Is it just us, or did the latest episode of DC Universe’s Titans leave anyone else feeling…batty? In-fighting threatened to destroy the team, while Dick Grayson couldn’t get his former mentor Bruce Wayne out of his mind. We get it, we’re all a little obsessed with Batman, but something funky was going on with Dick’s brain for sure. With that in mind, let’s take a look at all the Easter eggs we found from our close watch of “Bruce Wayne.”
Bats on the Brain
Dick’s visions of Bruce Wayne fall into an interesting category. They aren’t a reference to any particular storyline, but his complicated bat-insecurities are a defining character trait that Dick has struggled to shed since he first left the Batcave. He’s always felt he can’t measure up to Bruce’s example, and he's worried about the looming shadow of his former guardian -- two things that were masterfully utilized in this episode. If you want to read more about Dick’s complicated relationship with Bruce, New Titans #57 (story and art by Marv Wolfman, George Perez, and Bob McLeod) offers a great example. The story shows Dick opening up to a therapist about his feelings, secret identities be damned. Some genre-savvy readers might suspect the therapist is secretly working for Deathstroke or some other super-villain, but she’s an honest shrink, one who has continued to keep the Bat family’s secrets to this day.
Feeling a little salty towards Mercy? So are we. Not only did she order Conner’s execution, but she locked poor Krypto up in a cage. How could anyone do that to such a good boy? It was easy for Mercy to write Conner off because she was ready to work on the next clone. Could her "Experiment 14" be the comics' Match? In 1996’s Superboy #35 (written by Ron Marz and penciled by Ramon Bernado), a clone of Superboy named Match was created by a morally corrupt organization known as the Agenda. What happens when you make a clone of a clone? Nothing good apparently. Over time, Match’s cells began to deteriorate and his mind became damaged. Eventually he had the appearance and brain capacity of a Bizarro. It seems the Agenda wasn’t very good at making clones. Can Mercy’s supervision help the project succeed?
We first met Slade’s mysterious handler in Titans' season 2 premiere, and now we’ve finally learned more about him. His name is Wintergreen, and he’s a cold-hearted confidant of the man known as Deathstroke. In the comics, his full name is Willian Randolph Wintergreen, and he first appeared alongside Slade in 1980’s New Teen Titans #2 (story and art by Marv Wolfman and George Perez). He first met Slade while the two served in the military, and he later served as Wilson’s right-hand man when he became a mercenary. Their friendship is so intimate that Slade’s ex-wife Adeline once remarked that Wintergreen probably loved Slade more than she ever did. Sadly, Wintergreen lost his life when a mind-controlled Slade beheaded him. Slade mounted Wintergreen’s head on his wall in 2003’s Teen Titans #2 (written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Michael McKone) as a twisted tribute to their friendship.
Did any of you catch Iain Glen’s Bruce Wayne doing the Batusi? We’ve seen lots of Easter eggs this season, but this may be the first one acted out through dance! The Batusi was introduced to the world when Adam West performed it in “Hi Diddle Riddle,” the first episode of the 1966 Batman television series. A dance so iconic demanded an encore performance, and West obliged in “The Pharaoh’s in a Rut.” The Batusi became a dance craze, and has since been seen in cartoons, comic books, and even Pulp Fiction.
The Robin and the Rose
Titans Tower may be a nice play to hang, but sometimes a teenage girl can get bored. Rose Wilson tries to relieve her boredom by sneaking into Jason Todd’s bedroom for an intimate encounter. Although the mood is killed when she finds one of her late brother’s records, Rose’s habit of trying to seduce the Boy Wonder isn’t exclusive to this episode. In 2006’s Teen Titans #35 (written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Tony Daniel), Rose tried to surprise Robin (Tim Drake) in his room. Tim rejected Rose’s drunken advances but not before the team caught them in their precarious positions. Interestingly enough, Rose also had a crush on Dick Grayson, so maybe she just has a thing for guys in domino masks.
Dick Breaks the Gun Rule
If you’re upset that Dick Grayson used a gun this episode, keep in mind that he made the same mistake in the comics. Although the Bat family has a strict “no guns” rule, Dick let it slide during a disastrous gang fight in 1994’s New Titans #114 (written by Marv Wolfman and penciled by Rick Mays). At the time, Dick was going through a rough period, and having a nervous breakdown. A government-sponsored coup had Arsenal replace him as Titans leader; Bruce Wayne chose someone else to replace him as Batman; and Dick’s relationship with Kory fell apart after their wedding was interrupted. Nightwing then grew a breakup beard, wore a questionable jacket, and lost control. Caught in a fight with some low-level street thugs, he threatened to shoot them. The lesson here: Dick Grayson and guns don’t mix in comics or live-action. Also, don't lose your fashion sense in the wake of a breakup.