Titans Does the Impossible: It Makes Hawk and Dove Cool

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There’s no reason Titans should be as good as it is yet it continues to be one of the best superhero shows on television.

The tragedy of that, of course, is that so few people have access to it. The downside to having a subscription streaming service is only a select few get to appreciate the quality of the content. That’s a damn shame because Titans continues to raise the bar on what it means to be a superhero in the modern era.

The closest equivalent is Netflix’s Daredevil. Both are essentially deep, adult looks at what it takes to put on a mask and fight people that are generally considered bad. That can sometimes be a grey area though.

Last night’s episode blurred that line just a bit more. In a masterful move it not only fleshed out Hank and Dawn aka Hawk and Dove but gave them a truly moving backstory. Let’s be clear here, up until now Hawk and Dove were basically punchlines in the comics. They are generally seen as one-note C-listers that pop in every so often for entertainment. But Titans is taking a different approach.

The Hawk and Dove in Titans are not only true to the comics but truly conflicted people. The bottle episode deals with each of their own personal tragedies but does so with dignity. From the very beginning it’s clear this isn’t going to be a normal episode. Hank has always had anger issues and while it’s clever to say it’s because he’s the embodiment of war it has to come from somewhere. The reason will shock you.

One cannot help but realize that the truly fantastic direction of the show is due to Warner Bros. finally realizing it had a great staff of comic book writers ready to be put to work. Geoff Johns, who wrote this week’s episode, knows the material like the back of his hand. He’s created some of the best comic book stories of the modern era so letting him take control of a show like Titans allows his talents to really shine.

By the end the story finds itself back on track but at least the show is smart enough to utilize Hawk and Dove. They have been on the sidelines through most of the season but bringing them back into the fold, hopefully permanently, will help to shape the dynamics of the group in ways that haven’t really been explored before.

If you’re not watching Titans by now stop wasting time and sign up for DC Universe Online. It’s worth it and just getting started.