Titans: No One To Blame
First off, this chapter is on season 1 of DC Universe’s, Titans. If
you haven’t watched it, please be aware there is a chunky
amount of spoilers ahead for season 1. You’ve been warned.
The ultra-brutal “mature” incarnation of the Teen Titans was
the anchor of DC Universe’s initial advertising. The first images
of the series that hit the internet were met with roaring
disapproval and rejection. Then, when the series finally
premiered, people were hesitantly engaging, then by the end
of the first season, most naysayers were silenced at how well
the series was executed. Yes, it was brutal, violent, and a bit
over the top, but it was also one of the best made DC products
in a long time. Starfire’s outfit is still lame, but here’s hoping
that changes by the end of season 2.
The story centers around an adult Dick Grayson that has
abandoned not only Gotham, but also his mantle as Robin. We
find Dick doing police work far from home and attempting to
distance himself from Batman and all that he represents. He
was also failing at this separation, because in his time of need,
he went right back to donning the cape and mask. He hates the
experience, though. He blames the mask for his brutality and
lack of self-control. He blames the mantle for doing the things
he is ashamed of. I know those outfits are high tech and
extremely well made, but outside of the legendary Batman
“Suit of Sorrow,” these costumes have never affected
character. Dick Grayson thought that by not putting the suit
on, he would be able to control the brutality inside himself.
Sadly, that was just an excuse.
In Mark 7, Jesus makes it clear that outside sources aren’t
what corrupt us, but rather, what’s already inside of us.
“14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen
to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing
outside a person can defile them by going into them.
Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles
20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what
defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s
heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft,
murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness,
envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils
come from inside and defile a person.”
Jesus makes it clear that it’s our own sinful hearts and desires
within us that corrupt us. This becomes dangerous when we
won’t acknowledge the sin, darkness, or danger within us.
When we scapegoat it onto others or blame our
circumstances, we ignore the problem. The longer we ignore
the problem, the darker and more dangerous it gets. We also
see this in the destructive character of Jason Todd. I love me
some Red Hood, but this Jason is brutal even by Red Hood
standards. However, Jason knows how destructive his actions
are, and he isn’t blaming anyone else. He is embracing it.
Sometimes, embracing your darkness and bad choices is just as
destructive as ignoring them.
Dick goes on to try to warn Jason of where his life is heading;
“You want my advice, don’t be Robin, all those years
Bruce was helping me? He was turning me into a
weapon. His weapon. He may have you convinced that
you can get everything you ever wanted, but you can’t
unlearn what he teaches you, and you can’t control it.
Believe me, the price is too high.” - Dick Grayson
Even in his confrontation of Jason, Dick was blaming others. He
blamed Batman, his teaching, and training. He never wanted to
deal with the fact that maybe, there was just some darkness
inside himself with which he needed to deal. The guilt, anger,
bitterness, and rage were already present without the mask or
batman fostering those qualities in him.
The apostle John shows us in no certain terms that we can’t
deny what’s broken inside ourselves.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and
the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful
and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all
unrighteousness.” - 1 John 1:8-9.
He shows us that we can’t ignore what’s dark within ourselves,
but that it’s when we are honest and are ready to deal with it
that we find healing, cleansing, and peace.
Eventually, Dick finds himself at the mercy of “The
Organization.” He is pumped full of drugs that bring him face
to face with the problems he was running from. He has to
stand broken before a younger rage filled version of himself
that has no mercy for Dick’s delusions.
“Robin was the answer! Robin was going to fix
everything! But you ruined it! You blamed Zucco, you
blamed Bruce, no, it was you! You made him into a
monster. It was your fault, you did this to us! It was you!
You did this to me! I hate you! It was your fault!”
