By: Mike Lawrence
Teen Titans was one of the most popular comics of the 1980’s. Every month the highly detailed art of George Perez combined with the multi-layered and, at times, humorous writing of Marv Wolfman combined to form one hell of a dynamic duo.
Each member of the team was given their own moments to shine, but also played off each other brilliantly. The troubled Raven would clash with the goofy Beast Boy (Also known as Changeling), the serious Robin formed the oddest of odd couples with the naive alien Starfire, while Cyborg would always try to prove to himself that he was worthy of taking charge of the team. It never ceased to be entertaining, which is why I hated the faux-anime styling of Cartoon Network Teen Titans cartoon. That is, initially.
After watching the first handful of episodes I got sick of the show. But with nothing to do on Saturday nights except procrastinating on schoolwork, I decided to give the show a second shot. I don’t know when exactly the show got as good as it is now or how it got that way. I’m just fortunate I was smart enough to believe in second chances this one time.
The show used to be bubbly and kiddie. Now it’s dark and more accurate to the feel of the comics. The show isn’t 100% faithful to the comics, but it gets the important stuff right. There’s enough of a balance to appeal to everyone from die-hard fans to eight year olds. Yes, the show is geared for children, but the scriptwriting goes beyond that, and the writers fill the show with cameos from the DC universe to appease comic geeks.
Second-rate villains like Dr. Light (in non-rapist form) and former Green Arrow sidekick Speedy (a former Titan member) are only two of the many characters who make appearances. As good as that sounds, you can’t have a superhero show without some worthy adversaries. They have tweaked some of the villains from the comics to fit the standards and style of the show and it works. Brother Blood, a centuries old European cult leader in the comics runs a school called the Hive on Titans, and he’s just as vicious and powerful. The battles between him and Cyborg are brutal.
Slade (Deathstroke the Terminator in the comics), a treacherous mercenary who was the central villain in the first season has come back this season with entirely different motives and powers. They’ve slowly been building towards the coming of the Titans most dreaded enemy, Trigon. The suspense has been stellar. With the way the fight scenes have become intense and void of the cheesy cliche’s that plagued them earlier on in the show, you know that when the Titans meet Trigon; it’ll be a battle for the ages.
If you’re looking for a fun-filled twenty-two minutes of solid superhero action, it doesn’t get any better than the Teen Titans is right now. It’s more than mere kids stuff: it’s fine episodic storytelling with a compelling ensemble of heroes who aren’t sure of anything but the trust they have for each other (And even that fades at times). I don’t know how long this streak of quality will last, but I’ll guarantee you, I’ll be there till its over. New episodes air Saturdays at 8:00 P.M. with repeats showing all week long. Lord knows, I’m trying to catch up. This show is as addicting as its theme song is catchy.
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