titans series? Despite my excitement at the prospect of an adult oriented live action Titans series, the word behind the scenes was that the show wasn’t very good. Then there were the costumes. If you’re a comic book fan and you’ve ever read Teen Titans, you would know that they have very distinct styles, with colorful and bright costumes. Some of the set photos had leaked online and the pictures I saw of Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy in costume looked absolutely horrendous. Especially Starfire, who is one of my favorite Titans. The pictures of her costume made her like a hooker from the 1970’s. With all of that in mind, things didn’t look good for Titans.
Now Robin, on the other hand, was a different story. I love the Robin costume on this series. It isn’t an easy superhero uniform to pull off in live action. Just look at Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Besides the atrocious version of Robin played by Chris O’Donnell in those films, this is the first time we’ve really seen Robin on screen in the golden age of superhero storytelling. It looked like Titans nailed the Robin uniform in my opinion. It looked functional, not too bright, not too dark, and frankly it was just cool. Plus, I thought Brenton Thwaites was a perfect pick for Dick Grayson/Robin/Nightwing. At the very least I liked what I’d seen from Dick Grayson in the show’s trailers. Which was a big deal for me because Dick has always been one of my favorite superheroes. So I was still holding out some hope that Titans could be a great show.
It certainly didn’t help that when I signed up for a 15 month subscription to the DCUNIVERSE streaming service, the app was terrible. It felt like it wasn’t nearly ready to be launched. I couldn’t log into my account, there wasn’t nearly enough content, the whole thing was a shit show. Even now, months later, I can’t log into DCUNIVERSE on any other device except for my tablet. That’s a big problem. I had to contact the team that handles customer service multiple times. As much as I hated the app, I still really wanted to see Titans. More importantly, YoungJustice Season 3 premieres early next year on DCUNIVERSE after Titans Season 1 wraps up.
In spite of all the problems, I enjoyed the first episode of Titans. It didn’t blow me away, but I liked it. It certainly is not your classic version of the Teen Titans by any means, but it had enough going on to keep me interested.
The over arcing story of the season is about the Titans coming together to protect Raven from a cult, that is trying to unleash her demon father, Trigon, upon the Earth. The Raven stuff, especially in the early episodes, had a real Rosemary’s Baby/The Exorcist kind of vibe that worked really well. Raven is the character that really brings the team together in the story.
In the series, Dick Grayson left Gotham City to become a cop in Detroit after a massive falling out with Batman. The show manages to explore Dick‘s complicated relationship with Bruce Wayne, without actually having Batman present as a character. Seeing why Dick went out on his own and his character arc in general is by far my favorite part of the show.
You see how Batman was an incredibly violent and negative influence on Dick. Early on some people were concerned that the show seemed needlessly graphic. While Titans is an extremely brutal show, arguably even more so than something like Daredevil, the violence isn’t gratuitously used for shock value or edginess. The brutality is important to Dick Grayson’s story arc because you see just how close he came to losing himself under Bruce’s influence. Being Batman’s Robin brought out all of his worst instincts. This is most apparent in episode 6, “Jason Todd”, fittingly where we’re introduced to the new Robin, Jason Todd.
At this point, Dick certainly doesn’t have a very high opinion of Bruce. He more or less feels like Bruce Wayne just used him as a weapon, or tool in his war on crime. Meeting Jason just seems to confirm those beliefs. Despite the amount of time that’s passed, it’s still very raw emotionally for Dick. You can tell he hasn’t gotten over his issues from his time working with Batman. Meeting his replacement certainly doesn’t help. It’s one of several great passive aggressive “fuck you”s Batman throws at Dick. Which is impressive considering, again, we don’t actually see Batman. Brenton Thwaites is damn near perfect casting. Thwaites is very believable both physically and in the more dramatic aspects of the performance. Though Raven is the big through line of the season, Dick is really the main character. As a long time fan, it’s a lot of fun seeing how well Dick Grayson is handled.
Episode 6, “Jason Todd”, is also a good example of how the season has been structured. One episode will serve to further the main story and continue to build up the Titans coming together as team, while the next episode shifts the focus to showcasing and introducing new DC Comics characters into the narrative. The episodes switch from one to the other each week. For example, so far we’ve had episodes featuring Hawk and Dove, Doom Patrol, Jason Todd, and Donna Troy AKA Wonder Girl. The DC character episodes tend to be the stronger ones because so far each new character introduced from the DC cannon have been really fun and interesting.
I spent the bulk of this article talking about Dick Grayson, mainly because I like the character so much and he’s the most well developed on the show. I like the other Titans well enough. Certainly more than I thought I would when the series began. Starfire or Kory as she’s referred to on the show, has really grown on me. Even with very little time being given to her backstory, she’s probably my second favorite Titan so far. She’s basically an exiled alien princess, but the show hasn’t taken the time to get into any of that yet and it remains to be seen how the series will tie her origin into the Raven storyline.
Unless you’re a hardcore comic book fan like me, there isn’t a lot of incentive for even a moderate comic book fan or superhero geek to subscribe to DCUNIVERSE. Which is a shame because Titans is turning out to be a fun and unique look at the DC Comics Universe. I’ve heard rumors that eventually the show will become available on Netflix, but it’s not clear when that would happen. Regardless, if and when you have the opportunity to watch Titans, I highly recommended giving this series a shot. The show has already been renewed for Season 2 and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the show wraps up it’s first season.
Titans is by no means a perfect show, but there’s some great stuff in here despite it’s flaws. The big thing the show has going for it is that even with all the superhero movies and TV shows out there, Titans is showcasing characters and stories that have never been seen in live action. Although I’m sure very few of you are running out to subscribe to DCUNIVERSE, Titans is definitely a show to keep on your radar. If you go into it with your expectations in check, you may be surprised how much you enjoy this fun, new series.