Trust me, it’s a lot better to deal with your own darkness than
have a younger version of you beat you senseless with a bo
staff while screaming at you. Not that I have personal
experience in this area, but it looked convincing in the show. In
the book of Psalms, David points out a far healthier
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know
my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in
me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” - Psalm 139:23-
David asks God to search him out, to see what’s broken and
damaged. He wants God to lead him to a place of fruitful life
rather than letting the darkness inside him lead him down the
wrong path. Something Dick could have greatly benefited
In the final episode of the season, we see Dick in a delusional
world of Trigon’s creation. This world is meant to test him, and
there, his true character is revealed. Trigon leads him through
a series of situations that almost always gave Dick a
crossroads. Trigon constantly gave him the chance to choose
to walk away, to forgive, to be content where he was, and to
let the past go. Sadly, the further Dick went on, the darker
things got. He was given blatantly clear chances to turn
around. In one of his final chances to choose, Starfire made a
“Look where that led you. A life you care about. A wife, a
kid. You chose the better life. Go back to that.”
She directly told him to turn around, but he refused. He ended
up in a place where all his bitterness, rage, and frustration
erupted into a boiling point as he chose to kill Batman.
“This is what you’ve always wanted. You wanted me to
give in to the darkness, to become you. You win.”
Once he had finally gone that far, Trigon had full control over
him, although Trigon rightfully claimed no responsibility in the
“This was not my doing. This was his. I offered your
friend a path that wound down many roads, but
ultimately, he chose his own way. To embrace his
darkness rather than deny its existence. This was his
struggle. He tried to flee from who he is, from what he
Even though Trigon is a malicious demon, he’s right. Dick had
plenty of ways out, just like we do when it comes to our own
darkness and temptation.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is
common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let
you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when
you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that
you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Dick refused to take the ways out he was given, and the more
he pursued the dark path, the more control it had over his life.
Sin inside of us escalates. It starts out as something small and
continues to gain momentum until it wrecks our hearts and
lives. The season ended with a cliff hanger of Dick under
Trigon’s possession, but I'm sure an episode or two into season
2, that will be resolved. Unfortunately for us, our lives rarely
function so predictably scripted. If we keep making horrible
choices, a clever plot twist isn’t likely to save us from our
“But each person is tempted when they are dragged
away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after
desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when
it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” - James 1:14-15.
Dick may have failed his trial, but he wasn’t blinded to the
situation. He knew that he had choices to make. Before
everything fell apart, Donna Troy gave him some serious life
“When Diana took me in, she showed me how to fill that
hole that fire left in my life with love, and with family.
That's just what the amazons do. They have traditions of
empowerment and self-discovery. Bruce filled that hole
in your life the only way he knew how, with rage and
violence. Wonder Woman was born to protect the
innocent, and Batman was created to punish the guilty.
We’re not them, neither one of us. I didn’t quit being
wonder girl, I just realized I could do more good being
Donna Troy. Do you understand? You’ll never be a
civilian Dick. You lost that chance the day you became
Robin. And you can’t be Robin anymore because for all
the good he did, ultimately, he was an echo chamber for
Bruce’s pain, and for yours. You wanna go out there and
kick bad guy butt*, you wanna make sure there’s not a
chance, not a single chance even one of them gets
away? Do it. Don’t be Batman or Robin. Be something
else. Be someone else.”
Every day of our life, we have the opportunity to choose who
we will be. We get the choice to move more towards life, or
more towards death. We can’t move towards life if we are still
holding on to what’s dead in our past, and what is dying in us
currently. Dick had an opportunity time and time again to
change his trajectory, but thankfully it won’t be Dick’s last
chance. Today won’t be your last chance either. We still need
to take the path we are heading in very seriously though.
Moses expresses this to the nation of Israel, and I want to
express it to you;
“See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death
and destruction. For I command you today to love the
Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep
his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and
increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the
land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns
away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn
away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I
declare to you this day that you will certainly be
destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are
crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call
the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that
I have set before you life and death, blessings and
curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children
may live, and that you may love the Lord your God,
listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is
your life, and he will give you many years in the land he
swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob.” - Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Own what’s dark inside you. Don’t run from it. Don’t blame it
on others. Don’t let what you are hiding drag you down to the
point you lose yourself. When you are given the opportunity,
choose the path that leads you to life and light. Whatever is
broken, dark, or dying inside you, God wants to heal, forgive,
and guide you from it.