With the fifth and final season of the Teen Titan's animated adventures
the young heroes go out with a bang. Never really dipping in
quality, the final run of 13 episodes is just as entertaining and exciting
as the inagual season. With a large number of guest appearances (including
an episode devoted to Kid Flash) and even a long-awaited origin story this
is a season that fans won't want to miss.
The series is based on the revamped version of the silver age super-hero
group The Teen Titans that was launched in 1982. The Titans are five
teenagers living together in Titan Tower. Batman's sidekick Robin
is the unofficial leader of the group. (Batman is never mentioned in the
series though.) Cyborg, half machine and half human, provides the
muscle for the team, and Beast Boy, who can change into any animal, (previously
a member of the Doom Patrol,) provides a lot of the comic relief.
The group is rounded out by a pair of women; Starfire an alien who can
fly and shoot power blasts from her hands, and the contemplative Raven,
a mystic with the power to levitate objects and create solid shapes with
her mind. From their base in Titan's Tower, a giant T shaped dwelling
located on an island in the middle of a river, the group protects their
city from whatever evil may befall it and bicker amongst themselves.
The season starts off with a two-part episode where Beast Boy gets an
SOS from his old comrades, the Doom Patrol. The World's Strangest
Heroes had been hunting the Brotherhood of Evil, as they've done for years,
when they were all captured or incapacitated. With the Teen Titan's
help the group manages to escape, but so does the Brotherhood. Led
by The Brain, literally a human brain in a Dalek-like container, and rounded
out by Monsieur Mallah, a super-intelligent gorilla, General Immortus,
a near-immortal tactician, and Madame Rouge, a woman with a rubber body
who can steal anyone's appearance, the Brotherhood is a powerful organization.
Realizing the power that the Titans, as well as other young heroes have,
the Brotherhood decides to stop them all before they can mature.
Most of the rest of the season is taken up with the Titans either fighting
the Brotherhood or trying to warn other young heroes of the impending danger.
With a very large cast of secondary characters (much more than in previous
seasons) the shows in this set never get dull. The creators are willing
to shake things up every once in a while too. One episode is told
from the point of view of a group of teen villains, The H.I.V.E. Five,
who decide to go on a crime spree while the Titans are out of town (and
hopefully join the Brotherhood of Evil.) Unfortunately for the Five,
Kid Flash shows up (a very powerful pre-Crisis Kid Flash at that) and easily
defeats them. A few times.
Another standout episode was Go! This adventure tells
how the Titans all joined together, quite by accident, when an escaped
alien lands on Earth while trying to evade her captors. But is she
the real villain or is it the people who had her imprisoned?
There were some neat themes in this season, for those that like to look
for that type of thing. The beginning two part story with the Doom
Patrol illustrated how both teams are very much alike (mainly populated
by outcasts from society,) but yet totally different. The Doom Patrol's
leader, Mento, is strict and overbearing, and things that stopping the
Brotherhood is more important than the lives of his team mates. These
older heroes are jaded, yet you can see where they're coming from.
If it's a choice between a friend's life and the lives of millions, you
can't always run back and save your buddy.
One of the strong points of the show is that it's willing to draw upon
the rich history of the DC Universe but it's not afraid to alter characters
to make them fit into the context of the series. The guest appearances
all worked well, from The Doom Patrol to Kole, Jerico, and even Gnaark,
and it was fun for ol' comic nerds (like myself) to try to recall some
of the obscure people they dug up.
This set includes all 13 episodes from the last season on two DVDs in
a single width keepcase.
There is one odd thing about these discs. There are no chapter
stops in the middle of the episodes. It would have been nice if they had
included one after the opening credits and again half way through the show.
There is an English stereo track on this DVD as well as stereo a dub
in Portuguese. (I'm not sure why they replaced the Spanish and French
audio tracks that the earlier seasons had with Portuguese. Surely
there are more Spanish and French speakers in region one.) The sound
was very good for a TV show. The explosions and fight scenes were
fairly dynamic and there was some use made of the front soundstage.
There wasn't any noticeable hiss or other common audio defects. There
were also subtitles in English and Portuguese.
This show looked pretty good. The fullscreen image was bright
and clear, with nice looking colors and sharp lines. There was a
little bit of aliasing, causing some curving lines to have a stair-step
effect, but this was minimal. A nice looking show.
The only bonus this time around is Teen Titans: Friends and
Foes, a 25-minute look at some of the Titans and their enemies.
Clips from episodes are interspersed with comments from the producer and
writers. It was fun to hear what the creators were trying to do with
some of the shows and why the chose the villains and heroes that they did.
Well worth a watch.
This final season of the show hits all the right marks. Actually
stronger than the preceding season, these 13 episodes are all entertaining
and there's not a clunker in the lot. Comic fans both new and old
will enjoy these exciting and enjoyable episodes. Highly Recommended.