• Faith & Fandom

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

them.”

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

alternative:

“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-

24.

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

from.

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

plea:

“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

matter.

“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

is.”

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

consequences.

“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

advice;

“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.

Titans, Go!


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