Warner Brother DC launched their streaming platform about 4 months ago (September of 2018). Along with classic DC movies, TV shows, and animation, they would use this platform to launch their own original shows. Two shows that are based on the Teen Titans, Titans and Young Justice Outsiders, are taking different approaches, and this difference makes one show good and the other “eh”.
Titans was the launch show for the network, starring Brenton Thwaites (Nightwing), Anna Diop (Starfire), Teagan Croft (Raven), and Ryan Potter (Beast Boy). The show focuses on the relationship established by these unlikely quartet of characters, as each try and find their place in this world, while helping Raven deal with her strange powers. The show is trying to be a edgy version of the Teen Titans series. And frankly it is trying too hard. Though there are elements in the series that lend to fan service, ie when they name drop a few characters, this show just seem like they are trying too hard to be edgy. And because of that, it is hard to take many of the topics they are trying to portray seriously.
The other show, Young Justice Outsiders, is the long awaited 3rd season for a show that is almost a decade old. Young Justice launched in late November of 2010. The show was aired on Cartoon Network, and followed a group of sidekicks turned covert operatives.The show follows this team of young superheroes that try and handle the missions the Justice League are too busy to handle.
Season 3 picks up a few years after Season 2. And it follows the trafficking of metahuman teenagers, experimented on and auctioned off to different bidders across the galaxy.
For an animation, this show does a better job of handling topics such as loss (grievance), adolescence, trying to find yourself in the world, politics, trafficking, intolerance, and it does all this without being cheesy or beating it over your head. For an animation, this show is actually more mature than the live action version, Titans (talked about above). And if you’re a DC fan, you get the “who’s who” of characters. Providing perhaps the best DC show since Justice League.
Don’t let the fact that it is animated fool you. This show is not the typical Saturday morning cartoon. The show kicks off with a Justice League member coping with the fact he accidentally killed a teenage child turned Parademon, and a royal family assassination. Many of theses deaths and brutal fights are not shown off camera. You see brutal scenes that are bloody and vicious at times. There’s a scene with Lobo that is just wicked, especially given the age of the victim.
Young Justice Season 3 has lived up to the hype (so far), and shows that the DC animation department is by far their best department, compared to TV shows and movies. Titans, on the other hand, is a show that is barely passable. A show trying to be this grounded, down to earth, live action just draws more attention to how ridiculous the show can get. When I last talked about the show back in October, I was three weeks in and gave the show a C+. But looking back on the full season, and having another show to compare it with, I give the show a D. Young Justice just shows more of the flaws with the live action show. Not saying YJO is perfect, as it do have a few cheesy moments, but I am saying it is a better show. And if you were a fan of Young Justice, especially season 2, then this is a must watch. But as far as Titans, I wouldn’t stop you from getting by just reading the spoiler section.