The new Titans series is a very mature take on one of DC Comics most revered superhero teams. It might be jarring for some to see Robin breaking bones and dropping F bombs, especially considering the last two iterations of the Teen Titans have come in the form of animated series created for children.
But Titans is actually inspired by the classic source material, taking its biggest cues from Marv Wolfman and George Perez's seminal run on the comic. And the stars of the series know it. Speaking at New York Comic Con, Raven actress Teagan Croft and Beast Boy actor Ryan Potter both praised the original series.
"As soon as I found out about the audition, I went straight to a comic store with my dad and my dad came with me and we got the first volume of the 80s Teen Titans comics and we devoured it and we also got the new volume of the spinoff Raven series, also written by Marv Wolfman, which was good to read because it's closer to my age. It's closer to the way I was portraying the character," Croft said via CBR.
"So I got both of these, and then of course I also watched the cartoon a little bit," she said. "So I had all of these different sources to pull from, and from that I picked and chose what I thought was really great about the character and what worked in the script and from that I think I created a really authentic and real but also going in a new direction for Raven."
Potter was in a very similar boat, but took advantage of digital issues that were harder to find in stores.
"I watched the animated series growing up. I went out and I bought the [Marv] Wolfman/[George] Perez series," Potter shared. "I got one through eight, and someone told me I think it goes up through 12. It could go further than that -- like the volumes, not the individual. As many Beast Boy comic strips exist online, I pulled up as well, because finding physical copies of the slightly more obscure comic issues of like Doom Patrol, where the Changeling disappears for an episode. It's a lot harder to find that now, simply because this title, this almost-franchise, has history and it goes back and some of these are collectors' items now."
Even series producer and writer Geoff Johns mentioned the comics as a major inspiration, revealing they inspired Titans to explore the time before Dick Grayson finally becomes Nightwing.4comments
"We took a sliver of the comics that dealt with Dick Grayson post-Batman a little bit and amplified that even more, exploring what that period for Dick Grayson was really like," Johns explains. "Nightwing is such a stable, confident, emotionally balanced character—he's Dick Grayson when he's found his place in the world. We wanted to build up to him becoming Nightwing."
New episodes of Titans premiere every Friday on DC Universe.