As Jason Todd aptly put it, Titans are back, bitches. Following a season 2 premiere that wrapped up the Rachel/Trigon storyline, the season seemed to truly begin last week. The story skipped ahead three months, introducing a new direction for the show where Dick Grayson is training his young recruits, Donna and Kory are super-sleuthing, and Hank and Dawn are trying out the quiet life on a Wyoming ranch.
“We launched into a new chapter of Titans 2.0,” says Greg Walker, showrunner for the DC Universe streaming series. But whatever relative peace our heroes might have hoped for faded quickly as specters from Titans’ past began to emerge. And this, said Walker, is where season 2 will continue, which becomes especially evident in this week’s episode, “Ghosts.”
“There is a mythology that comes back to haunt them like a cancer,” Walker says. That begins to reveal itself further this week with the threat of an escaped Doctor Lights, and Deathstroke fresh out of retirement. Oh, and it turns out the gifted young woman Dick saved just so happens to be Slade Wilson’s daughter.
“In the previous incarnation of Titans, certain things did not get resolved, and they find their way to the surface again now that the Titans are reformed; Yesterday’s problems become today’s problems.���
In addition to present-day challenges intertwined with the past – and a lot more references to greater DCU lore – Walker said Season Two differs from the inaugural one by rooting the action in San Francisco, and at Titans Tower.
“[Last season] they ended up traveling from problem to problem, but we’re not a road show anymore.”
Walker adds that a home base gives the show more of a dramatic focus because it’s harder to run from issues when you’re not on the road. This becomes evident in the season’s third episode when Donna, Hank, and Dawn return to the Tower – and begin flashing back to the past. The showrunner shares there will also be two flashback episodes to explore the relationships of the first Titans team.
“It has been really fun write the evolving relationship between individual Titans, and the past, exploring what their relationships were like, why Dick and Dawn broke up, how did Hank and Dawn get back together, the emotional politics of Dick and Dawn over the years.”
Beyond the flashbacks – as well as returning to classic Marv Wolfman and George Perez comic book storylines – Walker says upcoming episodes will explore Project Cadmus, and the personalities, and dimensions, of the group behind Connor Kent/Superboy’s creation.
Speaking of Kent, when he arrives, it won’t be as a fully powered Superman clone, but instead he “has to figure out what his powers are before he can use them.”
Meanwhile, after some father/son chats between Dick and Bruce Wayne in the first two eps, Walker said there is more from actor Iain Glen on the way. Further, he says the show takes a “big risk” with the man behind the bat come mid-season.
“We’re going to throw fans a huge curveball with Bruce, and you’ll see him appear in a way you’ve not seen him before.”
As for big bad Deathstroke, Walker says he has enjoyed examining the assassin’s world, and connections with his assistant Wintergreen, and children Rose, and Jericho. Though he promises a lot of cool weapons for Slade, Walker stresses he is less interested in the romantic hitman trope, and more intrigued in the origin story of how Deathstroke became who he is, and the cost of that – which also involves his relationship with his wife.
Reluctant to reveal much more, Walker promises a varied diet of episodes – ranging from action to even some that feel like something out of a David Lynch film. And his final tease for the remainder of the season relates to a certain caped dog.
“Krypto is the hardest working super-dog in the business.”