It’s not perfect, but Titans keeps getting better each episode. Even with the somewhat puzzling decision to build the DC Universe …universe before fully developing the Titans themselves. Like Hawk & Dove and the Doom Patrol before him, Jason Todd made a memorable debut.
Curran Walters played Jason with just the right amount of eagerness and rage. Since Titans has made Dick so angry Walters had to exacerbate all of Jason’s aggravating tendencies to truly be effective. At first Dick is simply stunned that Batman would replace him, but the longer he spends with Jason, the more Dick questions if Batman truly knows his new partner at all.
Titans has rightfully earned criticism for its portrayal of Dick Grayson and Kory to a lesser extent, but Jason seems dead on. He’s a wild card who doesn’t listen to authority, has anger issues and a reckless side that could/will(?) get him killed. Walters’ Jason Todd seems exactly like the sidekick that would have fans calling in to see get his head bashed in by The Joker.
Jason met up with Dick to tell him some of his old pals from the circus were getting killed. This fit in nicely with Batman’s version of reaching out — have a sidekick/Alfred check in to make sure Dick is OK.
I really wish Titans didn’t have Dick so angry as they’ve done a great job establishing the distance between Bruce and Dick. The only problem is it’s hard to buy Dick leaving Batman because he’s becoming too violent in a fight. If that truly were the case his fighting style or mindset when he’s fighting should be adjusted to show he’s trying to change.
Thankfully it wasn’t a completely Titans free episode as Kory, Rachel and Gar crash the Robin party. And Kory even managed to find some new clothes! It only took six episodes, but a win is a win especially since she’s still wearing a comic accurate light purple color scheme.
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Dick and Jason tracked down Clay (Lester Speight, Faster), one of the few surviving circus members and Dick’s old guardian working at a bar. It seemed perfectly in character for Jason to try and use Robert Plissken as an alias and the guard saying ‘not tonight Snake’ was a great touch.
I really appreciated that Clay wasn’t the murderer as that was the cliche and obvious candidate. Instead, it was Nick Zucco, the son of mob boss Tony Zucco — the man who killed Dick’s parents.
In a flashback (complete with a glimpse of the Batmobile!) we see Robin willingly letting the mob gun down Zucco. This was decidedly un-heroic and the kind of thing Batman would frown on. This seemed like the best time for Dick to realize he’d gone too far, but the writers didn’t draw that connection.
Nick wanted revenge after the Maroni family went after Tony’s family as well and their acid attack left him a Melting Man. Essentially becoming Robin’s Two-Face with swapped sides. Jason bails Dick and Clay out and then goes on berserker mode on some cops investigating the racket.
After a life on the streets, Jason has no love for cops and in costume, he embraces being above the law. It makes a lot of sense for Jason’s character though he really had to go to an extreme to be more violent than Dick.
Seeing his namesake acting so savage against police does seem to shock Dick into deciding he can’t be Robin any longer.
Jason Todd made a strong debut and hopefully this will lead to a less violent and aggressive Dick Grayson.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: DC Entertainment