Two DC comics teams are facing a big ending and a new beginning!
Things sometimes get crazy in the comics multiverse!
Recently two ironic happenings just hit me oddly! Turns out that HBO Max is cancelling both Titans and Doom Patrol at the end of both shows’ fourth season, which will conclude this year.
The weird thing to me is that both teams are getting an upgrade or a restart… in the comics courtesy of the ‘Dawn of DC’ event coming this year! The Titans are becoming the premiere DC supergroup while the Justice League is taking a rest for a while. Also, the Doom Patrol is getting their own comic, now called Unstoppable Doom Patrol, and it is debuting in March.
How nuts is that?
Coming in May of this year will be a relaunch of the Titans, and it will be helmed by Tom Taylor, he of Nightwing fame. Nicola Scott will be the artist.
“They just want to be a positive force for good,” Taylor said during a recent interview. “It’s not just about, we are going to fight the next thing that comes, it’s also, okay, let’s look around and see if there’s other injustices that we can fix. It’s a difficult one because we have obviously the family element. We have this group of friends who’ve grown up together and they’re moving in together for the first time since they were kids. So we have this sort of weird roommate dynamic of, who’s doing the dishes? But then we are going to be fighting giants at the same time, and there’s massive threats and there’s… I don’t want to say betrayals, all of these things. Well, you see it the first issue, anyway.”
Now, I’m sure this is all just temporary, that the Justice League will indeed be back. But like most “changes” in comics these days, it will take a year or so for reality to snap back into place. “Because you demanded it” I’m sure!
Here’s part of a news release from DC about the Doom Patrol:
“Spinning directly out of Lazarus Planet, the world’s strangest superheroes are saving the world by saving its monsters! In the team’s first main line series in over a decade, the Doom Patrol returns in Unstoppable Doom Patrol by Dennis Culver (Justice League Incarnate) and Chris Burnham (Batman Incorporated), available in March.”
So, while the TV versions of the teams end their runs, important steps up happen for both groups.
Who says there isn’t justice in the multiverse, huh?
Let’s be real—Tom Taylor is flying high right now, especially at DC. As long as I have been a fan of Nightwing, I’ve never enjoyed his stories as much as I have in the current title. There’s humanity, there’s depth, there’s surprise, there’s fun… it’s one of the best comics out there, in my opinion.
That said, I also enjoyed the HBO Max show. Titans borrowed heavily from the comics, and I really liked the actor who has been playing Dick Grayson on the series. Brenton Thwaites actually LOOKS like Nightwing should, and that was an important part of how much I got into the show.
Of course, because it’s TV, they had to make some changes in the characters. Starfire looks a LOT more human than she has in the comics. Raven has been called Rachel, a name she has only recently been called in the books. And Ryan Potter as Gar was a great choice as well! I do miss Alan Ritchson as Hawk, but I understand that he’s on Reacher now, so I also watch that show, too! Minka Kelly has been a good Dove. I even like Jay Lycurgo’s portrayal of Tim Drake! Superboy has been showing his Lex Luthor-side this season, and I’ve enjoyed that, too.
Their portrayal of Batman has been… interesting, to say the least. He’s much older, and Iain Glen has been good at showing that version of the Dark Knight. I’m still examining all that, though!
They have hit a lot of the high points in Titans history, like Trigon and Brother Blood. I really am sorry it’s being cancelled, though, because they could have had a lot of other stories “ripped from the headlines” of the comics and done them well, in my opinion!
The only thing that kind of grated me was the use of profanity to show how “adult” they all were. Maybe I’m too prudish, but that never works for me! There are other ways to show that these people aren’t kids any longer!
I know a lot of Doom Patrol fans who like to say that, if the Doom Patrol comic had come out in today’s environment (with local comics shops and all), the series would still be being produced! I like to think that’s true!
Others have outlined the history of the Doom Patrol, so I won’t try to go into all that here. But I like the notion that, just because you have superpowers, that doesn’t mean you’re all that well adjusted, shall we say.
The publicity image released (see right) shows the usual members of the team—Robotman, Elasti-Girl, and Negative Man. There are a few other characters I don’t recognize, so we’re likely to be introduced early in the comic’s debut issues.
The HBO Max show has done some spectacular casting in Matt Bomer as Larry Trainor, April Bowlby as Rita Farr, but especially Brendan Fraser as Cliff Steele. His voice as Robotman’s has really been sensational, keeping him as human as possible.
The team has added Joivan Wade as Cyborg (who is getting to be more human this season), Timothy Dalton as The Chief, and the ever-slimy Mark Sheppard as Willoughby Kipling. They even have recruited Madame Rouge (played by Michelle Gomez of Doctor Who fame) to be their leader. THAT I didn’t see coming!
I genuinely hope that the show won’t resolve everything, and that perhaps they’ll still do an occasional movie moving forward.
I’m worried that HBO Max will be less and less a place to go and watch DC and other comics-related shows and movies. I’ll seriously miss that and immediately unsubscribe if that happens!
I like that DC is taking a chance on the Doom Patrol by giving them their own book again. Titans is low-hanging fruit, but as long as Batman doesn’t show up in the Doom Patrol’s comics for a long time, I’ll be happy. Give them their shot!
As I said, the Justice League will certainly be back in about a year or so. Titans will still be a big deal, but I don’t want to see the Titans just change their name to the Justice League. Wouldn’t work! We still need to see the big heroes of DC team up, maybe only when necessary?
Until then, I’ll grieve for Titans and Doom Patrol leaving HBO Max, and cheer for Titans and Unstoppable Doom Patrol on the comics shelves. I’m optimistic about ‘Dawn of DC,’ and hope it turns out to be much more than just another “rebirth!”
What do you think? Is it time for Titans and Doom Patrol to hang it up on HBO Max? What about the new ‘Dawn of DC’ books? Are they attracting your attention? Whatever your opinions, be sure to share your thoughts below!