As far back as the first announcements of Titans as a series that would feature Dick Grayson bringing DC Comics heroes together to form a team, the assumption has been that Dick would be Nightwing sooner rather than later. Once it was revealed that Dick would be pushing 30 on the show, it really began to feel imperative that he ditch the Boy Wonder identity and take up a new identity as Nightwing. Yet the first Season 2 footage showed him back in the Robin suit, and now the full trailer seemingly suggests that Dick could step into the big black boots of Batman.
Would Titans really let Dick skip such a huge step, especially when Bruce Wayne is still in the mix? We'll dive into that possibility, but first, check out the new Titans trailer:
Dick is in full Titans mode for most of the trailer, to the point that he appears to be ignoring Wonder Girl and Dove when they try to convince him that he's making a mistake, seemingly to do with Deathstroke. He's even seen training blindfolded with Beast Boy and then not blindfolded with newcomer Rose Wilson, a.k.a. Ravager. It's not until the final moment of the trailer that Dove can be seen saying "now's the time" to "be Batman."
Considering Dick is only seen in civvies or the Robin suit in all the Season 2 footage so far, it certainly seems like Titans is skipping a step. Could Titans really create a Dick Grayson version of the Dark Knight?
It would certainly separate Titans Dick from Young Justice Dick, and Dick Grayson in animated movies and on the pages of DC Comics became Batman once Bruce was out of the picture. He even had his own Robin in the form of Damian Wayne! There is a precedent for Dick Grayson becoming Batman when the world needs a Batman and Bruce isn't around.
Honestly, I could see it happening in one of two ways. In the first and arguably less likely, it would have to be temporary. Batman is seemingly still active in the Titans world, and Dove's encouragement of Dick feels like it's Titans-related rather than because Gotham needs a Bat.
Wonder Girl and Dove also seem to suggest that a previous attempt at forming a Titans-esque team was ruined by Deathstroke; maybe Dove could come to the conclusion that Batman would be enough to scare off Deathstroke. Dick is probably the person in the superhero community who would stand the best shot of impersonating Bruce's fighting style, and Brenton Thwaites and Iain Glen are close in height. Give him a cape and a cowl, and Titans could have a passable Batman in case of emergency!
In the second scenario of Dick becoming Batman, the transformation would be more metaphorical than literal. Dick has resisted all things Batman from the very beginning of the series, reaching out to Alfred rather than Bruce when he needed something. It's understandable that he wouldn't be Bruce's biggest fan after learning that Bruce had replaced him with a new Robin ASAP and had secretly implanted a tracking device in him years ago.
Maybe the Titans need a mind like Batman's -- cold, analytical, and willing to cross lines to get the job done -- to get ride of a baddie like Deathstroke. Dove could simply mean that they need somebody to think like Batman, and who better than Batman's first sidekick? At this point, I'm leaning toward the Titans needing somebody to think like Batman, and this is what prompts Dick to create the Nightwing persona.
As Nightwing, he can be a leader who stands on his own and uses what Batman taught him, but without actually crossing the lines that Batman does. Maybe Titans will take Dick from Robin to Batman's mindset, and the end result is Nightwing.
I'm actually really interested in seeing some of the Bruce/Dick dynamic in Season 1. We've only gotten Dick's side of the story, and things like the secret tracking chip Bruce had embedded in his arm and the violence both Dick and Jason learned from him do support Dick's drive to get away. Still, in this trailer, Bruce doesn't sound angry or upset, but rather like he's proud of the man Dick became as a result of -- or perhaps in spite of -- how Bruce raised him. Bruce even smiles!
Admittedly, this is Titans and not The Dick Grayson Hour, and the trailer proves that plenty of other superhero action will be going down. Still, I'm probably most invested in the batty branch of the Titans family. At the very least, I hope Dick realizes that he needs to ditch the Boy Wonder identity at his age, especially when there's an actual teenage Robin running around. Is it too soon to hope for an episode that has all three of the Bat-boys plus Alfred trapped in the Batcave for a Breakfast Club-style bonding session?
Based on Donna's costume in the trailer and the poster, I'm guessing that she'll graduate from Wonder Girl to Troia. It looks like Dick, Hawk, Dove, Wonder Girl/Troia, and maybe Aqualad will be the old guard who were present for the first attempt to form a team. Raven, Beast Boy, Jericho, Jason Todd, and perhaps Ravager appear to be the "kids" of the team, while Starfire hails from another planet. I'm not sure where Superboy (and Krypto) fit in. It should be interesting to see how Titans handles such a big team this season.
Will the heroes be split into different missions? Starfire will apparently have an arc with somebody from Tamaran coming to collect her, and I doubt Raven's story from Season 1 is over. Dick appears to be solo when he goes to Wayne Manor. Hawk and Dove tended to have separate stories in Season 1, and Wonder Girl apparently has a history with Aqualad. Will Deathstroke unite them against a common and very big threat, or sow discord? Is he going to kill off one of the current Titans, or did he successfully murder one of the young heroes the first time around? How will he react if he learns that his kids are with the Titans?