In December of 2017, comic book fans were gitty with joy at the newly released first look at actor Brenton Thwaites in full Robin costume for the upcoming Teen Titan live-action TV show. This image alone was enough to get every DC fan to throw money at DC’s still not launched or even named for that matter, streaming service. Then to follow that up, DC dropped another incredible picture of actors Alan Ritchson and Minka Kelly in their Hawk and Dove costumes.
With many DC fans relieved to be getting such picture-perfect representation of the characters they loved so much, thoughts of what the other Teen Titans would like began circulating amongst fans. With how phenomenal the first two released pictures looked, the other members would look equally as great. Finally being able to see Beast Boy, Raven, and Starfire ripped from the comics and put into a live-action show is a dream come true…
It turns out that maybe DC spent all of their budget on the first three heroes show because recent set photos made their way to the eyes of the internet and the internet said, “this birds not done, put it back in the oven.” In these set photos fans were able to see Raven, Beast Boy, and Starfire all for the first time and you know… it just wasn’t what we were expecting. A human-looking Beast Boy with green hair, a Raven who, to be honest, looks fine (I think people are being way too picky), and a Starfire that sadly fails in every possible way. Now, in all fairness to these pictures, to the actors, and to the show, we aren’t seeing everything within the context of the show, the (I’ll just go ahead and assume) fantastic lighting, and all the other aspects of a show or movie that a leaked set photo leaves out.
I would like to comment once again on the Beast Boy/Raven picture once again because as I said I think Raven looks fine, especially when we consider the fact that she’s not even filming anything. Actress Teagan Croft is in a big puffy coat drinking a smoothy, so to judge her seems very nitpicky. As for Beast Boy, which is played by Ryan Potter, I find this particular image disappointing because there’s no green skin and while I have seen other outlets speculate that the green skin just wasn’t added yet by the makeup department or that it would be added in post-production, until proven wrong, I’m just going to assume this is what Beast Boy will look like in the show. This is most upsetting when you take into account just how amazing the first two released images for the show looked. If the original photo of Robin had given fans the impression that the show was going for a more realistic approach to the source material, my expectations would have been different.
When it comes to Starfire… as I’ve said, set photos are the least fair thing to leak to the internet when it comes to the production of a TV show or a movie. How many times have we seen an actor in a Marvel film walking around in some awful looking costume only to be amazed by what it’s turned into when the film releases? That being said, this very out of context photo of Starfire looks bad. The hair looks very unnatural, the costume doesn’t seem to represent the character or even the era in which the show is taking place in, and, similar to Beast Boy, actress Anna Diop doesn’t have makeup on to give her that classic Starfire orange skin tone. Once again, if the show wants to go in a different direction with the characters, that’s absolutely fine. If the story and show are respectful to the Teen Titan source material, then who cares what they look like? Ultimately, I just want a good Teen Titans show. But as I’ve stated numerous times, because of the first two photos released, a certain expectation was set in fans’ minds.
With all of this being said, the negative reaction that some fans have had is irresponsible, childish, and really gross. Feel free to criticize the choice that we currently believe the show’s creators are making, but attacking the actors based on their physical appearance or race is disgusting. While some comments were meant as more joke than harm, Starfire actress Anna Diop did feel it necessary to come out on her Instagram and release a statement.