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Comic Book / Titans

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Titans, Together!
Titans was an ongoing comic that lasted from 1999 to 2003, which covered the immediate aftermath of JLA/Titans: The Technis Imperative. With Young Justice, established six months earlier, serving as a Spiritual Successor to the original Teen Titans team, Titans served as a more direct one, catching up with five of the original Teen Titans: Dick Grayson, Roy Harper, Donna Troy, Garth, and Wally West. The group decided to reform the team, with each of them choosing another member to augment the team in their absence: Dick chose Starfire, Roy chose Damage, Donna chose Argent, Wally chose Jesse Quick, and Garth chose Cyborg.

The comic eventually ended with Young Justice/Titans: Graduation Day.

In Rebirth, Dick, Roy, Donna, Wally, and Garth (along with other classic Teen Titans) team up again in Titans (Rebirth).

Titans provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • The first Secret Files issue mentioned Supergirl (at the time the Earth-Angel combo of Mae Kent and Linda Danvers) as one of the Titans' allies, with Supergirl even promising Roy she'd check in with the team when she had the time. Nothing came of this.
    • After Dark Angel erased the memory of Donna from everyone in the world, Donna was shocked that new hero Epsilon somehow knew who she was (but then later pretended he didn't know her). This plot point was never followed up since the Epsilon story arc got heavily rewritten thanks to extensive Executive Meddling mentioned by Word of God.
    • It seemed as though Arsenal and Dakota Jamison were slowly hitting things off despite their rocky first meeting, but much like the Epsilon arc this got derailed thanks to the DEOrphans.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Wally is the only character whose relationship with his parents in the Lotus-Eater Machine isn’t relatively positive.
    • Damage has something of an emotional breakdown when he reveals to Roy and Lian that he was sexually abused by his foster dad (alongside physical and emotional abuse).
  • Affectionate Nickname: The Teen Titans ran on it, and the Titans keep the proud tradition going. Particularly on display in an exchange in Issue #1
    Wally: Ooh, short pants tries for a zinger!
    Garth: And twinkle toes is right there to cap it off!
    Donna: Anyone calls me "Wonder Chick" and they're in for it. You hear me, Red?
    Roy: Copy that, Wonder Babe.
    • Kori later comments that she doesn’t “mind the old nicknames as much as [she] should.”
    • Averted with “gill-head,” which Roy thinks is this and Garth sees as Fantastic Slurs
  • Alien Invasion: Inverted: The Titans and the Tamaranians turn out to be invading the Gordanian home planet.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Jesse Quick very quickly develops an obvious crush on Nightwing, as he'd been especially welcoming and supportive of her on the team. In contrast, Dick was still hung-up on Kori and seemed to view Jesse as his best friend's sister than an actual romantic option (not that it didn't stop others commenting on it).
  • Ambadassador: Garth, particularly during the Tamaranian war.
  • Amicable Exes: If a bit awkward: Kory and Dick, Roy and Donna, Donna and Kyle
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Dakota Jamison is a Sioux woman who thinks Arsenal's tattoo is disrespectful, but his answer leaves Dakota speechless.
    Dakota: You even know what those markings mean to actual Native Americans?
    Arsenal: Yeah, they mean I'm an officiated member of the Navajo Tachini clan.
  • Back from the Dead: Dark Angel somehow returns to bedevil and torment Donna Troy despite the fact that Donna seemingly killed her in Wonder Woman (1987), with the only possible explanation that Dark Angel was simply too powerful to stay dead.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Frequently. Special credit goes to Starfire and Nightwing, who backed into each other but kept fighting quite effectively together.
  • Badass Boast: Roy gets one while fighting Deathstroke.
    Roy: I can use anything as a weapon.
  • Bed Trick: Played with. Argent eventually discovered the Epsilon she'd been getting close to and was trying to date was actually being controlled by one of the DEOrphans and was enraged learning she was tricked into dating an adolescent boy.
  • Being Good Sucks: When Titans business brings the team down on her family, Toni nearly says this word for word.
