The second episode of DC's Titans expanded the DC Universe TV series' world, but it left a lot of questions unanswered - and raised some even more puzzling ones about just what's going on with Raven. To say Titans is headed in an unexpected direction is something of an understatement, with this episode both introducing and then killing off a promising new character.
By now, the tone and style of Titans is becoming clear. This is a series that takes its violence seriously, with the first two episodes featuring some tremendously ferocious scenes that would never appear in the CW's Arrowverse. It also wants you to believe that anyone can die, featuring the shocking apparent death of a major secondary character.
So what questions does the episode 'Hawk and Dove' raise for the DC Universe series? Here, we explore the major questions - and ask what this means for the future of the show.
- This Page: The Mysteries of Hawk and Dove
- Next Page: Batman, Raven, and Dick Grayson's Contact List
13. Do Hawk and Dove Even Have Powers in Titans?
Comic book readers will find this portrayal of Hawk and Dove to be pretty confusing. In the comics, both characters possess what's called a "danger sense transformation." When in the presence of danger, each can say their names - Dawn says "Dove," Hank says "Hawk" - and transform into the form of an enhanced human. The final battle on the rooftop certainly demonstrates that they don't seem to have this ability in Titans. Instead, it appears the partners are simply street vigilantes, who suit up in combat suits and take on street gangs.
12. How Will Hawk and Robin React to Dove's Fate?
Alas, poor Dove, we barely knew her. The decision to seemingly kill off Dove is a surprising one, made more curious by the fact that actress Minka Kelly is slated to appear in future episodes. If she is actually dead, or even if she survives, this, unfortunately, means that a promising superhero was introduced in Titans for one simple reason; to drive the stories of at least one of the major male heroes, Robin and Hawk. It means Dove essentially exists in Titans only to serve the "Women in Refrigerator" trope - a female character has been killed purely as a plot device to motivate the male stars. As writer Gail Simone noted after naming and critiquing the trope back in 1999, "If you demolish most of the characters girls like, then girls won't read comics." That observation raises the question about what audience DC Universe believe Titans is reaching.
11. Can Hawk Stay Alive Without Dove?
The cantankerous Hawk is getting too old to continue serving as a vigilante. Even his introduction makes that point, with Dove rescuing him before he's tortured to death. And, given Dove's litany of her partner's injuries to Robin, this clearly isn't unusual. Hawk's body has been pushed beyond its limits during his career, and he's barely managed to stay alive. Unfortunately, his temperament is unsuited to retirement. For all he and Dove talked about the idea of retiring after dealing with the latest gun-running gang, you can tell that Hawk will simply suit up again whenever a crime catches his eye. Without Dove to keep him on the straight and narrow, there's no way he'll stay alive for long.
10. Have Hawk's Torturers Never Heard of Superheroes?
Speaking of Hawk, the introductory sequence - in which he's captured by a gang of gun-runners and they attempt to get him to reveal who he's working for - is very strange. Even if the thugs haven't heard of Hawk and Dove, you'd have expected them to be familiar with the idea of superheroes. It's unclear why they assume a gaudily-clad do-gooder with an attitude is working for one of their rivals.
9. In What World Did Dick Grayson Believe It Was A Good Idea To Go To His Ex?
The history between Robin and Hawk and Dove is an interesting one, with Robin and Hawk having competed for Dove's affections in the past. So it's not hard to understand why Dick would trust her with a teenage runaway; if anyone can look after Raven, it's Dove. But he should also be well aware that Dove is partnered with the acrimonious and unstable Hawk, and that his arrival in Washington would cause a lot of problems for the couple. He appears to have no problem stirring up old feelings in Dove and inciting fights between Hawk and Dove. Titans' version of Dick Grayson isn't a very nice guy, and he doesn't care much about other people.
8. What's Going On With Robin?
Speaking of Dick Grayson, his attitude towards vigilantism is becoming pretty odd. In the first episode, as soon as Dick arrived in Detroit, he suited up as Robin to take on some street thugs. It suggested he'd decided to start a solo career as a vigilante, albeit a brutal one. Unfortunately, this second episode suggests the truth is a little more complex. Dick is attempting to leave his life as Robin behind him, to the extent that Raven has to persuade him to help Hawk and Dove rather than sit back and let them die. An extended action sequence explains just why Robin fears his vigilante life. He's brutal and ruthless, taking on the gun-runners with a savage fury. The action is evocative of the popular "warehouse fight" in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, so we can assume that the Titans Batman has a similar fighting style to Ben Affleck's Batman even if the show isn't set in the DCEU. Robin learned to fight under the tutelage of a man who pushes kills, or at least serious maims, and the moment he suits up he finds himself struggling to resist the temptation to maim and even kill.
But if Dick Grayson is so afraid of what he could become, why does he keep the Robin suit in his car at all times? It's all very strange and conflicted.