The intention of “Titans” as with many superhero mash-ups is the structure of family and trust. The themes of betrayal seem to weigh heavily from Season 1. But again the structure of the Titans themselves is based on the aspect of evolution in terms of how the characters see themselves and what they might become. Dick Grayson as the first Robin and the paradox of Nightwing understands this but he has trouble coming to terms with it. Raven, as she will be called, is based in the function that her destiny is pre-set by her father Trigon. Like Hellboy, the structure is the ideal of choice against a greater crushing possibility. The intended perspective of the Season 2 premiere, without giving too much away, is that motivation and misplaced guilt becomes a bigger proponent than the eventual endgame. The Avengers as a reference definitely works on this principle because those heroes, like these, are defined by the choices they make. The interesting diametric here is how to portray this while keeping the themes and mining the subconscious. Raven does this in a particular way with thoughts not unlike how Beast Boy can change his form. It is a matter of instinctually knowing how to connect with people without controlling their mind. Granted in a similar way to “Grimm” many of the characters here tend to make the same mistakes, either because of ego or the nagging embers of naivete. “Trigon” as a first episode in this second season understands the shortcomings of its key parts but also how it can grow. The idea becomes one of choice but also of transcendence and loyalty. “Titans” can grow as a series if its characters continue to understand and intercede that they are more powerful together while still addressing the darkness that makes them different.
By Tim Wassberg
The essence of Batman’s psychology versus Bruce Wayne’s state of being is an existential thrust that is not often covered in either the films or the animated series. There is the gist of it but it needs to give way to a specific story progression. An interesting point of “Batman Vol. 8 – Cold Days” [Tom King/DC/176pgs] is that its namesake moves on the basis that Batman cannot always win. Sometimes he needs to lose in one way or another. The first iteration in “Cold Days” follows a trial of Mr. Freeze to convict the villain of murdering three girls. Bruce Wayne is called to jury duty and is selected as one of the 12 jurors. It bears an interesting reference to “12 Angry Men”. What is quite interesting however is the metaphorical and ethereal discussions that are discussed inside the jury room. Bruce is struggling against himself without letting the others in the room know truly what is bothering him. He brings in tenants of Christianity & God but wrapped within the structure that Batman is Gotham’s savior and he is fallible. He debates that is possible for him to make a mistake claimed by the fact that Freeze indicated that there was something different about the Caped Crusader that night he was brought in. It is an interesting exercise that would oddly enough work well on stage since the audience knows Wayne is Batman but everyone else in the play does not. The second story in this volume: “Beasts Of Burden” speaks to the relationship between Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne. The parallel between Bruce and Grayson mirrors, at times, Bruce and his father. The interesting psychological structure again at play here is Grayson’s initial rebuking of Wayne as a father figure but then the eventual fondness that Wayne replaces with coldness until it causes a dark fate to befall Nightwing.Iinterestingly watching the new “Titans” on DC Universe (see Inside Reel’s interview here) the resentment on Dick’s part is palpable. This story and its requisite end are on a different timeline. But as is spoken within the end of “Superman II”, one cannot deny his or her nature. “Batman Vol. 8 – Cold Days” works on a variety of levels but most especially psychological even going at one point to use allegory with the story of ” The Animals & The Pit” a rather specific Darwinian theory that balances both the aspect of the dark and the light.
By Tim Wassberg