DC’s Titans series should share continuity with the DCEU. One of the most eagerly-anticipated shows to launch on the DC Universe streaming service, Titans is absolutely full of potential. The series stars a number of second-tier superheroes who have massive fanbases – characters like Robin, Beast Boy, and Wonder Girl. The episodic format is ideally suited to develop these characters, and the first images have teased a dark, comic accurate rendition.
Traditionally, Warner Bros. has kept their TV shows separate from their film universe. The bulk of the popular DCTV shows are set in the so-called “Arrowverse,” and in theory this allows DCTV freedom to maneuver, not having to consider the latest big-screen developments. It’s a matter of opinion whether or not that works, but it’s frankly time for it to change.
While it’s fine for most of the DCTV shows to be set in their own pocket universe, there’s no reason DC couldn’t use some series to further develop the DC Extended Universe. As the first show to hit DC Universe Titans should also be the first TV series to be explicitly set in the same universe as the movies.
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The Story and Aesthetics are a Great Match
The first reason is the most obvious – the aesthetic matches perfectly. The images we’ve seen of him suited up are absolutely gorgeous. It’s a fantastic modernized approach, blending the traditional design with real-world clothing and even armor. Combined with a dark color scheme, it creates a sense that this Robin is a soldier in the war against crime, and – just like his mentor – he’s most comfortable in the shadows. Thwaites’s facial expressions carry a sense of intensity to them, as though this Robin is something of a driven man. While the series is sure to capitalize on the sense of hope and optimism that should always be central to the Titans mythos, it’s clear this optimism is in the face of a very dark world indeed.
This aesthetic dovetails perfectly with the DCEU to date, particularly as developed by Zack Snyder. Snyder inroduced the DCEU as a dark and dangerous place, and while the franchise as a whole seems to have pivoted away from that, Gotham itself surely won’t get much brighter. If any location in the DCEU is destined to remain dark, it’s Gotham. The city whose greatest hero dons the cowl of the bat. The Titans series looks as though it would gel perfectly with that incarnation of Gotham City.
It’s important to note that, in terms of continuity, there’s no reason this should be an issue. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice revealed that a Robin had paid the ultimate price, dying in battle against the Joker. Although there’s evidence Snyder originally intended this to be Dick Grayson’s Robin, it’s officially been retconned into becoming Jason Todd’s. Of course, as any comic book fan knows, Todd didn’t stay dead; he was resurrected by Batman’s enemies and returned as the Red Hood. Curran Walters is confirmed to be playing Jason Todd in Titans. That means both Batman V Superman and Titans could assume an almost identical backstory; that Batman has had Robins, and that one of them was killed by the Joker.