DC’s new Titans promo has revealed that Robin (Brenton Thwaites) split off from Batman to avoid becoming him. Since the series’ first trailer was released at SDCC this summer, fans have been bewildered by Robin’s ruthless beating of thugs and uttering of “F*ck Batman.” A glimpse at the duo’s history begins to explain the events that will lead to the Titans coming together.
The superhero team is perhaps best known for Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans animated series, which initially ran from 2003-2006, and was revamped as Teen Titans Go! in 2013. In both iterations, Robin is usually characterized as the dutiful boy scout-like leader of the team, whose attitude often resembles Superman’s more so than Batman’s. His all-or-nothing approach to his heroic ambitions, as well as the running gag of his obliviousness to Starfire’s crush on him, holds together the kid-friendly adolescent themes, despite some very dark episodes. Nevertheless, DC has made it abundantly clear that the live-action Titans is not for kids. The series has already set up the launch of spinoff Doom Patrol, but is slated to be separate from the CW’s Arrowverse.
DC’s newly released promo reveals kid Dick Grayson mourning in front of his parent’s graves. Like Thomas and Martha Wayne, Grayson’s parents are believed to have been murdered. Through voiceover, he admits that his admiration for Batman was what led to becoming too much like him. Check out the promo below:
Dick’s indoctrination into Batman’s vigilante philosophy at a young age appears to have come from the note reading: “Revenge won’t bring them back. Let me teach you another way to deal with the pain.” However, the flash forward to Thwaites as the present-day Robin shows a young man struggling with unresolved anger. Thwaites is seen in Robin’s traditional red, green, and gold outfit, as well as a black suit. While the costume distinction is unclear, some fans have imagined that the character’s departure from Batman will lead to a transformation into Nightwing
DC also unveiled footage of the rest of the team dealing with their own volatile origin stories, before Robin appears to recruit them. Raven, held up in a monastery, is shown struggling with an inner evil, which may reference the character’s half-demon lineage. As in the comics, Starfire appears to have been subjected to experiments, which have given her the power to unleash fire bursts. When Robin asks where she’s from, she doesn’t reveal if she’s the princess of the planet Tamaran. Ever the comedian, Beast Boy shows off his animal transformation powers in the nude, and when he asks to meet Batman, Robin curtly replies “No.” While fans are preparing for much more gore and smackdowns than they’re used to, the story’s central narrative of uncertain, young heroes struggling to control their powers and find their place in the world together appears to be intact.
Titans premieres October 12 on DC Universe.