Did everyone catch the latest episode of Titans, ? Every week, we’re found in each episode. Let’s take a look at how “Origins” went from panel to screen!
RACHEL’S RELIGIOUS UPBRINGING
In this episode we learned that Rachel spent the earliest days of her life at St. Paul’s Church. The comics version of Raven also grew up in a religious environment, but it wasn’t St. Paul’s. Raven and her mother Arella lived with the Priests of Azarath in another dimension. In The New Teen Titans #6 (written by Marv Wolfman and penciled by George Perez, ), Arella tells the Titans about how the people of Azarath helped raise Raven and hone her abilities. While Azarath and St. Paul’s appear worlds apart (no pun intended), the nuns seem to be hiding something. Perhaps there is more going on than meets the eye?
RAVEN UNITING THE TEAM
In “Origins”, we finally see the four main Titans come together. What is the common thread at Scooter’s Roller Palace—Raven! Dick is there looking for Raven, Kory is there protecting her, while she and Gar are enjoying a pinball game. It’s a subtle nod to the origin story in The New Teen Titans #1 (written by Wolfman and penciled by George Perez, ) where Raven is the one who brings the team together.
During her car ride with Kory, Rachel begins to display more control over her empathic ability. In previous episodes, we saw little pieces of it, but now Rachel has a better understanding of what it is. In the comics, this power is both a blessing and a curse for Raven. She can use it to ease the pain of others, but in so doing she takes on their pain as her own. One of the earliest examples can be found in The New Teen Titans #6 (pictured above, written and penciled by -- you guessed it -- Wolfman and Perez, ); in which Raven helps to heal a leper even though the pain tears her apart. If Rachel is anything like her comic counterpart, her big heart is going to open her up to a world of pain.
GAR LOGAN’S STYLISH OUTFIT
You may have noticed that Gar Logan wore significantly more clothes in episode 3 than he did in episode 1. Scooter’s Roller Palace has a strict dress code, with nudity frowned upon! Sharp-eyed DC readers may have noticed Gar’s red-and-white attire is very similar to the uniform he wore in comics from 1965-2003. He first donned the threads in Doom Patrol #100 (written by Arnold Drake and penciled by Bruno Premiani, ). The outfit is actually a Doom Patrol uniform, similar to what both Elasti-Girl and Negative Man once wore. After the presumed death of his teammates, Gar continued wearing the costume as a tribute to his fallen family.
BRUCE WAYNE’S GUARDIANSHIP OF DICK GRAYSON
A flashback scene in “Origins” shows a social worker place a young (and reluctant) Dick Grayson into Bruce Wayne’s care. In the comics, the history of Bruce Wayne’s guardianship of Dick Grayson wasn’t as traditional. When the two first meet in Detective Comics #38 (written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane with Jerry Robinson), Dick just kind of wanders off from the circus with Batman. He isn’t identified as Bruce Wayne’s ward until Detective Comics #41 (written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane with Jerry Robinson). A flashback in Batman #213 (written by E. Nelson Bridwell and penciled by Ross Andru) reveals that Bruce did attempt to adopt young Dick, but that the courts were weary because of his bachelorhood, so they made Grayson his ward instead. Years later, after Dick was already an adult, Bruce decided to make things official by legally adopting his former ward at the end of Gotham Knights #17 (written by Devin Grayson and penciled by Roger Robinson).
NOT AN ACCIDENT
The flashback into Dick’s past also shows his social worker informing him that the death of his parents may not have been an accident. In Detective Comics #38, Dick learned this information by eavesdropping on a protection racket strong-arming the circus. As Robin, Dick’s first case with Batman involved bringing down the protection racket and avenging the murder of his parents. If the note Bruce gave Dick at the end of "Origins" is any indication, it seems Titans is going in a similar direction.
During Dick’s flashbacks, we get a deeper look into his childhood home, Wayne Manor. The interior of Bruce Wayne’s home was first shown in Batman’s debut story (Detective Comics #27, written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane, ). Early comics identified it as a mansion, an apartment, and even “a house in the suburbs." Detective Comics #30 (pictured above; written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Bob Kane with Sheldon Moldoff, ) gave it the name “Wayne Mansion”, which eventually evolved into the more recognizable “Wayne Manor” years later.
THOMAS AND MARTHA WAYNE
While exploring Wayne Manor, young Dick passes a portrait of Bruce Wayne’s deceased parents. We first met them when Batman’s origin was revealed in Detective Comics #33 (written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Bob Kane with Sheldon Moldoff, ). Young Bruce Wayne’s life was shattered when he watched a gunman fatally wound his parents. Thomas Wayne was named in that story, but his wife (and Batman’s mom) wasn’t named Martha until Batman #47 (written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane with Charles Paris). Detective Comics #235 (written by Bill Finger and penciled by Sheldon Moldoff) gave us more insight into Batman’s father when it revealed that Thomas Wayne was a physician.
What about Rachel’s father, and the mysterious language Kory was speaking? We’ll get more into those elements of the show as future episodes of Titans shed light on them. Check back here every Monday for more on each week's episode.
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