HBO Max’s Titans has had a problem adequately portraying Beast Boy since the beginning, but Titans season 4 is taking steps to do better.
Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Titans season 4.Beast Boy has been a consistent problem for HBO Max’s Titans, but season 4 of the long-running superhero series has done a better job of accurately portraying Gar Logan. While the series still has yet to present a version of Beast Boy who fully resembles the character from the comics, Titans season 4 has shown Beast Boy finding new and creative uses for his shape-shifting powers. This, coupled with the thrilling climax of Titans season 4’s mid-season finale, suggests that the series will no longer treat Beast Boy as simple comic relief.
Much like his comic book counterpart, Beast Boy started as the teen sidekick of the Doom Patrol before joining the Titans. However, Titans’ take on Beast Boy has been presented as a completely different character, having much more limited powers and no apparent interest in a life outside of being a superhero. This contrasts with other media adaptations, where Beast Boy used his powers and distinctive appearance to find fame as an actor. Unfortunately, the Gar Logan of Titans has shown no such dramatic aspirations, one of many things about the character’s portrayal that has disappointed his fans.
Titans Has Never Done Beast Boy Justice Before
The chief complaint Beast Boy fans have about Titans’ take on the character is that he lacks the full range of shape-changing powers that Gar Logan had in the comics. For most of Titans‘ first three seasons, the only animal Beast Boy could transform into was a green tiger. An explanation arrived in the penultimate episode of Titans season 3 when Gar became a bat. Gar assumed his powers were limited by what he believed he could change into. He could only transform into animals besides a tiger when he was sufficiently scared to avoid overthinking how his powers worked.
While this explanation did establish hard limits on Beast Boy’s powers, it still seemed like a convoluted excuse to justify the show’s limited budget for CGI. Fans were also upset that Beast Boy was primarily sidelined for most of the first three seasons of Titans, tasked with babysitting Superboy or watching over the Titans’ headquarters instead of going out in the field. Beast Boy also never got solo storylines, acting as a supporting player to the rest of the team throughout the Titans’ first three seasons. The Titans‘ treatment of Beast Boy has been a series of mistakes and repeated failures.
Beast Boy Will Be The Hero Of Titans Season 4
Thankfully, Titans season 4 took steps to address these problems and did so immediately in Titans‘ season 4 premiere, “Lex Luthor.” Gar was confirmed to be capable of changing into multiple animals following an accidental rampage in STAR Labs while testing his new super-suit. Beast Boy was also given his own solo storyline, as he began having strange visions of a gnarled old tree decorated with sculptures made of bones. This was later confirmed to be a manifestation of the Red, the cosmic force in the DC Universe that governs all animal life and the powers of superheroes with a primal connection to animals.
Beast Boy was also given a significant role in securing the team’s success during Titans season 4’s mid-season finale. Beyond restoring Raven’s powers and setting up her transformation into White Raven, Gar Logan was also warned through his visions that he must retreat into The Red “when the tower splits in half.” He did so when the Temple of Azarath began to crumble, as the team fought the Church of Blood, suggesting that Beast Boy will be the only hero still at liberty when Titans season 4 continues.
Titans Season 4 Has Made Beast Boy MUCH Stronger
Beyond giving Beast Boy a more active role, Titans season 4 has also taken care to better portray the full scope of Beast Boy’s powers. Apart from establishing Gar Logan’s connection to The Red through his mystic visions, the series also showed that Beast Boy had mastered his powers to the point that he could manage partial transformations. This was demonstrated in Titans’ season 4 premiere when he changed one arm into an octopus tentacle while bowling.
Titans season 4 also set a new high watermark for Beast Boy’s transformations, changing into a virus as part of a plan to save Superboy’s life. While the show’s limited budget still hampered this storyline, this was a far more creative workaround than earlier attempts to keep Gar Logan’s transformations off-camera. While Titans still has a long way to go in doing Beast Boy justice, it has made fantastic progress in a short amount of time.