Speaking at New York Comic Con 2018, Geoff Johns has confirmed that Deathstroke will eventually appear on Titans. Given DC has already confirmed it’s working on a second season, that may mean season 2 is inspired by one of the most popular Teen Titans stories of all time.
Warner Bros. is preparing an ambitious slate of TV shows to launch on their DC Universe streaming service, and the first season of Titans will drop later this month. Although first reviews haven’t been positive, the studio seems confident Titans will be a success; they’ve already announced a second season ahead of the premiere.
The Titans panel at NYCC has been an exciting one, with Geoff Johns taking point and giving a sense of just what viewers can expect from the series. In response to a fan question, he’s confirmed that Deathstroke will indeed appear in the show eventually, although he won’t be played by Manu Bennett.
That comment is sure to excite fans of Marv Wolfman’s Tales of the Teen Titans; it strongly suggests DC is planning to adapt one of the most iconic Teen Titans stories of all time for a future season. In 1984, writers Marv Wolfman and George Pérez teamed up on The Judas Contract, a four-issue epic in which the heroes learned that one of their newest recruits was secretly in a relationship with Deathstroke. The story is generally viewed as the pinnacle of Wolfman and Pérez’s run, and it established Deathstroke’s backstory when Dick Grayson was forced to team up with the villain’s ex-wife. This makes sense of an earlier comment made by Johns that Wolfman would be “happy” with the second season.
It’s interesting that Johns specified that Bennett would not be playing the role. The actor played Deathstroke in Arrow, and was tremendously popular; however, it’s generally believed that Titans isn’t part of the Arrowverse, and the decision to hire another actor would carefully differentiate between the two different universes. Meanwhile, the decision to use Deathstroke also raises difficult questions for the future of Joe Manganiello’s big-screen version. Warner Bros. has traditionally been wary of over-exposing characters by using them on two mediums at once, which was why Harley Quinn and the Suicide Squad were written out of Arrow. There have been rumors that Warner Bros. has pushed back their plans for the Legion of Doom, and this may indicate there is some truth in those reports.
While it’s exciting to hear that Deathstroke will crop up in Titans, it’s clear this is part of DC’s longer-term plan for the show. Hopefully, the first season will succeed in setting the scene, and Titans will then go on to greatness.
Titans season 1 premieres on DC Universe on October 12.