    Toni: It's not fair! Why do we always have to be the good guys?! Why can't we just sometimes let things go?!
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Donna has incidents of explosive anger when everyone takes her for granted and acts like she doesn't have her own emotional baggage.
  • Bilingual Bonus: NFFNSNC, Goth’s chant, stands for “Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo.” In English, “I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care.”
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Siren has these
  • Bomb Disposal: The H.I.V.E. releases a bomb to get rid of all the superheroes lured to Zandia. Nightwing tries to disable it in free fall, but Cyborg pushes him to safety and tries himself. He ultimately wraps the bomb with his artificial body and absorbs the force of the blast.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Rodman
  • Broken Ace: Dick heads down this road, literally working himself sick as a policeman, senior Titan, and Blüdhaven's main vigilante.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: As with every iteration of the Titans
  • Casual Kink: Roy responds to Donna sarcastically saying that he’s abused by saying, "only in my dreams, Wonder-Babe. Only in my dreams."
  • Cast Herd: The many characters practically require it.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Roy, after he seemingly abandons his team to get Cheshire to a hospital, returns just in time to stop Vandal Savage from executing Donna
  • The Chains of Commanding: Dick feels the stress from this most of the time, but Garth briefly took up the leadership role for the mission to rescue Omen. Garth feels the responsibility, but mainly the exasperating nature of his teammates.
    Garth: How does Grayson stand it?!
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Donna immediately announces that they should dance when Jesse asks about her backstory.
  • Circles of Hell: Dis is “just outside the sixth circle.”
  • Compelling Voice: Siren. See Mind-Control Music
  • The Confidant: Donna is seen as this, finally coming to a head when Garth, Dick, and Kory all come to her at the same time when she was already dealing with her own baggage.
  • Cowboys and Indians: When everyone was trapped in the Gargoyle’s Lotus-Eater Machine, Roy plays this with his father, who asks why he always wants to be the Indian.
  • Creepy Child:
    • The DEOrphans are a subdued example, as a bunch of random superpowered kids who essentially broke into Titans Tower and forced the team to take them in. One of them possessed Epsilon in order for the new hero to vouch for the others staying with the Titans, and kept on possessing him to the point of trying to become Argent's boyfriend.
    • Jokerized Lian Harper is exactly as horrifying as you'd think it would be. It doesn't help with the implication that she was still under some of the venom's effects when she stole a toy from Cerdian. Thankfully this plot point was dropped.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Roy and Lian find out that Damage was sexually abused by his foster dad during his childhood. The two of them help Grant start to finally verbalize the pain he's been in by utilizing the Navajo myths Roy was taught by Brave Bow, which he then taught to Lian.
  • Dead Drop: Roy leaves a picture of Lian with a note to Cheshire on it at a café table face down. One panel later, Cheshire picks it up.
  • Deliberate Monochrome: Goth’s movies. See Splash of Color
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Goth, although everyone at first believes he's simply a really committed actor wearing stage make-up even when he's not working.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Throughout issue #6, the scenes with Chanda and Lian are punctuated by a shot of lightning striking outside the tower, usually right after a Wham Line or Wham Shot
  • Dysfunction Junction: In the Survival arc, the senior five’s team-building camping trip takes a sharp right into this. They have to confront and discuss all of their issues with themselves and each other in order to escape, deliberately trying to resolve instead of simply smoothing over all of the conflicts resulting from everyone on the team having literal decades of continuity and baggage.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Lian Harper’s dialogue falls into this predictably enough for Garth to imitate her pronunciation of “Howowgwam.” Though she later drops this.
  • Everybody Lives: Technis Imperative would be the last time the Titans were at the center of a big storyline where none of them died.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Roy Harper is very fond of this.
  • Eye Beams: Garth uses magic-powered eye beams to break Lilith out of her prison.
  • Fake Relationship: Dick offers to be Jesse's date to "give [her] mom one less thing to nag [her] about."
