It has been a long wait for new episodes of the DC/HBOMax series Titans, since its season two wrapped in November 2019. In some other timeline, season three would have aired by fall 2020. However, due to Covid-19, production was pushed with filming just wrapping this past June. During Covid, this became the new norm. With a few exceptions; Wonder Woman 1984 and Doom Patrol season two, for example, a long wait for new DC content began. But the wait is finally ending! This past week we got our first look at the new season of Titans with both a trailer and posters.
Check out the trailer and my breakdown below!
Boy was I blown away. From the amount of footage shown, it feels like Titans continue to improve on its lackluster first season. The use of color, camera work, and storylines hinted at excited this writer much more than I ever anticipated. However, within the two-minute trailer, I feel too much was shown about the storylines coming in this season. It could be the classic “Showing your entire hand” that many movies and shows have done recently. Or it’s possible the season is crazier than previously imagined and we just scratched the surface. Either way, let’s dive into what we’ve seen so far.
First off, our heroes look amazing on the official posters released by Warner Brothers. Every one of them has the heroic pose down pat. Even newcomer Savannah Welch as Barbra Gordon, who appears much further in her hero’s journey than just dawning a bat suit. The rest of the cast are wearing their costumes from previous seasons, with a few exceptions. Dick Grayson’s (Brenton Thwaites) Nightwing costume appears to be slightly updated from the one in season two. It could be the lighting, but it appears to have a different color blue that is more striking against the black.
The biggest changes in hero attire come with Starfire and Jason Todd. Anna Diop’s Koriand’r (Starfire) finally has a costume that more accurately resembles her comic book counterpart! Diop’s adaptation of Kory, specifically her outfit and hair, has been criticized by many fans. This began prior to the release of the first season with grainy pictures leaked from someone on set. However, with her new battle-ready purple and gold armor, perhaps those complaints can be laid to rest. Diop’s performance has been a stand-out of the series, so it’s nice to switch the focus from ‘bad attire’ to something more important.
Jason Todd is switching from his original Robin costume to something a bit more….Red? That’s right. Curran Walter’s Todd is downing a bright red mask with a new ombre black/red leather jacket. Jason Todd will finally be adopting his second, perhaps more interesting, role as the Red Hood. The new costume transitions well from page to screen, without feeling too campy or cheap. Just from the poster, it appears that the transition from DC Universe to HBOmax opened up doors for better costumes, perhaps for a larger budget. Now for those who don’t know who Red Hood is, don’t worry. We here at the Cosmic Circus have your back.
Death of A Hero
Red Hood’s origin begins the day Jason Todd dies. As shown in the trailer, Joker lures Jason Todd to a nightmare carnival where he beats Todd to death with a crowbar. Gruesome right? Initially, I was shocked witnessing the death, even though I knew it was coming. Red Hood had previously leaked through social media and photos from the set. Just Like Red Hood’s attire, this scene felt like the scene was ripped straight from the comics and slapped onto the screen. Just the hint of the Joker holding the crowbar high above his head, swinging down multiple times to Jason’s lifeless body prior to a cutaway, was enough to send chills down my spine.
The trailer does not disclose how Red Hood returns to life, though it was a bath in the Lazarus Pit in the comics. Though it does show us that he becomes a worthy adversary to the Titans. Spliced through the trailer are scenes of Red Hood shooting multiple people, fighting with Nightwing, and attempting to take over the city. The ripple of the loss of Jason Todd even caused Batman to lose control, dropping a bloody crowbar before handing the hero reins to Nightwing. Whom did he beat up? Place your bets on Joker, cause Batman had the last laugh.
Return of another?
The return of Donna Troy (Conor Leslie) in a blink and you’ll miss it scene may not be the biggest shock. In the closing moments of season two, Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft) returns to Themyscira with Donna’s body, hoping to help find a way to bring her back. Though DC may have jumped the gun showing her alive in the trailer and in costume on the poster. However, it’s possible that she returns early in the season and therefore not a spoiler for the larger story. It’s also possible her resurrection is tied to the rebirth of Jason Todd. Two people who are dead come back in this trailer and coincidences do not come that easy in a comic book show.
Batman is a Bad man
Bruce was a psychopath. Strong words, but it seems silly to disagree with it. Batman has always been one of the darker more twisted heroes in DC comics. The opening moments of the trailer drive that home. In his attempts to prepare his wards for battle, he tortured them in psychological ways that left irreparable damage. Nightwing has spent two seasons escaping the shadow of Batman. The daddy issues run deep, for both him and Jason Todd. Later, Batman was shown to mentally snap at the loss of his second Robin. Some may argue that it’s an acceptable response for an individual who lost a child, but it helps drive home the idea that Bruce has no limits to the cruelty he will dish out to those who deserve it and those who do not.
Sister Vs. Sister
Family seems to be a connective tissue throughout the trailer. The loss and grief that Titans experience at the loss of a sibling, and Bruce as a father losing a child. Though a different family reunion of sorts was briefly hinted at near the end. That of Starfire and her sister Blackfire (played by Damaris Lewis). Allusions to a war brewing between the two were made. A fight that will surely involve the entire Titans’ crew fighting alongside Starfire against her greatest adversary.
Raven in white?
The briefest flash of Croft’s Rachel was shown in a pure white, armor-esque costume that is in sharp contrast to her usual purple and black. However, there is a precedent for Raven to wear white, seen in the Teen Titans cartoon. In season one episode six “Nevermore”, some of the Titans found themselves in Raven’s psyche, where they encounter representations of different aspects of Raven herself. One, White Raven, was a manifestation of her inner purity, a true force of good against her father’s ultimate evil. White Raven was the most primal of all the Ravens and the strongest form of herself. Perhaps Rachel will finally accept her destiny as a hero, instead of continuing her dance with the devil.
If we have learned anything from the trailer, it’s that this season will be no holds barred. Unless you count the crowbar. Joker was definitely holding that. Titans has not even started its run on its new home, but it has already come out swinging.
Titans season three premieres on August 12, exclusive on HBOmax.