We are a just shy of a month before the long awaited debut of DC Universe’s first series Titans, based on the classic comic book franchise Teen Titans. Although we’ve seen some still images and one very potty-mouthed trailer, we still know very little about just what this new show will entail.
Series producers Geoff Johns and Greg Berlanti have given some hints, suggesting it will be based heavily on the New Teen Titans series from creators Marv Wolfman and George Perez,which catapulted the franchise to A-list status nearly 40 years ago. But which comics exactly can we expect to inspire the series? Based on the trailer, he are our educated guesses on which classic comics Titans will pull from when it makes its debut.
DETECTIVE COMICS #38, 1940
The Titans trailer shows a flashback to Robin’s origin story, in which Dick Grayson’s parents, the acrobatic Flying Graysons, were murdered. This event led him on the path toward becoming Batman’s partner, Robin. The first time we saw this story was nearly 80 years ago in Detective Comics #38, and it has changed very little over the decades. Judging from the trailer, Titans will be sticking to the classic Robin origin story as created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane decades ago.
THE NEW TEEN TITANS (VOL.2) #1-5, 1984 “THE TERROR OF TRIGON”
Another scene from the trailer features a young Raven reaching out to Dick Grayson for help, presumably from the demonic forces trying to take her over. In the comics, Raven was the daughter of a human woman and the demon lord Trigon. She recruits the Titans to help her fight his influence, and eventually, she would succumb to the evil side of her nature in the first story arc from the second New Teen Titans series. It definitely looks like this storyline will be a key inspiration for the new series.
HAWK AND DOVE (MINI-SERIES) #1-5, 1988
Back in the ’60s, the legendary Steve Ditko created brothers Hank and Don Hall, one violent and one a pacifist, who became the heroes called Hawk and Dove. When Dove died, Hawk went off the rails without the calming presence of his brother. Then in 1988, writers Karl and Barbara Kesel and a young artist named Rob Liefeld created a new Dove, a woman named Dawn Granger, who joined with Hawk in a mini-series that redefined the duo for the next several decades. Judging from the brief moments we see of them in the trailer, we are getting the Kesel/Liefeld version in full force on Titans.
THE NEW TEEN TITANS (VOL. 1) #39, 1984
New Teen Titans #39 by Marv Wolfman and George Perez was a pivotal issue for the series, as it showed a young hero, who had essentially remained a teenager for decades, actually move into adulthood. In this issue, after 44 years as Robin, Dick Grayson decides to officially leave the position of Batman’s kid partner behind for good. Soon after, he adopts the persona of Nightwing. Although he’s still Robin in the Titans series, his proclamation of “F*** Batman!” in the trailer highly suggests that Dick has left that partnership behind.
NIGHTWING (VOL. 2) #1, 1996
Although Dick could have easily lived off his portion of the Wayne billions for life, in the 1996 Nightwing series—the character’s first ongoing series—writer Chuck Dixon finally gave Dick a civilian job as a police officer in the city of Bludhaven. Policeman by day and vigilante by night had been done before, but this specific comic did it particularly well. The Titans trailer definitely indicates we’ll see the “Officer Grayson” years of the Nightwing comics brought to life.
THE NEW TEEN TITANS (VOL. 1) #13, 1981
The Doom Patrol was a 1960s cult series, and it’s where the character of Beast Boy originated. In New Teen Titans #13, Beast Boy’s past with the Patrol is addressed, and he reunites with his old friend Robotman (the sole surviving Patrol memeber) to bring justice for their old friends. Considering that Doom Patrol is spinning off from Titans into their own series, it’s pretty clear that their connection to Beast Boy will be explored on TV just as in the comics.
TEEN TITANS (VOL. 3) #1-8, 2003
When Raven first appeared, she was on the older side of teendom, about 19 or so. When Geoff Johns revived the title in 2003, he gave Raven a makeover. She now found herself in the form of a 13-year-old girl, and she also had a “real name” for the first time: Rachel Roth. It appears that the TV series is taking several cues from Geoff Johns’ run (which makes sense, given his status as series producer) especially with the character of Raven.
Which classic comic do you hope to see inspire TV’s Titans? Be sure to let us know down below in the comments.
Images: DC Comics / Warner Bros