6 Superhero Teams Better Suited to a Gritty TV Show Than ‘Teen Titans’


We’re all for new iterations of established characters. That can turn something good into something great. Just look at Watchmen, which started as a gritty and realistic depiction of classic superhero characters. It’s a genre defining masterpiece.

This new Titans show that was previewed at SDCC is…not looking good. We know that fans of the comic originals and early 2000s animated series both baulked at the childish Teen Titans Go, claiming that it’s bright and goofy reimagining of the characters was a disservice to the source material. Titans, however, feels like the most drastic and ill-advised course correction in history.

If you haven’t seen the new trailer, check it out below. But keep some band-aids handy, you may get cut on the edginess.

Yep. Dick Grayson just murdered a bunch of guys and muttered “fuck Batman”. I’m all for a darker, more adult version of Teen Titans but this currently looks like a drastic misunderstanding of the characters.

The Teen Titans deserve better than this. If they don’t understand the core team of Robin, Raven, Beast Boy and Starfire (and it looks like they don’t) there’s another 20 odd characters to draw from. Actually, why use the Teen Titans at all? They’ve established themselves in minds of modern viewers as a fun team who deal with complex and realistic problems for their targeted age group. There’s plenty of other teams available better suited to a dark and sweary live action reboot.

Such as…

BIRDS OF PREY

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Whilst this team-up book has been the subject of an (awful) TV series in the past, we can safely ignore that. This primarily female centric team of vigilantes could certainly add a dash of realism to TV crime fighters without dragging poor Beast Boy into it. Build around the core duo of Oracle and Black Canary the rotating roster of popular characters such as Huntress, Hawk and Dove would keep things fresh. It’s just a pity most of the best characters have already been pillaged by the Arrowverse.

THE OUTSIDERS

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This team was founded by Batman as an extension of the Justice League, bringing together superheroes who don’t fit the preferred public image of a ‘hero’. The Outsiders deal with problems that don’t work well with the Justice League’s role as defenders of truth, justice and hope and sometimes take an active role in hunting super-villains before they can act. Characters like Black Lightning, Geo-Force, Terra, Orphan and Metamorpho allows for visually interesting and cool characters.

X-FACTOR

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I never said we’d only be sticking to DC books. X-Factor went through a few different iterations (mutant hunters, government agency) before landing on ‘X-Factor Investigations’. This mutant driven noir styled and X-Files inspired detective series features fan favourites Multiple Man, Longshot, Strong Guy and Wolfsbane and can add some serious creativity to an episodic crime series. Plus, Longshot. Deadpool 2 has proven that luck powers look awesome on screen.

EXILES

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Sticking with the X-Men spin-offs, this is an entire series based on the concept of dark alternative realities. We follow an ever changing line up of mutants drawn from different realities who have been displaced from their timelines. In order to put things right they have to travel from one dystopian timeline to the next, dealing with whatever has gone wrong. This can range from making sure the right person is in the right place to murdering innocent children who will one day turn evil. Edgy superhero business by the truckload.

THE AUTHORITY

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Willis and Hitch put together this team of their characters in order to challenge the status quo of superhero archetypes. They may look like the standard gang of tights and cape types but this squad will do anything to the job done. Key among them are Apollo and the Midnighter, a Superman and Batman pastiche who are romantically involved, a drug addicted shaman, a scientist who replaced her blood with nanotechnology…they’re an imaginative bunch and violent heroes. At the forefront is Jenny Sparks, the embodiment of the 20th century, who is a genuinely awesome character. It’ll need a budget behind it, but it’ll be memorable.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK

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It’s right there in the title, people. You’ve got the brand recognition that ‘Teen Titans’ has, plus familiar characters, one of whom is already cast. This gloomy collection of heroes is focused on the supernatural and mystical, dealing with demons and the darker side of the DC Universe. John Constantine is a staple, as is Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Dead Man and other oddities. There’s a huge roster of characters to draw on, so the producers can pick and choose their line up. Basically this option has everything that ‘Teen Titans’ offers but without being…dumb.

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