  • Family of Choice: Argent specifically calls the Titans this after severing her connections to her family, and it's frequently mentioned offhand by everyone.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Garth sees “gill-head” as one of these. Roy thought it was an Affectionate Nickname and was horrified by this realization.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Wally’s father in flashback, to the extreme of Abusive Parents
  • Feud Episode: The Survival Arc
  • Flanderization: Donna fears that thanks to being restored via Wally’s memories of her, she has become this for her nice traits.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: The size of the team makes every character interacting with every other difficult. It’s occasionally discussed.
  • Gaslighting: Dark Angel wipes Donna from everyone's memory and records in hopes of driving her insane. She almost succeeds before the Kingdom Titans show up
  • Gender-Separated Ensemble Episode: Goth’s introduction arc begins with the party splitting on a night off: Kori, Donna, Toni, and Jesse go on a Girls Night Out, while Dick, Roy, Wally, Grant, and Vic stay in to watch horror movies. It doesn’t stay gender separated for long due to Plot Parallel
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: In the Gargoyle’s Lotus-Eater Machine, several of these show the real world trying to leak through.
    • Dick has a fixation with Gotham, and when his parents ask him what they ask of him, he rattles off his oath to Batman. Their blank stares lead him back on-script.
    • Donna thinks that she was just in man’s world, but her girlfriends quickly talk her out of it.
    • Roy recognizes the vision for what it is thanks to this, particularly the vision’s failure to come up with an explanation for his Missing Mom.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Red Panzer was considering telling the truth and rejecting his gang with Donna's support, but was teleported away before he could answer.
  • Hell Seeker: Rodman completely buys into Goth’s idea of Dis (an area of Hell) as a great place that he desperately wants to go to.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: The Trial of Cheshire cements that the titular character is this, as Jade's forced to look back on every horrible thing she's done and realizes she's no one to blame but herself.
  • Honorary Uncle: Lian refers to all of the Titans as "Aunt" or "Uncle"
  • If I Do Not Return: When he stays behind, Garth asks Starfire to do this for his wife, Dolphin. Siren sees this, and this is possibly why she helped him escape
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: Donna says that the girls are out to talk and learn about each other as teammates, while Toni says it’s to dance. When Jesse asks about Donna’s backstory, Donna immediately grabs her friends’ arms and insists that it’s time to dance.
  • Improvised Weapon: Roy runs on this trope. In particular, he has to give up his weapons to see Cheshire in custody, only for Deathstroke to show up.
    Roy: See, the thing about me is, I can use anything as a weapon. So the more you blast stuff apart, the more weapons you give me.
  • Infernal Paradise: Downplayed with Dis: its residents think that it's no better or worse than the regular world but with more apathy (and thus less pain).
  • Interclass Friendship: Many of the characters are rich, penniless, or in some fluctuating state between them thanks to shifting guardianship. In particular, Roy is the most financially unstable of the original 5, and makes that fact glaringly obvious throughout the teams reformation.
  • Internalized Categorism: Red Panzer is mixed race, and his father killed his mother for being "racially inferior."
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Raven pops up in a mirror with her soul self to tell Donna and Roy that the fate of heaven, earth, and the whole world were at stake. Donna and Roy were in the process of undressing. (Donna even said there would probably be some emergency as soon as they had a chance)
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Garth, in the Sea-gue arc.
  • Ironic Fear: Zig-Zagged. When the members of the seaside town all came down with extreme hydrophobia, Garth commented that he couldn't be afraid of water, since it would be like surface dwellers being afraid of air. However, he then shares that he used to be afraid of fish.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: As Roy is walking away, the others accuse him of being noncommittal, stupid, a junkie, and a racist. Roy only angrily responds to “racist.”
  • Jerkass to One: Nominal sweetheart Lian Harper could not stand the DEOrphans for barging into the lives of the Titans, and was more than happy to finally see them taken back by the D.E.O..
  • Just Friends: Roy and Donna. The possibility of romance is left open and occasionally explored, but generally they agree to be this.
