REVIEW: Titans: The Complete Fourth Season
The live-action Titans series had tremendous potential, from its source material to the pedigrees of the talent bringing the heroes to television. Titans failed to work from the first episode to the last. As a television series, it needed a bigger budget for better effects, and the caliber of actors needed to be stronger to pull off these larger-than-life personalities.
Most of the storylines were drawn from Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s seminal run from the early 1980s or the early issues from Geoff Johns and Mike McKone’s run in the 2000s. Both required a consistent tonality along with a budget to make the scope of the stories work.
In the fourth and final series, out now on disc from Warner Home Entertainment, the series tackled both Lex Luthor and Brother Blood. Either one could easily have been the Big Bad for these last dozen episodes, but they split the focus and, therefore, the team. The series never found its footing, either on the DC Universe service or its final home at HBO Max.
One of the things both runs celebrated was the group’s camaraderie, and the series split them up far too often and for far too long, robbing viewers of the very thing that worked in print. Add in the villain Jinx (Lisa Ambalavanar), now a former lover of Nightwing (Brenton Thwaites), and Bernard (James Scully), the wrong-headed lover to Tim Drake(Jay Lycurgo), (carrying over an egregious bit of pandering from the print side), and things were diluted, and the real sense of danger was mainly missing.
Wolfman carefully created a team that had someone for every genre, letting him and Pérez tell science fiction, occult, mystery, myth, and superhero stories. We’ve seen some of that, and the producers settled on magic to run through the final season, but then don’t do enough with it, Brother Blood (Joseph Morgan), or Mother Mayhem (Franka Potente). The other story, the growing connection between Luthor (Titus Welliver), and Conner Kent (Joshua Orpin), was an interesting story that needed more subtlety (and Krypto).
The strongest actors and characters in the show—Wonder Girl, Hawk, Dove—are long gone by now and are much missed. Instead, we waste time and space on threads that never quit epayoff, the worst being “Dude, Where’s My Gar?”, which is the obligatory multiverse episode using archival footage from The Flash, Swamp Thing, Shazam, Teen Titans Go!, Harley Quinn, The Joker, Batman (1966 and 1989), Superman the Movie, and a cameo from the much-missed Brec Bessinger’s Stargirl.
The final, “Titans Forever”, crams in too much to tie things up, suggesting things were not well plotted out in the Writers’ Room. And rather than Titans Together it’s Titans Apart, ending on a sad note.
The Blu-ray discs have a fine 1080p transfer in its original aspect ratio of 2.00:1 so visually it’s lovely to watch. It’s well paired with the excellent DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track.
Special Features include “Welcome to Metropolis” (5:00), “Baptism of Blood” (3:00), and “Mystical Women” (4:00). None are particularly enmlightening.