Does the trailer for Titans season 2 potentially set up Dick Grayson's transformation from Robin to Nightwing? The debut season of Titans saw an angst-ridden Dick Grayson effectively abandon his past as Robin, the Boy Wonder to Batman's Caped Crusader. In a moment of symbolism, Dick burned the Robin costume he'd kept by his side, even after spreading his wings beyond the plush confines of the Bat Cave, and seemed to finally move out from under Bruce Wayne's considerable shadow. Titans' Dick Grayson actor, Brenton Thwaites, has since hinted that he could be appearing as Nightwing in the show's near future.
In the Batman comics, Nightwing is Dick Grayson's second superhero persona. The former circus performer begins to feel restricted and undervalued as Batman's sidekick and strikes out on his own as a solo vigilante. Taking the name from a Kryptonian story told by Superman, Dick adopts the Nightwing mantle, introducing a less colorful outfit and a more serious approach. Dick even begins to take in students of his own. Since the Titans iteration of the Boy Wonder is already in his mid-twenties, and has seemingly ceased operating as Robin, many viewers have speculated that Titans season 2 could present the perfect opportunity to bring Nightwing into the fold.
DC have now released the first trailer for Titans season 2 and Nightwing is nowhere to be seen. This doesn't necessarily rule out his introduction, of course, and may in fact provide even more clues that Grayson is set to turn into a completely new superhero.
Judging from the Titans season 2 trailer, the action will be split between two timelines for the forthcoming run - one flashing back to Dick's original Titans team, and another set in the modern day as he assembles "Titans 2.0" It's interesting that the vast majority of trailer scenes that feature Dick in his Robin costume appear to take place in the past. The original Robin is only seen in the context of the other OG Titans members - the likes of Wonder Girl in her red superhero costume and Hawk and Dove when they weren't as physically crippled. There is one scene that appears to feature some Robin-on-Robin action, and therefore could be set in the present timeline, but this is just as likely a dream sequence, similar to the Batman material from Titans season 1, as it is a genuine fight.
If Dick Grayson's Robin is only seen in flashbacks, then what of the character's status in the present? The overriding impression from the Titans season 2 trailer is that Grayson will be acting more as a mentor to the new Titans, and is more or less adhering to his abandonment of the Robin name. Flashbacks to the old days are a neat way of ensuring Titans continues to feature Dick Grayson's Robin, but without undoing his character development from last season. However, those flashbacks can only last for so long and fans can be fairly sure Dick won't remain on the sidelines permanently in the present day. Also taking into consideration that the latest Titans trailer never shows the contemporary Dick suit-up, all signs point to a Nightwing appearance at some point in season 2. Every live-action superhero markets their series on the lead character kicking ass, and not just in flashback scenes. There has to be a reason for this omission in the trailer - something Titans isn't ready to reveal.
It's possible that the Titans season 2 trailer is obscuring the fact that Nightwing will feature prominently when the series returns by only highlighting carefully selected shots of the modern Titans. This could also explain why very little is seen of Gar. A more likely scenario, however, is that Dick will continue to mentor his new-look Titans throughout most of season 2, not getting involved in a hands-on way. His newbie crime-fighters may eventually come across a threat they can't handle, forcing Dick to leap into action himself. "But wait!" Dick might then say, "I burned my superhero costume in a fit of rage." Thus, an entirely new suit and fresh persona is born and Dick rides to the rescue once again, this time as Nightwing.
A final alternative is that Dick Grayson really has left vigilantism behind and Nightwing isn't in the Titans season 2 trailer because he isn't in Titans season 2. But since this popular character has never truly featured in a live-action form, fans' feverish hopes are completely understandable.
Titans season 2 premieres September 6th on DC Universe.