What did you think of “Hawk and Dove”? Last week's episode of Titans packed a ton of DC Universe history into its single hour. We recently went through all the comic-book easter eggs from episode 1, so let’s break things down again for episode 2...
Hank Hall, and his late brother Don, first appeared in Showcase #75 (written by Steve Skeates and Steve Ditko and penciled by Ditko), in which the siblings were granted powers by the Lords of Chaos and Order. Hank was impulsive, quick to anger, and believed in solving problems with his fists, which put him at odds with his pacifist brother. The duo first met the Teen Titans in issue 21 of the team’s first series (written and penciled by Neal Adams, read it here). And after Don’s death during Crisis on Infinite Earths, the mantle of Dove was passed over to…
After the death of Don Hall, the Lords of Chaos and Order gave the powers of Dove to a woman named Dawn Granger. Hank was very reluctant to see someone fill his brother’s shoes, but Dawn was persistent in making her case. Hank eventually relented, and the duo of Hawk and Dove was reborn. Their partnership has been rocky, and at one point an alternate future version of Hank appeared to have killed Dawn. Despite all this, Dawn has remained one of the few people able to get through Hank’s brash nature and they've remained partners to this day. By the way, did any of you notice Dawn’s Superman shirt? Does this mean Kryptonians exist in the world of Titans? Or do they only exist as fiction? Time will tell…
The Nuclear Family
If you thought that the family of assassins activated to find Rachel seemed like they came from another time period, well, they’re supposed to. They’re based on the Nuclear Family, a team of androids who were designed as a throwback to the Leave it to Beaver era. We first met them in 1985's The Outsiders #1 (written by Mike Barr and penciled by Jim Aparo), where they gave the book's titular team of heroes a run for their money. Fun fact: the comic version of the Nuclear had a younger third child and a dog. Currently, it doesn’t seem like the live-action version of the Nuclear Family are androids, but more may be revealed as we continue watching.
One name in Dick’s phone that excited many fans was that of Donna Troy. Her friendship with Dick Grayson dates all the way back to her first appearance in Brave and the Bold #60 (written by Bob Haney and penciled by Nick Cardy, read it here). Donna Troy, as the original Wonder Girl, was Dick’s teammate on the first group of Teen Titans. The Boy Wonder even helped Donna solve the mystery of her forgotten past in the classic “Who is Donna Troy” story (written by Marv Wolfman and penciled by George Perez, read it here).
Bonnie Linseed is another name from Dick Grayson’s phone list. Her date with the Boy Wonder was cut short in Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #1 (written by Kevin Smith and penciled by Ty Templeton) when he had to meet Batman for action. She was one of the most popular girls at Woodrow Roosevelt High School. Poor Dick...
Continuing our look through Dick’s contact list, we come across photojournalist Michael Pearson. We first met Michael in Nightwing volume 3 #19 (written by Kyle Higgins and penciled by Brett Booth). When Dick needed a place to stay after arriving in Chicago, Michael rented his spare room to the Titan and the two became fast friends.
Bridget Clancy is another name in Dick’s contact list. Dick Grayson met her when he rented a room in her building in Nightwing volume 2 #2 (written by Chuck Dixon and penciled by Scott McDaniel, read it here). Although the two shared a mutual attraction for one another, Dick’s busy vigilante life and growing attraction towards Barbara Gordon prevented their relationship from ever moving forward. But Bridget didn't walk away from the relationship empty-handed. Unbeknownst to her, Dick pulled some strings to get her a scholarship to medical school so she could pursue her dreams.
In Titans, Dick seems to keep the phone numbers of lots of his ex-girlfriends... Lori Elton, for example, was Dick Grayson’s girlfriend when he attended Hudson University. The pair had their first date in Detective Comics #450 (written by Bob Rozakis and penciled by Al Milgrom). Though as it usually goes with secret-identity romances, his duties as Robin prevented him from giving Lori his full attention. When a classmate of theirs was murdered, Dick seemed more interested in solving the mystery than grieving for their friend. That was too much for Lori, so she left Dick and began dating David Corby. When Dick publicly exposed David as the villainous Raven (no relation to Rachel Roth), Lori was humiliated and their relationship ended for good.
Lucius Fox is the next name on Dick’s cell phone... Devoting your life to fighting crime doesn’t leave Bruce Wayne with much time to run his business empire. That’s why he hired Lucius Fox, first seen in Batman #307 (written by Len Wein, penciled by John Calnan and Dick Giordano, read it here). Lucius keeps Wayne Enterprises profitable and has even helped improve Dick’s fortune. It seems Dick’s parents left him a small amount of money when they died, and Lucius was able to invest the money so that Dick had a sizeable inheritance as an adult.
After looking through his contacts, Dick eventually settles on calling Alfred Pennyworth. Most of us know Alfred as the resourceful, yet sarcastic butler of Batman. Yet when first introduced in Batman #16 (written by Don Cameron, penciled by Bob Kane), he was more of a comedic character, often getting in the way of Batman and Robin’s adventures with his clumsiness and eagerness to prove his own worth as a detective. Over the years, the character evolved into the stoic lynchpin of the Batman Family. The reality-altering events of Crisis on Infinite Earths changed history so that Alfred’s employment at Wayne Manor predated Dick’s arrival, making him more of a second father to the Boy Wonder. And when Bruce and Dick are at each other’s throats, it’s often Alfred who can mediate between the two.
The rest of Dick’s phone contacts were members of the Titans production team, Hawk, Dove, and of course, Bruce “Batman” Wayne himself!
Sharp eyed viewers may have noticed the Ditko Movers van, named after famed comic artist Steve Ditko. After co-creating Spider-Man and Doctor Strange for Marvel, Ditko joined DC and co-created Hawk and Dove, The Creeper, and Shade the Changing Man!