The DC Universe series Titans has established itself as a grim and gritty approach toward superhero action, appealing to an older audience with its unflinching take on violence and sidekicks saying naughty words. But in its embrace of action, the show has also blurred the line that superheroes don’t tend to cross: thou shall not kill. We have not seen any of the characters take any lives, though Dick Grayson has unintentionally refused to save people. Now we get our first hint that the former Robin might have used lethal force during his first stint with the Titans.
According to Hank Hall AKA Hawk, Grayson was more likely to partake in brutal punishment of their foes earlier in their careers — but now it looks like he’s changed. In the latest episode “Ghosts,” while the heroes are close to capturing Doctor Light, Grayson hesitates for a moment and allows him to escape.
“You had a chance,” Hank says to Grayson, who attempts to defend himself by saying Light would have killed innocent people on a nearby bus. “And he’s going to kill how many more now… Maybe you’ve lost the taste for how this works.”
Grayson says “I’ll get another shot.”
“The old Robin would have taken the first one,” Hank replies.
This makes it seem like Robin was a but more lethal during the first era of Titans, and that he didn’t have a problem with killing for the sake of the greater good. The very first episode of the series shows him brutally maiming a group of criminals, especially one who is a child abuser. But over the course of the series, he’s grown to be more measured in his responses to villains.
Part of this is because of his time with the new version of Titans, especially Rachel who he has come to think of as a little sister. While this might make Grayson more respectable as a hero, Hank does have a point.