Is there anything that comic fans love more than speculating and then tearing things apart before they’ve even released? Maybe those Funko figurines, but I’d be hard pressed to come up with much of anything else. Last week, leaked Titans set photos of Starfire, Beast Boy, and Raven caught the ire of many fans, whose ire caught the ire of those still holding out hope for Warner Bros/DC Comics adaptations on screens large and small. (It’s the small ones in this case.)
In an ever-increasingly connected world—thanks to the Internet and social media—it has never been harder for productions to avoid leaks. Photos from the likes of Captain Marvel and Shazam! (y’know…that other Captain Marvel) provoked reactions recently that were…less than exuberant.
It seems many of us have a tendency to forget that movies and television are manufactured make-believe, often requiring a great deal of special effects which are added in post-production to fully realize their creators’ visions. Leaked photos lack the benefit of this after-the-fact polishing and can often be poorly received by the fandom. Just ask Brie Larson.
As such, unfavorable reactions can often be unwarranted. Plus, some fans can go a little…overboard with their criticisms. One of the tenets of geekdom has always seemed to be an irrational anger directed at any interpretation of preexisting characters and stories that don’t match our head canons or visual expectations.
This can be a two-way street as well. Defenders of a series or film can often bring nuclear warheads to fistfights, responding to criticisms with attacks. This series could be an Emmy-winning contender for one of the greatest television shows of all time, but if you disagree you can take a leaping plunge into a volcano while fellating a cactus if you think otherwise.
The truth of the matter is this: as those same warriors of pre-production will themselves argue, a leaked set photo is not indicative of what a final product will be. Anna Diop herself responded to criticisms this week, citing her disappointment with segments of the fandom and their reactions to her costume design and appearance.
— Titans! (@Titans_DCTV) April 13, 2018
On the flipside, however, only so much cleanup can go into a production. The looks for Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy are…well from what we’ve seen so far they’re not good. Ryan Potter looks like he sprayed temporary Halloween hair dye from a can on himself, and Teagan Croft looks like a reject from 90s television drama My So-Called Life. Then there’s Starfire, who looks….look I’ve been educated somewhat lately on the world of sex workers and the evolving landscape of language that may or may not be currently acceptable to use in regards to them so let’s just say it looks like a bad stereotype. It’s like Quentin Tarantino trying to mimic what a prostitute in a 70s-era blacksploitation film would look like, and it’s just bad.
These photos look bad, and that’s okay to say. They’re likely not a good representation of what the final product will turn out to be. With any luck, the Titans’ first live-action outing will be great. Only time will tell on that, but it’s okay to say that these photos are somewhat concerning. After all, Anna Diop’s wig looks…itchy. But let’s all just calm ourselves for the time being and wait and see.
I feel like we need a palette cleanser now. Here’s a picture of Dave Bautista petting Sean Gunn in a green screen outfit:
Dexter Buschetelli thinks he is really clever, but you know better; don’t you? Do you? I dunno, I’m not your mom. Dexter can be found here on DYECB writing reviews and opinion pieces as well as on the website for his podcast, Let’s Get Drunk and Talk Comics.