DC Universe’s Titans has been teasing Nightwing, and episode three of the second season dropped heavy hints that the beloved character is closer than we think.
Nightwing, a character beloved by comic book fans across the board, has never been adapted for an official live-action property by DC. Anticipation has been high that this character will finally see the light of day on DC Universe’s Titans, the first live-action show to bring the team to the screen. But, fourteen episodes in and there is still no sign of the acrobatic hero.
Nightwing fervor has reached fever pitch over this past week, especially since Nicola Scott shared her art of his evolving costume design. Additionally, photos purportedly from the Titans set seem to show Nightwing among the rest of the Titans team. With that in mind, watching the latest episode of the show, ‘Ghosts’, seemed to be loaded with clues to Nightwing’s imminent arrival.
We know he’s lurking in the shadows, but when will he step into the light? This has been the question viewers have been asking ever since Brenton Thwaites’ Dick Grayson burnt his Robin suit during the first season of Titans. The characters on the show appear to have a similar question. Jason Todd wondered aloud in the first episode of season two who Dick was, now that he no longer held the Robin mantle. In episode three, Donna Troy remarked that she expected Dick to step into some superhero boots again when the real fight came knocking on the Titans Tower doors.
Later, the episode included an extended sparring scene which was ostensibly meant to create a rapport between Dick and Rose Wilson. In actuality, the entire sequence looked like a teaser for what Thwaites would look like wielding Nightwing’s signature Escrima Sticks and Wingdings. Half the poses the camera lingered on looked like exact replicas of famed comic book panels.
Much like his comic book counterpart under Marv Wolfman and George Perez, Dick on Titans has been at odds with his new circumstances. He’s no longer the Boy Wonder, sidekick to Batman, nor is he Detective Dick Grayson – a wonderful characterization that lasted a hot minute in season one of the show.
Dick still sees himself as a solo hero, but he is also a team leader. Yet, he doesn’t have a team, because they’re all in training. He’s a character in flux, and this comes to the fore in ‘Ghosts’. Dick’s being pulled from all sides, and hence he’s missing the big picture. He needs to be a symbol and currently, he isn’t one. This explains why Jason continues to disrespect him (though that doesn’t make Jason’s actions correct), and also why Gar Logan and Rachel feel the need to protect Dick from their internal turmoil rather than share their trauma with Dick.
Dick being an aloof leader doesn’t mean he hasn’t changed. In season one, encounters with Jason Todd usually led to the two Robins duking it out with each other. In ‘Ghosts’, after Dick gives in to his anger and punches Jason (who had it coming, honestly speaking), he immediately apologizes for his brutal reaction. Dick has figured Jason out really well, as we saw in the season two premiere – Dick stoked Jason’s ego while also ensuring the young hero understood his responsibility to the team.
Jason being captured at the end of episode three could be a turning point for Dick. He’s been dithering and ambivalent towards kickstarting the new Titans, and this indecision could lead to disastrous ends.
Should the showrunners choose to kill off Jason so soon in the season in an effort to fast-forward the arrival of Red Hood, his death would weigh heavily on Dick. Enough to make Dick re-think his lackluster approach to crime-fighting. Even if Jason doesn’t die, another verbal spat between the duo may very well propel Dick to become a symbol of respect for his team.
In whatever way the showrunners decide to introduce Nightwing, it is an arrival that is highly anticipated and perhaps over-hyped. They will have to juggle the weight of expectation by staying true to the show, the cast, and the characters.
What did you think of this episode of Titans? Are you excited for Nightwing? Be sure to tell us in the comment section below!