So, about that Titans trailer. In April I reported on the reactions to set photos from DC’s upcoming Titans series. I stated that fans shouldn’t be so quick to jump the gun on a project when it is in development. Set photos lack not only post-production effects but also the context of the story, so they aren’t really much to go by and certainly don’t warrant the reactions they often get. The same can be said, but to a much lesser degree, about trailers.
A trailer’s very intention is to give viewers an indication of what the finished product will be. They’re made to entice us, to pique our interest in that movie, television series, or video game. So, while it is still not representative of the full experience, it’s a bit more worthy of criticism. And this Titans trailer is especially worthy of criticism.
The Titans trailer is very…dark. I watched this on my cell phone originally and it was difficult to make much out on that screen. Granted, it looks better on a full screen, but not by much. It’s like a Zack Snyder production, but somehow with less color grading. Most of the shots in this trailer were muddied, blurring much of the images and lacking any visual punch.
That’s not to say the visuals are all bad. Starfire and Raven both look greatly improved in the scenes where they are using their powers. Anna Diop as Starfire looks especially good, and with that narrative context I mentioned previously we now know through reporting that her character is in hiding and she is first found in a disco, so that outfit makes a little more sense.
Robin, Hawk, and Dove also look fantastic. Even with a gritty production style they are still presented in a very comic-accurate fashion—visually anyway. In an era when some studios still seem to shy away from putting characters in actual costumes, despite Marvel’s success with this, Titans has opted to go all out with these three, and to great effect.
Beast Boy is the exception in this department. Many complained about his lack of green skin before this trailer, but in the quick scene where we see him leaping, the coloring looks washed out. This may be improved by the time the series releases, but that remains to be seen for the time being.
But let’s address the expletive in the room. The biggest talk of this trailer has been the F-bomb from Brenton Thwaites’ Robin. Were it not for the scenes with the Flying Graysons, one might think this was Jason Todd and not the original Boy Wonder. Viewers were smacked in the face with not only the utterance of “fuck Batman” but also the brutality that is shown in his scenes. It is worth noting that he does not actually shoot the thugs in the alley—as many have been saying—but he does step right on someone’s jaw. Seriously, that dude is going to be eating through a straw for the next six weeks. I should know; I’ve broken my jaw before.
We still won’t know anything until the series finally drops, and with the new price point for DC’s streaming service, this may actually be worth checking out. Until then, I’m side-eying the hell out of this thing, but still hoping for good things.
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.