Titans episode 6 focused on the relationship between Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, his successor to the role of Robin - and raised a lot of questions about what it means to train with Batman. There's a sense in which it felt less like an episode of Titans, than an unexpected pitch for a DC Universe Robin series.
In spite of that issue, this was probably the strongest episode of Titans to date. Titled 'Jason Todd', episode 6 stepped away from the overarching series narrative; the scenes featuring the rest of the Titans could have been cut with no detriment to the episode at all. 'Jason Todd' marks the turning point in the series, finally answering questions rather than just making more. Given the end sequence, in which Starfire attempts to interrogate Doctor Adamson and he insists he'll talk only to Raven, there will be more answers to the A-plot next episode.
In light of all that's going on in Titans, here are the most intriguing questions raised by the latest episode. Just why does Batman need a Robin at all? What destroyed the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson? And just how comic book accurate is this story?
- This Page: Questions About Titans' Batman & Dick Grayson
- Page 2: Questions About Jason Todd and Titans' Future
10. What Is The Inspiration For The Titans Batmobile?
'Jason Todd' features a brief glimpse of Titans' version on a core part of the Batman mythology - the Batmobile. This version is far sleeker than recent big-screen versions, contrasting with Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy, and Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Titans has eschewed these tank-like designs in favor of a classic approach, akin to Tim Burton's Batman and the classic animated series look. It also sports a subtle pinstripe of red, which could either be lighting or part of the design, akin to Batman: The Brave and The Bold.
9. How Long Was Dick Grayson Part of the Wayne Family?
So far, the timeline of Titans has been largely unclear; even the most basic questions, such as just how long Dick Grayson served as Robin, haven't even been suggested. 'Jason Todd' decides to give specific answers at last, with one flashback scene showing the young Dick Grayson standing at his parents' graves. The dates on the gravestones reveal that his parents died in 2002, thus suggesting that Grayson worked alongside Batman for 14 years before the relationship between Dick and Bruce Wayne began to break down.
8. What Destroyed The Relationship Between Batman And Robin?
Another important flashback scene finally revealed the point at which Dick Grayson really began to break away from Batman. Two years ago, the man who killed Dick's parents - Tony Zucco - was finally arrested. When Dick learned the DA intended to strike a deal with Zucco in order to take down the entire Maroni crime family, he was outraged. He suited up as Robin, intercepted the police prisoner transport, and proceeded to beat Zucco up. Robin's intention was clearly to kill him, although it's unclear whether he'd have actually done so; the beat-down was interrupted by assassins from the Maroni family, and rather than murder his hated foe, Robin chose to stand by and watch as the thug was killed by his former associates.
This is the dark secret that has been hinted at throughout Titans to date; the event where Robin recognized the darkness that lurks within his own heart. Dick seems to have associated this kind of brutal justice with Batman - which may or may not be fair - and thus came to blame Batman for his own guilt.
7. Did Batman Create The Darkness In Dick Grayson - Or The Light?
Jason Todd's presence in episode 6 raises the intriguing question of whether or not Dick is right to blame Batman. Todd is clearly presented as a loose cannon, to the extent that he launches a devastating - and near-murderous - attack on police officers who come to investigate gunshots. In Jason's view, it's revenge for all the times corrupt cops beat him up when he was on the streets. Jason primarily understands the position of Robin as one of power.
But here's the interesting thing; Jason admits that, while he's served with Batman for a year, he still hasn't been allowed to work on his own. In fact, for all his bragging about driving the Batmobile, it's possible this is the first time Batman has let him out of his sight - and notice that it's a mission in which Bruce sends his new protege to meet his old one, perhaps hoping lessons will be learned. The implication of 'Jason Todd' is that this new Robin is dark and brutal, but that Bruce may well be attempting to temper that darkness. Could the same be true of Dick Grayson? Was Batman really the source of Dick's violent, murderous edge - or is the guilt Dick feels testimony to how effectively Batman has tempered the hatred and bitterness that already lay within him?
6. Why Does Batman Need A Robin?
Spinning out of this, Titans raises one further fascinating question; just why does Batman need a Robin in the first place? Jason's answer is that he's there to draw fire; in his view, that's why Robin wears bright and gaudy colors. But Jason's view is likely impacted by his lack of self-worth. An alternate reading, though, is that Batman is striving to believe he is accomplishing something in Gotham - not just facing an endless tide of criminals and madmen. He saw a kindred spirit in the young Dick Grayson, and hoped he could redeem the hurting teen, help him to find a position of balance between light and darkness. When Dick left, Bruce still needed something in his life that proved he was making a difference. That would explain why he wasted no time recruiting another Robin.