The first pictures of some of the heroes in the upcoming live-action Teen Titans TV show hit the web this week, and DC fans were not exactly thrilled with how Beast Boy, Raven, and especially Starfire looked in the photos. Granted, these are candid paparazzi pictures, so chances are things will be better in the final show, but this is not what people expected the Teen Titans to look like. Technically, though, they’re not the Teen Titans. The show is just called Titans. Why?
The Teen Titans first appeared in The Brave and the Bold in the mid Sixties before being spun-out into a standalone Teen Titans series, which has seen lots of line-up changes and reboots over the years. Throughout it all, the general premise has stayed the same. It’s teenaged sidekicks or other young heroes who have banded together to fight crime, usually with a Robin or a Nightwing as the leader. However, there have been spin-off series that have just been called Titans, with the first one debuting in 1999. Perhaps the most famous of these was the second Titans series which ran from 2008 to 2011, which brought together a bunch of former Teen Titans like Cyborg, Starfire, and the former Kid Flash. These heroes were still a team, but they were no longer teens. Hence, Titans.
It’s unknown if the live-action TV show will also focus on slightly older versions of the Teen Titans. The actress who plays Starfire, Anna Diop, is 30 years old, but Raven actress Teagan Croft is just 14, for what it’s worth.
There’s another reason to for the show to drop the “Teen” from Titans. There already is a wildly popular animated show about the heroes, Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans Go! The series, which is getting a movie fittingly called Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, is focused way more on comedy than it is on superheroics, so by just calling the live-action show Titans, DC might be trying to distinguish the two properties.
Titans does not have a premiere date yet, but it will air on DC’s upcoming streaming service.