How DC Universe's Titans Finale Ties In With Superman Lore

krypto superboy titans season 1 finale

Major spoilers below for the Titans' Season 1 finale, so be sure to catch up before reading on.

If fans had any clear expectations for how DC Universe's Titans would wrap up its first season, showrunner Greg Walker and the all-star co-creators did everything possible to buck such predictions. The episode took place almost entirely inside Dick Greyson's mind, meaning those appearances from Batman, Joker and others weren't wholly legit. However, the episode featured a post-credits sequence that genuinely introduced Superboy and his powered-up pup Krypto. What the what?

Season 1's final moments took place "Somewhere in Metropolis," but more specifically within the facilities where the arguably effective Project Cadmus experiments are taking place. One effort perhaps worked too well, with "Subject 13" escaping his cell and enacting a quick revenge on all the scientists unlucky enough to be working that day. (Conner Kent was brought to life through Experiment 13 in the comics, as the characters' fans are likely aware.)

Without a stitch of clothing on his Ken-Doll-esque body, and only the recognizable insignia on his arm, the future Superboy's next move was to rescue his pet Krypto. Though the animal wasn't decked out in a red and blue costume, all it took was a quick flash of red in his eyes to confirm we're dealing with something a bit more evolved than just man's best friend.

Superboy's introduction makes absolute sense, considering he was a major part of the comics' Teen Titans. He's also part of the Young Justice squad, which is debuting its third season on DC Universe in January, giving the character a major presence on the still-young streaming service.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Greg Walker talked about what fans can expect to see from the cloned alien badass in Season 2.

It's still brewing. What I can say is that we still want to take the same dimensionalized and psychologically grounded approach that we do with the other characters and apply that same pressure to Conner Kent and see what shakes out when you put a character like that through that test. You know, questions of identity, questions of powers, questions of your place in the universe. These are all questions that are interesting for any kind of Superman character, and are really interesting for Conner.

Greg Walker talked about how one of Titans' biggest draws for him was the psychological and emotional journey that Dick Grayson has been on ever since his earliest days as Bruce Wayne's sidekick. Conner Kent, assuming he sticks with that moniker for Titans, will likely get the same kind of complex and mentally fraught approach when his story gets explored in Season 2.

That's a lot of story to get through, too. Titans is apparently using a launching-off point that's similar to Kon-El's comic origins, so I'm extremely interested to learn the genetic modifications that went into his super-creation. The original idea basically had Superboy as a test tube hero filling in after Superman was killed by Doomsday. However, the DC Universe drama should obviously deliver a take on Superboy's revised origins from his Teen Titans years.

Keeping spoilers limited, Superboy discovers that his DNA backstory was strikingly more complicated than he'd thought, causing huge ripples in the surrounding story. It's a reveal that's as dark and comic book-y as everything else we've seen in Titans, so I'm hoping to see it come to fruition in one way or another. Not only because it would be awesome to see it adapted for live-action, but also because it would require other iconic DC Comics characters to get introduced in Season 2.

Superboy clearly won't be starting things off as a purely virtuous protagonist, since his Titans introduction involved a bunch of Cadmus scientists getting murdered. All things considered, though, Subject 13 probably shouldn't be fully blamed for reacting in such ways. Plus, part of the various Superboy incarnations' charm is the character's sometimes brash and brazen attitude, which sets him apart from the pensive Clark Kent. The cockiness also makes him perfect for Titans.

The way Greg Walker puts it, the creative team didn't make the Superboy reveal a part of the initial plan for Titans. He did say that it was far from a last-minute decision, though.

It wasn't totally planned from day one --- or maybe it was in [Geoff Johns and Akiva Goldsman's] heads, but they didn't tell me. It definitely wasn't something that we thought of until the very end. I think we knew that would be a direction that would be exciting for the fans and a tease that would be interesting for us as well, and that was the best spot to put it in.

Personally, I'd like to know when the producers made the jump from introducing Superboy to also bringing Krypto into it. The super-powered canine has been used sparingly in live-action in the past, showing up for a Smallville episode. He's shown up in quite a few animated projects, though, from Superman: The Animated Series to Legion of Super-Heroes to the standalone Cartoon Network series Krypto the Superdog.

Beyond questions about the Season 2 and the future, Titans fans may also have a few curiosities about how certain things played out in Season 1. In particular, one of the bigger criticisms laid against the series is the fact that the titular team doesn't officially form at any point. (Hulu's Marvel adaptation Runaways faced similar judgments during its freshman season, which the recently released Season 2 addressed in full.)

Here, Greg Walker talks about the decision to delay the Titans' formation for the duration of Season 1.

Look, you know they're going to be a team and you know they're going to fight together, that's an expected part of the journey. To me, we just stumbled on this feeling very early on that got us excited, which was it was more interesting watching them trying to form a team and being pulled apart than watching them actually be a team and fight together. It's like the metaphor of family: It's the tests you face as a family that are more interesting than your Thanksgiving dinner where you're all assembled. I think that we keep on looking at Titans as a model of family, of what you expect them to be together, they face crises that pull them apart, and I want to continue to play with that.

Comic book TV shows and movies are always invested in delivering origin stories, so it makes absolute sense that Titans would take this long-form approach. Especially if DC Universe has expressed interest in keeping the streaming original going for as long as possible. Here's hoping!

Titans Season 1 is now complete and available to stream in full on DC Universe, with Season 2 set to debut at some point in 2019, assuming everything goes to plan.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.