OK, we’re back with Titans, that one series that the short-lived DC Universe service produced that I can honestly say wasn’t to my personal taste. Stargirl is sweet, Swamp Thing at least had potential, and Doom Patrol is the right kind of brilliantly weird. But Titans? It’s often a bit of a muddle. What can I say when after season two my two favorite characters were Iain Glen’s version of Bruce Wayne and Krypto the Superdog? You know, those two classic members of the Teen Titans?
Now, to be fair, and I always try to be fair, there’s some good development going on here with this first episode. Jason, breaking Bruce’s instructions, goes after the Joker and, um, it doesn’t go well for him since this is the Joker, he has a crowbar, and we all know what happens when the Joker and a crowbar meet Jason Todd.
Oh wait, do we get to see the Joker? Um, not quite. We get a clear view of his shoes, and then a silhouette of him as he beats Jason to death.
That’s enough to get Dick back to Gotham, and truthfully, there are some good developments with the other Titans. Gar is missing Rachel and looking to expand what sort of animals he can change into since, you know, 95% of the time on this show he turns into a green tiger. Conner is popular with the public and taking it in stride if not a little bit cocky. Kori is the face of the team for the press, and she’s good at it. Too bad she’s having these weird blackouts.
But this is Titans, so inevitably, all this becomes about Dick. That means we mostly follow him back to Gotham as he confronts what should be a grieving Bruce. Is Bruce grieving? Not really. He’s looking for a new serial killer. He may be looking for a new Robin. He had no idea what Jason, who Dick says never read the back of a cereal box, was doing something with a chemistry book. He didn’t even seem to know Jason even had a chemistry book.
That cereal box line was rather clever.
Plus, there are plenty of tips of the hat to DC fans. Mostly because it came out that Alfred and Jim Gordon are both dead. Barbara Gordon, confined to a wheelchair, is Police Commissioner. Also, there’s a long interlude with what seems to be some random kid, a delivery boy for his parents’ Chinese restaurant. He turns out to be Tim Drake.
So, what can Titans do to really shake things up?
Well, Barbara and Dick can both separately confront Bruce about some hard truths, and Bruce will take that to…murder the Joker in Arkham somewhat off-camera.
I don’t know how I feel about that.