  • Kick the Dog: Donna was able to handle the Titans not remembering who she was, but when she tries to greet Lian, the young girl hides behind Argent with a scared expression on her face. Donna reacts like someone's ripped out her heart and she's forced to leave the tower before she's overcome with despair.
  • Kid from the Future: The Kingdom Titans are this for all of the Titans, though it's played with in that they're from an alternate timeline:
    • Mari'i Grayson/Nightstar: Dick
    • Tula/Aquagirl: Garth
    • Iris West/Kid Flash: Wally
    • Robert/Darkstar: Donna
    • Lian Harper/Red Hood: Roy
    • Red Hood and Darkstar are the only two who had counterparts in the main timeline, although Darkstar's had been dead for a while. Aquagirl is surprised to learn Tempest has a son and not a daughter. Kid Flash's counterpart wouldn't be born for a couple of years, while Nightwing and Starfire haven't had any children. Red Hood's the only one who gets to meet her counterpart. Roy is visibly unnerved when he sees Lian and Red Hood together and sees the resemblance in the older girl.
  • Kid Has a Point: Lian was distrustful of the DEOrphans from the moment they barged into the tower and forced the Titans to look after them. While this was partly jealousy at them stealing the attention of the adults, Lian repeatedly stated there was something she didn't like about them. Lian's intuition turned out to be right, as the Orphans were controlling Epsilon via one of them possessing his body, and using him to speak up in their defense while he tried to date Argent at the same time.
  • Kids Play Matchmaker: Lian Harper is a Shipper on Deck for her single father, Roy Harper, and Donna Troy. She often asks leading questions of both of them, inciting them to compliment each other or admit their feelings.
  • Killing for a Tissue Sample: Vandal Savage kills Addie Kane to use her blood, which serves as an Immortality Inducer which, unlike Slade's, could be used universally.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Roy, to Donna. Lian comments along these lines:
    Lian: Daddy has lots of girlfriends, but he says you're "special."
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Dark Angel makes members of every universe forget Donna, one by one, in order to drive her insane.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Garth, to Lian. Considering later developments, the swapped word is implied to be “racist.”
    Garth: “Garth,” Lian. Not “Gill-head.” Your daddy just calls me that because he’s a—um, because I live underwater.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: All throughout the DEOrphans arc, Lian surprisingly couldn't stand them and repeatedly told her dad she didn't like them being in Titans Tower. Lian even once blew up at them stating she'd been in the Tower long before any of them were. Considering the DEOrphans were largely disliked by both the fandom and the creative team, Lian's dislike was obviously meant to mirror those of the readers.
  • Leader Wannabe: Roy, briefly, when Garth takes command. He doesn't do much besides objecting when no one thinks of him as a prospective leader.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Wally and Jesse, due to both being speedsters who have an already established working relationship as part of the Flash Family, end up coming off as this here.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The Gargoyle traps Garth, Roy, Dick, Donna, and Wally in a vision where they’re all still children, before their parents died and all the major trauma and superheroics started. Roy was the most successful at recognizing it.
  • Love Cannot Overcome: Roy has this realization about Cheshire after she's put on trial for destroying Qurac. After the two fight when Jade tries to escape prison, and Lian saw the whole thing, Roy comes to understand whatever love either of them has for Jade it's not strong enough to counter the myriad of Jade's fucked up emotional and mental problems.
  • The Men First: When Garth is team leader, he and Starfire are the last ones in the castle, and Lilith can only take one. Garth tells Starfire to go because it's his job as leader.
  • Mercy Kill: Goth’s reason for dragging his teenage fans to Dis.
    • Starfire killed Adeline Kane, the dying HIVE mistress, while everyone else was stuck in a Mexican Standoff with Deathstroke, Tartarus, and HIVE. She justifies her actions by pointing out that Adeline was in agony while everyone was arguing about using her for their own benefits.
  • Mind-Control Music: Siren's song can hypnotize. She uses it to give the villagers hydrophobia.
