We’re only two episodes into Titans’ second season, but it’s looking more like a rough draft and the real Titans series has officially begun. Rose felt like a great adaptation of the best of the Marv Wolfman/George Perez and Geoff Johns runs on Titans.
The character dynamic is so much stronger that it’s much easier to get invested in the subplots and not be so preoccupied with a lack of action. Actually Rose had us covered on that front as well while also debuting two longstanding Titans enemies.
It’s been three months since the season finale/season premiere. Jason, Rachel and Gar are still working on their training with Dick as he tries a kindler, gentler approach than the one Bruce used on him.
The rest of the old gang has settled into nice routines as well. Kory and Donna are teamed up in some law enforcement capacity and staking out Shimmer based off of intel from Roy Harper. Now that’s a nice comics Easter Egg. Hank and Dawn are in Wyoming as Hank is working on a ranch helping drug addicted teens get and stay clean.
One of the hallmarks of the Wolfman/Perez era Titans is the personal lives of the team were just as meaningful as when they clashed with Brother Blood, Trigon or Deathstroke. And the smart carryover from the Johns era is the sense of the older generation Titans training the next gen roster.
Rose really captured that comic book feel of skipping from one location to the next and checking in on the various characters. The Titans aren’t officially back as a team, but there’s a far greater sense of connectivity than the first season.
In one subplot, someone (likely Deathstroke based on the carnage in the security wing) frees a prisoner with light-based powers. I don’t mind the paneled tattoos/electrical wiring along the arms and neck, but I do miss Light’s skeevy goatee. This episode definitely sets him up like he’s going to be a major player this season, which is great since he was one of the Titans’ major foes in the comics.
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Dawn is thrilled that Hank has taken such a liking to helping teens. Hank is clearly blinded by love to miss Dawn’s not at all subtle suggestion that they go back to the Titans so she can resume being Dove while he helps train the new kids. Not that she’s waiting on anything to suit back up as she’s been out for a month taking down low level crime. Hank is pissed and his reminder that he watched Dawn in a coma for a month does give him enough incentive to retire as a hero. Hank insists there’s no future for them as Hawk and Dove, but Dawn doesn’t want to back down. It’s a moot point since Dr. Light sends Hank’s rehab teen in with a light bomb in his stomach that explodes their cabin.
I dig keeping Dr. Light (no pun intended) in the shadows. The Titans know his attack style, but not seeing him strike out against them helps to make him more threatening.
The Kory/Donna sequences were amazing. They were a tight pair in the comics so it’s nice to see that reflected in the series albeit slightly more antagonistic like a pair of buddy cops. I loved the bit about We Are Family and their banter was really enjoyable. More of this please, Titans writers even when they rejoin the main team. Shimmer didn’t last long going against two of the Titans’ heavy hitters, but it would have been nice to see her be slightly more competitive. That’s two members of the Fearsome Five though so hopefully we’ll see Shimmer back with some more company later this season.
Kory doesn’t get to enjoy tacos with Donna as a stranger who knows her identity zaps her with a taser and takes her away. And this is a legit reason for Starfire and Donna to be away in the first half of the season.
Dick and the kids catch a news break with a young girl (Chelsea Zhang) fighting off cops and jumping from a seven-story parking garage into an office building across the street. Nice job on completely selling someone crashing into your office, corporate dudes. Dick tracks her down with little problem and brings her back to Titans Tower. The girl isn’t quite as appreciative of the assist as he’d like so Dick calls Bruce for some guidance. This is a decent way to use Bruce Wayne in this Titans series, but I’d love to see Dick call Bruce one time while he’s suited up as Batman in the Batcave.
Realizing that forcing her to stick around is a bad move, Dick drives the girl off. He just asks for her name — Rose — and that she take a cell phone to call him when she needs help. Turns out that doesn’t last long as a light bomb triggers in the car and explodes just after they get out.
Gar and Jason have been curious ever since she arrived and after running her face through the Titans computer they learn the girl is Rose Wilson. And her father is Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke. That was one of those ideal episode conclusion points I really didn’t want to be the case as I wanted more of this episode. Regardless, Titans definitely has a must watch feel right now and it’s gonna be a long week for the next episode.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: DC Universe