The second season of DC Universe’s ‘Titans’ continues to deliver, with new characters being introduced, new villains formulating plans, and plenty of classic comic concepts coming to life in live action. Each week we’re examining the many comic book references found in our favorite DC Universe original series, so let’s take a look at the Easter eggs in ‘Titans’ episode 2-02: “Rose.”
During the season premiere the team moved into their new headquarters, and this week it was given a name – Titans Tower. The comics version of the Teen Titans had a variety of bases in their early years, including a Disco owned by Roy Harper, until their most iconic home was introduced during a dream sequence in ‘DC Comics Presents’ #26 (story and art by Marv Wolfman and George Perez). The real Titans Tower was then given a proper introduction when it was mysteriously gifted to the team in 1981’s ‘The New Teen Titans’ #3 (story and art by Marv Wolfman and George Perez). Unlike it’s live action counterpart, Titans Tower is shaped like a T, and is typically located on an island near the coast of New York City. The Titans later learned that Cyborg’s father, Dr. Silas Stone, built it so that his son and his friends would have a place they could call home. The original Titans Tower was destroyed during ‘The Terror of Trigon’ storyline, but numerous replacements have popped up over the years.
A Rose by Any Other Name
As the team pointed out, Dick enjoys taking in strays, and this week he met a new one named Rose Wilson. The daughter of Slade Wilson was first introduced in 1992’s ‘Deathstroke’ #15 (written by Marv Wolfman and penciled by Art Nichols). She’s the product of an affair between Deathstroke and Lillian Worth, who didn’t meet her father until she was a teenager. She first joined the Titans when Roy Harper (more on him later) was leading the group in ‘The New Titans’ #122 (written by Marv Wolfman and penciled by Chris Wozniak). Since then she’s come and gone from the team a few times, and there have been a few betrayals along the way. Will this version of Rose be a traitor as well? Time will tell…
A Speedy Tip
During her stakeout with Kory, Donna mentioned receiving intel from Roy Harper. Roy is a very important character in Titans lore, originally appearing as the Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy in ‘More Fun Comics’ #73. He first fought alongside the Titans in 1966’s ‘Teen Titans’ #4, before later flashbacks revealed he helped start the team. Roy and Donna have also had an on-again off-again romance since 1969’s ‘Teen Titans’ #19 (written by Mike Friedrich and penciled by Gil Kane), which means that the call at the end of the episode may have been a booty call. Did anyone else notice how Donna stepped away from Kory to take the call? What are you hiding Wonder Girl?
This week featured a supervillain called Shimmer, whose moniker makes Donna shudder. If you pay attention to the computer screens in Donna’s stake out van, you’ll see that the showrunners did their homework. Shimmer’s real name, Selinda Flinders, was mentioned and her country of origin was listed as Australia, a nod to her nationality in the comics. Shimmer first appeared along with her brother Mammoth in 1981’s ‘The New Teen Titans’ #3, where she used her element changing powers to plague the team. Don’t worry, her disco inspired look didn’t last forever. When she reappeared in 2004’s ‘Outsiders’ #13 (written by Judd Winnick and penciled by Tom Rainey) she had a goth makeover, proving that her look will always be a little dated.
Blinded by the Light
While Shimmer’s name and outfits might be goofy, the Titans also have Dr. Light to worry about, and if this episode is any indication, he’s no joke. The episode began with a murderous jailbreak and ended with Dr. Light possibly having a hand in the death of Hank’s friend Ellis. The light based villain first appeared in 1962’s ‘Justice League of America’ #12 (written by Gardner Fox and penciled by Mike Sekowsky) where he almost defeated the entire League single-handedly. The villain was born as Arthur Light, and he developed his own supersuit that helped him manipulate light for his murderous crimes. His television counterpart seems to be able to use the powers without the suit, something the comics version eventually learned how to do. Dr. Light first fought the Titans in 1976’s ‘Teen Titans’ #44 (written by Paul Levitz and Bob Rozakis, penciled by Pablo Marcos), and since then he’s become a regular member of their rogues gallery. While his comic counterpart is sometimes written as menacing, and other times as a comedic buffoon, it’s clear that the screen version is enough of a threat to make the otherwise fearless Hank Hall reach out to Dick for help.
While they were waiting for Shimmer to show up, Kory told Donna that she was considering a move to Florida. If you’re curious about how Starfire would do in the Sunshine State, then check out Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti’s ‘Starfire’ ongoing series. The series follows Kory as she makes a new life for herself in Key West, with hijinks ensuing as she tries to assimilate into the Florida community. While Kory’s comment was just a cool reference to the series, maybe a ‘Titans’ spinoff starring Anna Diop in Florida could be fun!
Honorable mention: When a list of the original Titans were mentioned, the name “Aqualad” was dropped. We have a feeling we’ll be hearing more about Aquaman’s young sidekick as season 2 progresses. So stay tuned!