  • Missing Mom: Roy has one of these. He notes that he didn’t even have a story or lie about her. It’s how he immediately recognized the Gargoyle’s plot for what it was.
  • Missing Reflection: Goth does not show up in pictures.
  • Motor Mouth: Jesse Quick and Wally West use "speedspeak" to talk to each other. Nobody else can decipher what they're saying without recording it and slowing it down.
  • Mundane Afterlife: Goth sees Dis as a place just like the regular world, except that its residents are unable to feel how terrible it is.
  • My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad: Lian, although she uses it less with schoolyard competition and more against villains.
  • Nice Guy: Donna worries that she’s become the two-dimensional variety after being reconstructed from Wally’s memories of her.
  • No-Sell: The Gargoyle's Lotus-Eater Machine didn't work on Arsenal, because when the Gargoyle tried to fill the gap left by Roy's mother he failed because she's essentially a nonentity in the story of Roy's life. As such, the Gargoyle couldn't convince Roy that this was real because he could only work with what was already there.
  • Not Now, We're Too Busy Crying Over You: The group was in the process of grieving Garth when he popped up right behind them.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: See Bilingual Bonus
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Our mermaid is a green-skinned, black-eyed siren who's a vodou spirit and can shift easily between having legs and having fins
  • Panicky Expectant Father: Garth mentions this during the Siren arc before the birth of Cerdian.
  • Parental Substitute: Roy takes on a father-like role for Damage after he rejoins the Titans, having learned from Green Arrow on what not to do as a mentor.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Roy is Lian's single father and dates Donna.
    • Libby, mother of Jesse Quick, has Paul, her fiance. Jesse doesn't like him.
  • Pent-Up Power Peril: Damage's power is prone to this, particularly during the camping trip with Roy and Lian, when he deals with repressed emotions and nearly explodes. (Literally).
  • Place Worse Than Death: Upon arrival in Dis, Jesse adds to the others’ banter about having multiple hells by adding Newark. When Dick arrives, he sees a giant monster lunging at him and immediately responds, “Oh, great, Blüdhaven.”
  • Plot Parallel: Cyborg spots similarities between the emails calling for their help and the plots of the Goth movies the boys were watching.
  • Police Are Useless: Dick has problems with the mandatory Idiot Ball handling by horror movie police.
    Dick: Wow. That’s bad. She didn’t have to die. The police really didn’t come through on that lead about the demon blood…
    Roy: Does he do this every time he watches a movie?
    Wally: You should hear him analyzing Scooby-Doo. Apparently the groundskeeper didn’t do it...
  • Red Herring: Chanda and Lian disappear right after Chanda discovered that Cheshire was Lian's mother. Chanda didn't kidnap Lian, she simply left and then was sidetracked by her roommate Brenna, who was desperate for a Velocity-10 fix.
  • Remember That You Trust Me: Wally calls Dick out with this, telling him that he’s in danger of becoming too much like Batman.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: After the world has seemingly forgotten who Donna is, she's shocked when newbie hero Epsilon calls out villain Shockwave for not knowing the famous Troia. However, this became an Aborted Arc since it wasn't readdressed after that arc ended.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: After Garth stays behind and everyone starts worrying that No One Could Survive That!, he emerges from the sea.
  • Retail Therapy: Toni's father offers to go on a shopping spree, just like old times, to patch up the problems in their relationship.
  • Revealing Cover Up: Verbal example: Gar angrily calls Nightwing "Dick," to which Nightwing angrily tells him not to be so loud. In context, he could have played it off as an insult. Jesse Quick figures out his real name this way.
  • The Rez: Where Roy grew up. Grant eventually decides to stay here after visiting with Roy.
  • Robo Cam: A brief shot from Cyborg's point of view shows this as he looks at Jesse (conjuring up a list of likes and dislikes among other biographical information) and a syringe of Velocity-10.
