STARRING: BRENTON THWAITES, ANNA DIOP, TEAGAN CROFT, RYAN POTTER| EPISODES REVIEWED: 1 – 11 (OF 11) | WHERE TO WATCH: NETFLIX | RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 11TH“Fuck Batman.” As introductions go, it’s a strong one. This line, featured heavily in the trailers for the DC Universe streaming service’s first home-grown production, clearly established that this Robin wasn’t Burt Ward, these Titans didn’t Go, and that a storyline which would inevitability take in a soul-stealing demon was going to be anything but kid’s stuff. Titans serves as an origin tale for a group that – and this is no real spoiler – doesn’t even become a group by the season finale, but that puts all its pieces on the board, ready to move them into position for almost forty years of continuous Titans – Teen or otherwise – storytelling, ripe for on-screen exploitation. The major players are all here – Dick Grayson’s Robin, Raven, Beast Boy, Starfire, even the Donna Troy Wonder Girl. Coming along for the ride are Hawk and Dove, the Doom Patrol, and the Jason Todd Robin, in eleven episodes of furious action and intense drama. To go with the swearing, of which there is quite a lot (out of the mouths of such innocent babes, too!), the fight scenes are very violent, with blood splatters and spurts emphasising the brutality of the combat. Indeed, we’re not even thirty minutes into episode one before Robin scrapes a man’s face along broken glass, and things get messier from thereon in. Australian actors Brenton Thwaites and Teagan Croft play Dick Grayson and Rachel ‘Raven’ Roth, respectively, and they are ably backed up in the principle cast by Anna Diop as Starfire, and Ryan Potter as Gar Logan. It is this core four that the season is built around, and they demonstrate decent enough chemistry to believe they will form a tight-knit group. The show was developed by big-time DC comic book writer Geoff Johns, Arrowverse-alumni Gregg Berlanti, and veteran movie screenwriter Akiva Goldman (who won the Golden Raspberry for his Batman & Robin script, but don’t let that put you off). The eleven episodes are written by a mixed writing team with plenty of TV experience, and helmed mostly by untested directors with a background in cinematography. This lends the show a slick veneer, and at times it’s hard to believe you’re watching a TV show created for a streaming service. Importantly for the longevity of such a show, it has full access to the DC Universe, with copious mentions of Batman, Superman, and the Justice League, and eventual appearances by some of Gotham City’s biggest players. Titans has already been renewed for a second season, expected to air late 2019, and by that time will have been joined on the DC Universe service by Doom Patrol, Stargirl, and Swamp Thing live-action shows, and Young Justice and Harley Quinn animated titles, as well as a slew of back catalogue shows featuring the Distinguished Competition’s more colourful stars. Titans is a great start, and if you can get past the possibly ‘trying a bit too hard to be edgy’ opening shots, then it will reward your continued attention with dividends.