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The Teen Titans - The Complete Fifth Season - animated DVD / children's and family DVD review
Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 4 stars
Actors: Scott Menville, Khary Payton, Hynden Walch, Greg Cipes, Tara Strong
Creators: Marv Wolfman, George Perez (comics)   Distributor: Warner Home Video
DVD release: 08 July 2008   Feature runtime: 299 minutes
(2 discs)
Format: NTSC, Full frame
DVD Features: Audio tracks (Dolby - English, French, Spanish), Closed captioned (English), Teen Titans: Friend and Foes
Back in the '80s, I collected comics. I started with Marvel titles like Spiderman and eventually investigated DC titles as well. My favorite DC comic was The New Teen Titans. The "new" meant they were a different collection of heroes than in the 1964 Teen Titans comics (which I never collected). Creators Marv Wolfman and George Perez really hit on something wonderful with the New Teen Titans. The stories were deep and engaging, and the artwork was excellent (especially when George Perez was behind the pencil). It was like a soap opera with extreme action.

Some of that magic makes it over to the cartoon series. The Teen Titans are a group of younger supers, often sidekicks or lesser characters from other groups. Robin (of Batman fame) is the leader of the group. He's a good leader and an excellent detective and acrobat. Starfire is a beautiful alien from the planet Tamaran, hunted there by the Gordanians (a bad-ass bunch of lizard aliens). Starfire is a fierce fighter who can fully learn languages through physical contact (usually kissing). Beast Boy is a green-skinned shapeshifter. He can assume the form of any animal, from dinosaurs to moths; his animal shapes are also green-skinned. He used to be affiliated with the Doom Patrol, but he fits in much better with the Titans. Cyborg is, as his name suggests, a cybernetic organism. Half-man, half-machine, he can transform his arm into a sonic blaster. Raven seems to be a cloaked goth chick. Her mood is subdued most of the time (think Christina Ricci's Wednesday Adams, but with mysterious powers). Raven can project force fields, sense feelings, teleport, and fly among other things.

In the fifth and final season, the Teen Titans mostly battle the Brotherhood of Evil. They first encounter the Brotherhood when they team up with Beast Boy's old gang the Doom Patrol in "Homecoming" Parts 1 and 2. From there, the B of E decide they must do away with the Titans. The titans have many honorary members, including the Titans East and other young individual supers. Similarly, the B of E gathers the evil villains from the Titans' past to butt heads in an amazing battle royale that makes for a good series finale in the episodes "Calling All Titans" and "Titans Together."

An excellent season of shows, with only two goofy episodes (the episodes with the theme sung in Japanese are the goofy ones). "For Real" features geeky bad guy Control Freak. At one point, he actually mimics the Star Wars Kid (see YouTube if you don't know about this). "Revved Up" features bad guy Ding Dong Daddy. He came from the comics back in the days when hot rod culture was popular and Ed "Big Daddy" Roth was drawing hot rod-driving monsters. He should be blasted to outer darkness with Bat-mite.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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