  • Sadistic Choice: Vandal Savage invokes this to distract the Titans by shooting Cheshire, forcing Roy to decide whether he will get her to a hospital in time to save her life or help his team. Roy leaves, but either changed his mind or was simply trying to buy time, because he promptly returned
  • Say My Name: Dick screams Kori’s name when she disappears.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Roy, during the horror movie. The others tease him about it.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Tartarus, by Lilith's design
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: An unusually reserved example. Chanda tells Roy to stop talking to his girlfriend, only for Roy to seriously explain that he and Donna are just friends, although they dated before. Chanda tells him that she was joking, and didn’t expect that big a reaction.
  • Ship Tease: During Devin Grayson's run, Jesse Quick and Nightwing got teased, albeit mostly from Jesse's end. Ship Sinking happened very early into Jay Faerber's run, though.
  • Sirens Are Mermaids: Or at least, this Siren is.
  • Slasher Movie: Goth’s movies are incredibly cliche and gory slashers, complete with Too Dumb to Live cheerleaders, Deliberate Monochrome, and useless police.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Discussed between Garth and Starfire
    • Inverted, when Starfire didn't want to go underwater: Garth told her to think of it as like outer space, but warmer.
    • Later, Starfire calls back to this when the group goes to outer space, telling him to think of it as like the deep sea.
  • Splash of Color: In Goth’s movies, he’s the only spot of color in otherwise black-and-white scenes.
  • Spotting the Thread: Several characters nearly do this in the Gargoyle's illusion, but Roy is the one to pursue it to the end and snap everyone out of it.
  • Straw Nihilist: Justin, and, to a lesser extent, his friends, use this as their motivation for villainy.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Red Panzer is a sci-fi powered Nazi.
  • Super-Power Meltdown: Damage literally explodes once he can't contain the power or his emotions.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: The Trope Namer shows up in the second issue and solves almost all of the problems the team had been facing. They are less than excited.
    Dick: I’m worried about the team. We should be learning to work together, but instead we’re letting Superman do everything for us.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: Siren induces extreme hydrophobia in the population of a seaside town.
  • Take Our Word for It: One of Goth's horror films is so gory it's enough to make Wally, Roy, and Garth want to throw up.
  • The Team Benefactor: Garth provides the bulk of the funding.
  • Thong of Shielding: Jesse Quick's leotard is often drawn as this in the series, moreso than was typical for her; as it would change between panel it just seemed that she kept getting a wedgie while running. The fanservicey nature of this was lampshaded when Roy remarks how much he appreciates that, when she got a new costume, she kept the leotard/shorts cut; she doesn't appreciate the compliment.
  • To Hell and Back: The first Goth arc.
  • Trust-Building Blunder: the team building trip to the island becomes an ordeal after the Gargoyle hijacks it and everybody starts fighting worse than before. That said, they do confront their issues and emerge as a stronger team, so they still technically accomplished the goal.
  • Twisted Echo Cut: One of the most frequent scene cuts, focusing on common themes or keywords.
  • The Unfettered: Justin, the teenage Straw Nihilist who joins H.I.V.E., is this. Tonya is a bit more scared.
  • Villain Team-Up: Tartarus.
    Deathstroke: Roll call reads like a who's who of Titan enemies: Gorilla Grodd, Red Panzer, Lady Vic, Siren, Cheshire...
  • War Is Hell: The Tamaranian war.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • After 12 issues of unresolved tension between herself and Nightwing, Starfire finally snaps at him for constantly ignoring her ever since she joined the team.
    • Donna delivers one of these to Starfire, after Starfire tricked all of the Titans into being part of an invading force.
  • With Friends Like These...: The Titans are a family: a big, squabbling, dysfunctional, loving family in a superhero comic universe. Fights ensue.
  • Working with the Ex: Nightwing and Starfire almost got married before the series began. They discuss the possible problems and necessary troubleshooting for working with this trope while en route to HIVE.
    • Downplayed for Roy and Donna
    • Sarah Charles was the last woman to make Victor feel fully human, and she saw him leave and return so many times that she finally had to move on. They have to work together along with Sarah's new boyfriend. It's as awkward as it sounds.