Before you get to hear Part 2 of our EPIC Quentin Tarantino discussion, here’s an new episode of “The World’s Best Podcast” where I discuss some cool news in the world of movies, comics, TV, and a BOOK REVIEW! In this episode I discuss Avengers Infinity War SMASHING box office records, this year’s Free Comic Book Day, the new season of Westworld on HBO, and much more.
I also give a review/recommendation for an excellent trilogy of books that are collectively called The Themis Files by author Sylvain Nuevel. The series consists of Sleeping Giants, Waking Gods, and the latest and final book in the trilogy Only Human. Below the podcast links I’ve posted links to each book on Amazon if you want to give them a try. But this is one of my favorite sci-fi series in recent memory, so I highly recommend these books. As always, I really appreciate you guys using the Amazon links, because going through those links helps support the website and get great content out to all of you. Listen to the podcast at the links below
Over the past few years I began to notice a big shift in how people consume their entertainment content. For awhile now I have believed that streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are going to be one of, perhaps even the most common, ways people will be watching TV shows and films.
Netflix specifically has been one of the most successful and game changing companies in the entertainment business. They’re shaping the future so radically that we need to invent new ways to describe what we watch. We’re slowly going from watching TV shows and movies to “consuming content”. Is the TV show still a TV show, if it’s not on TV? I think the real turning point was when Netflix became more of a streaming service then a provider of physical DVDs and Blu-ray’s. In the beginning, Netflix was the new way to rent movies. It’s why Blockbuster Video is gone, Hell all video stores. Having your movies delivered to you in your mail, at your doorstep is something that video stores couldn’t compete with.
I think another big turning point was when TV show seasons started to come out on DVD. It was the first step away from watching a TV show when it’s actually being broadcast. People forget that it wasn’t long ago that the only thing that you would be able to rent or buy a physical copy of was a MOVIE. Seasons of television shows becoming something that you could own, re-visit, discover a show that was no longer on the air, or catch up on past seasons of existing shows. On Demand, DVR, iTunes, and digital downloads weren’t “a thing” yet. But that was the future, movie away from physical copies to streaming. Streaming, streaming, streaming. THAT is going to become the main way we consume our entertainment. saw the writing on the wall and realized that streaming was what Netflix should lean into as a company, changed the entertainment industry.
When Amazon Prime started to become a large competitor of Netflix, the end of the age of conventional television and film watching was here. Very few people, in fact I don’t know a single one, watch their favorite show when it’s actually AIRING. They have it DVR’d, or are they’re waiting it for it to come out on Netflix, or Blu-ray. When Netflix and then Amazon Prime started producing their own shows they essentially became Networks liked HBO, ABC, NBC, or any other. Some of the most popular shows being produced are on streaming services: Stranger Things, Orange Is The New Black, Daredevil, Luke Cage, House Of Cards… well that last one probably doesn’t have as much prestige anymore.
Last year, CBS decided to revive one of the most iconic franchises in television and film history when they created a streaming service and premiered a new Star Trek series. Netflix is putting out major films with A-list Hollywood filmmakers and stars. First a TV network now a movie studio. Now the big dogs are getting into the fighting pit. Later this year both Warner Bros. and Disney will be launching major streaming services. Which brings me to reason for writing this article.
DC Entertainment (which is owned by Warner Bros.) is launching their big streaming service later this year. It’s basically the DC Comics Network and what self respecting comic fan wouldn’t love something like this, I know I’m excited to check it out. So, it’s fitting that DC Entertainment (where Geoff Johns works as one of the big bosses, when he isn’t writing some of the best superhero comics in the industry) finally announced the name of this new streaming service: DC Universe.
I like it. It’s simple and it tells you what it is and what you’re gonna get. They also announced some of the original content that would be part of the launch: a live action Teen Titans show called Titans, Young Justice: Outsiders, Harley Quinn, and Swamp Thing.
Two of these shows had already been announced Young Justice: Outsider and Titans. Titans looks like it’s pretty much a Teen Titans show. The members include Dick Grayson as Robin (there were conflicting reports early on that he’d actually be Nightwing instead of Robin), Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven, Hawk, and Dove. There may be more members, but those are the names that’ve been confirmed. I was really excited for this because all the promotional images of the characters looked really cool, but some recent set photos of other characters have me a little concerned. I guess we’ll see.
Young Justice: Outsiders and Swamp Thing are the big deal for me. The long overdue and highly anticipated resurrection of Young Justice is picking up right where Season 2 left off, with Season 3. This show has a big cult following, myself included, that really pushed to get more seasons of this excellent show. I LOVED the first 2 seasons and when the show was canceled by Cartoon Network for bullshit reasons, I was very disappointed. It’s the same creative team, so it’s a safe bet that this will be a really solid series that builds on the success of the first 2 seasons.
The big surprises were Harley Quinn and Swamp Thing. Fans had no idea those shows were in development. Harley Quinn is apparently going to be another animated series. Swamp Thing seems like it’s going to be a live action show. Which is awesome because Swamp Thing is such cool, underrated character. There’s so much potential there for great stories. If this show is done the right way, it could be fucking incredible. Unfortunately, no more details about the Swamp Thing Show were given.
Like I said before, Disney is also launching a streaming service with original content. So, we should definitely expect Star Wars and Marvel shows. New live action and animated Star Wars shows have been confirmed. The animated series is going to be called Star Wars: Resistance and take place between Episodes 6 and 7. I heard from a few sources that characters like Poe Dameron, Captain Phasma, and maybe even Luke Skywalker and Ben Solo will be featured in this series.
Anyway, it looks like there’s a lot of cool stuff coming up to get excited about. As always, thanks for reading!