Titans are kind of murdery aren’t they?

I’m enjoying the Titans show (I’m not all the way thru), but I’m not sure why they felt like it has to be soooo dark. Thru the Asylum episode, every Titan has murdered someone. All bad guys, but really? Feels like they’re trying too hard to make them edgy and adult. Am I the only one?


I couldn’t agree more! Everyone is a murdering psychopath on this show. Unlike you its turned me off completely. I genuinely don’t get what the purpose is? It feels like the creators saw Marvel Netflix stuff and said “Yep, we can top that!” I also do not like the way they represent Batman and the Bat family. They are all unlikable murdering psychos, Dick included.

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Seriously though, you’re not alone at all. Folks have been discussing this topic a lot throughout Titans. It’s interesting to think about, as it’s a theme that’s been explored in comics in some way or another for, jeez, at least ~40 years now.

I think “psychopath” is a bit unfair because that implies they don’t have awareness or regrets about what they’ve done, when in fact the show has a fair dose of angst about their actions. I think I’d say “impulse control problems.”


I think it’s a different way of looking at “heroism.” There was a time where heroes were expected to be “above” killing. We thought they should be able to beat the bad guys and save the day without anyone dying. It’s even been part of the Bat mythos (and an endlessly fascinating aspect of the Bat’s story with the Joker). But now we’ve reached a place where people seem to believe that it’s not realistic for heroes to go about their business without debilitating violence and killing. I think we’re poorer for it. It’s okay to believe a man can fly, but not that s/he can save the day without leaving a body count?

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I really like the maturity and the killing in this series. Just seems more realistic to me. Its kill or be killed. So tired of the pg rated shows anyway…


Some of the deaths are pretty clear cut cases of self defense under typical US law, others are very murdery (if pragmatic), and some others yet are really murky. Starfire offing people doesn’t surprise me - early 80s canon Starfire very much wanted to kill enemies, and would have, but for being told by the others that they didn’t operate that way here.

There are some really questionable things though, in terms of ‘thinking through the plot points’. E.g., Dick burns the Robin suit at the asylum. Does he stay to watch to make sure it fully burns? No. Probably not good leaving potential evidence lying about.

Does any of them wonder what Dr. Adamson might have entered into their computer system before blowing up the asylum? Apparently not. Can we assume it was all local files and not on a network backed up somewhere? surveillance cam footage? Also, why did they drag Dr. Adamson’s butt to the asylum with them? I can only assume they must have taken him with them, rather than him escaping, or they wouldn’t have gone back to Bruce’s safehouse. He might have been far more useful as a prisoner left there until they came back.

Likewise, what’s up with Dick’s day job? Other than having him flash his badge a couple times, its like the writers have forgotten that Dick has a day job that he should be going to, to make money. Season 1 has to have covered 9-10 days so far, with Dick having all but dropped off the radar following Ep 2. Police Detectives are generally hourly (and usually unionized in some form, along with the rest of the department) but generally can’t just wander off for too long. Did he take leave (on unrealistically short notice)? Did they tell the audience this and I missed it?


I don’t think every character needs to have a absolute iron clad no killing rule. That said those few that do have that rule should stick to it. That said even if the character doesn’t have a strict moral code that excludes it whacking people shouldn’t be the default solution.

There could be all kinds of dramatic tension between Dick and Kory about if it is ever okay to take a life. Kory taking a more pragmatic approach and Dick trying to stick to the ideals and boundaries set forth by his mentor. Then the internal conflict within Dick could be shown. Is Batman right? Is it never acceptable to take a life? That is a more interesting scenario to me than just racking up a kill streak.

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I love the dark version of the whole story.

Truthfully, it’s all confusing to me.

I watched the (very good) history of DC Comics documentary on DCU, and the film makes a point of saying that the really grim character behavior was largely pre-9/11. With 9/11, however, there was a conscious move toward the positive aspects of heroism that is reflected in its books. There is still some rough stuff in today’s books, but we’re not seeing Batman get a broken back, Superman getting shredded by Doomsday, etc. I’ve been out of comics for a long time (since the mid-80’s, really), so my relatively fresh survey of the major “event” publications bears this out.

The only thing that makes me think that this is not irregular is Geoff Johns. Of the different “recent” writers I’ve come across, Johns clearly comes across as most influenced by Alan Moore’s Watchmen…a rough and tumble series if there ever was one. DC Daily has shown us how Johns has a key creative role in the show, so I suppose it makes sense that the show amps up the violence a little more than normal. I’m not saying that Johns is a blood and guts writer, not at all, but he’s come across to me to go there more than other writers.

(Side note: The Aquaman film, another piece where Johns has an Executive Producer credit, is nowhere near as grisly…nor was Johns’ New 52 Aquaman, of which I’ve only read the first four issues on DCU.)

There are a few other factors that we might consider:
** The liberating nature of creating an in-house show, one not bound by any particular censorship or rating bureau.
** The relative financial cost of showing off blood as opposed to special effects. A blood splatter costs considerably less than Starfire flying around with a massive trail of hair.
** The need to create thematic space between the show and anything else out there. One way to do so is to push the shock value past what other shows have done.

All that said, I still think it odd for the times as the DC documentary suggests. Not that it’s a “bad” show, just one somewhat out of step with past presentations of the Titans and perhaps also with the apparent mood of the day. Perhaps it will be DCU’s “rough and tumble” show, whereas other original shows to come will be less so. Time will tell.

I’m really enjoying Titans as well but I agree that the killing and angst can be a bit much. I can see Kori or Raven killing but I’m having a harder time believing that Gar and Dick would just straight up murder someone no matter how evil. Overall I’ve liked how the characters are portrayed compared to their comic counterparts but I came into this show hoping to see the lighthearted, trustworthy, and compassionate Dick Grayson I know and love. Instead I find an angst riddled violent murderer that seems determined to abandon the rest of the team every chance he gets. I understand him being temperamental after breaking things off with Batman and he does have his moments where those qualities shine through but the killing and abandonment do get on my nerves a little. But I’m hopeful that the writers have plans in place for the team to maybe cool it on the murder front and for Dick to lighten up a little once he becomes Nightwing. One of the characters I have no qualms with over writing is Jason Todd, they got him spot on and if they did want to change things up a bit they could always bring him back if they want to add more drama and violence.

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