By Marc Johnson
Unlike San Diego Comic Con, there’s no official preview night to usher-in New York Comic Con (NYCC). But Wednesday night’s premiere of the DCUniverse Online, Titans series certainly helped set the mood for the next four, fun-filled-days at NYCC.
To start the night, press, VIP and fans lucky enough to win an online lottery to attend the (surprise) two-episode premiere at the Hammerstein Ballroom, were kept busy with snacks, and music from a live DJ.
But the real fun began once the DCUniverse Online service sizzle-reel appeared on screen, then was quickly replaced by an on-stage appearance of Geoff Johns, as moderator of the first part of the premiere festivities.
Before showing the Titans episodes, Johns spoke of the original content expected to show on the online service, then introduced a couple of unexpected guests from two of those upcoming series…
Actor Brendon Fraser- best known to NYCC attendees from the Mummy movie series- talked at-length about upcoming DCUniverse series, Doom Patrol, and his role voicing the character, Robotman.
Fraser’s description made it clear the show will be heavily influenced by Grant Morrison’s iteration of the comic book.
The second unexpected guest at Hammerstein was Actress Kaley Cuoco (best know for Big Bang Theory), who voices Harley Quinn in the animated DCUniverse series of the same name.
Cuoco initially address the audience as the voice of Harley Quinn, in a NYCC Exclusive, animated clip, then briefly appeared on stage with praise for the animated series.
The Titans premiere episodes quickly followed Cuoco’s stage exit…
From a quick, unofficial survey of the ballroom before the viewing, it seemed episodes one and two of Titans played to a crowd who were extremely skeptical of what to expect from the online service’s initial original offering. Happily the episodes did a good job winning-over much of the audience.
Though the series’s extremely brutal violence was a bit jarring, the story was tight enough and interesting enough that the violence was easily dismissed once those scenes disappeared from the screen and the larger story resumed.
Titans is like no other iteration of the team ever seen on page or screen. Initially this can be off-putting, but once fans recognize and except the fact that this isn’t the Titans of yore, the easier it becomes to enjoy what DCUniverse has created.
The characters and actors interact well, and while there was limited screen time to be had, the potential for something phenomenal from this series was obvious.
After the screening, Moderator Damian Holbrook sat for a brief discussion with several Titans’ casts and creators.
Show creators spoke of the seven-year journey bringing Titans together- especially the difficulty getting permission to use Robin in the series. Creators also spoke of the infamous first trailer, and how the out-of-context, “f*€% Batman” line left many fans skeptical of what was to come.
Despite mixed reaction to the first trailer, the show creators were confident they had something special, and the fact the series has already been green-lit for season two, tells us that DCUniverse executives share this enthusiasm for their initial original offering.
And if the first two episodes are an accurate example of what to expect, fans will be flocking to the online service in droves.