As the inaugural series for the DC Universe, DC Comics’ and Warner Bros. Entertainment’s streaming service which launched in September, Titans has to make a lasting impression and set the tone for what’s to come. A huge part of that tone lies with Raven (played by Teagan Croft), the Titans’ resident dark, mystic superheroine.

“The tone for [the show] came out of character and story,” DC Universe executive producer Geoff Johns said in an interview with the official DC Comics website. “We wanted to go back to the catalyst that Marv Wolfman and George Pérez did with the creation of the NEW TEEN TITANS in the ’80s. That started with Raven.”

“When we looked at Raven’s story it’s really about a young girl struggling with this internal darkness. She lives and comes from a world that is more in the supernatural and horror vein,” Johns further explained. “We decided to lean into that and have Dick Grayson’s journey mirror that. He has his own darkness that he’s struggling with and trying to overcome. When he meets Rachel, they’re both on a similar path of confronting this darkness that is within each of them and trying to move beyond it, control it, understand it. It’s really only with the help of other people who are lost and trying to find their place in the world that they can all come together and help one another.”

“That’s what the DNA of Titans is—a surrogate family. The characters and the best runs have always been about that. But the tone of it is really dictated by our first story, Rachel and Dick’s story.”

Episode 4 of Titans, “Doom Patrol,” is now available for streaming on DC Universe.