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Teen Titans: Season Three Episode Guide

 Episode 27: Deception

 “This isn’t a good time, guys. We got a theory of mayhem test tomorrow and I’m totally gonna bomb. “
– Cyborg

Originally aired: August 28, 2004
Written by Rob Hoegee
Directed by Michael Chang

School’s back in session at the HIVE academy, and Gizmo, Jinx and Mammoth are up to something. To find out what, the Titans send Cyborg on a daring undercover mission to infiltrate the academy and blend in as one of their own. Using a hologram device, Cyborg poses as “Stone” – a teenager who can turn his skin to solid rock. Cyborg infiltrates the school and earns the trust of his classmates – and the interest of the new headmaster – Brother Blood! Can Cyborg discover the HIVE’s secrets before Brother Blood discovers his true identity?

Lauren Tom as Jinx and Gizmo
Kevin Michael Richardson as Mammoth
John DiMaggio as Brother Blood

  • Bumblebee makes her first appearance in this episode in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo; She’s seen in the lunch room
  • Bumbelee is the only costumed student from the comic book series; The rest of the students were created for the animated series
  • Mammoth and Jinx last appeared in season one’s FINAL EXAM
  • An image of the HIVE Mistress [from FINAL EXAM] appears on Stone’s milk carton, indicating she is missing; She is later in the crowd scene with Slade’s butler Wintergreen in THE LOST EPISODE
  • The Cyborg robot has three read-outs on the control: BOOYAH, ATTACK and OPTIONS
  • John DiMaggio supplied the voice for Atlas’ mechanic, Spike, in second season’s ONLY HUMAN
  • When all the students laugh at Cyborg when he is carrying Jinx’s books with a dress on, one of the laughing faces is series character designer Derrick Wyatt [he’s the guy with brown hair and glasses]

Story Editor/Producer David Slack on developing Brother Blood and Season Three: ” I think after two seasons of dark stuff with Slade, we specifically wanted to go lighter. Sam [Register] asked us to create a second branch of Titans called Titans East. Then there’s Brother Blood. Obviously, the Brother Blood in conceived in the comics is a LOT scarier than out Brother Blood. There were a lot of challenges that came with that. Brother Blood went through a lot of permutations. At one point we were writing him like a coach, because that was someone Cyborg could respond to.”

“In the end, we tried to make him the anti-Slade. Where Slade hides in the shadows, Brother Blood loves the spotlight. Slade always has some ulterior motive, Brother Blood will tell you what he’s planning right away. So there’s some contrast there. We wanted it to be a lighter, more fun, more James Bond, science-fictiony kind or arc. ”

“So after developing Brother Blood, it seemed to make sense to focus on Cyborg. Robin and Beast Boy seemed well-served with the first two season arcs. And we were already talking about Raven for season four. And Starfire always had the best one-off episodes like BETROTHED, SISTERS and HOW LONG IS FOREVER. We also thought just by centering it on Cyborg, just by the nature of his character, it would have a lighter quality to it.”

“[…] We weren’t even sure we’d get to use that name. I think what was important that we kept was that he was the leader of a cult. We kept that role and drew inspiration from cult leaders we read about. They seem to be very charming people. From that, we gave him this sort of ‘power of temptation’ – this ability to control people’s perceptions. And the power of persuasion. We didn’t get too deep into the character from the comics, because so much of it was so outside of what we’d be able to do. He’s definitely one where we’ve strayed more.”

Story Editor/Producer David Slack on DECEPTION: ” I think also, by using Cyborg in that story rather than Starfire, we got to do something else. It became a way of sending Cyborg back in time. Cyborg had a pretty vibrant and interesting life in high school. But then something happened to him and he didn’t get to finish that life. It was an interesting opportunity to get more into Cyborg. When the animation came back for that one, I was really amazed at how different he looked without the components. The effect was a lot more than glasses on Clark Kent; It was profound. And it was a way to do a time travel episode without doing a time travel episode. Cyborg essentially goes back to a time before his accident. He goes back to high school – where he’s able to have friends and be an athlete. That arc was an opportunity to resolve some of the things that bother him about who he is.”

Story Editor/Writer Rob Hoegee on DECEPTION: ” I think we went into this episode not knowing how much we were establishing for season three. That was sort of a happy accident. As the episode progressed, we found ways to introduce elements that would pay off later. For that episode, we wanted to do something set in school. We thought using the Hive Academy was the perfect way to do that. And doing an undercover episode would be a lot of fun.”

“Originally, it was intended to be both Starfire and Cyborg going undercover. It actually began a lot lighter. But as a character study, we thought it worked with Cyborg a lot better. The fish-out-of-water aspect with Starfire didn’t seem as interesting as the Cyborg elements. So once we used Cyborg, it made sense that Brother Blood would be the headmaster. And that would be a good way to set up his agenda for the season. So once we decided on Cyborg and then using Brother Blood, it fell into place from there. […] We tend to shy away from the origin episodes. So this became a way to do that in a real personal way. We get to see a side of Cyborg we never have. There are some other episodes that deal with his condition, but I think in this one we finally see him come to terms with some of those issues and move on. ”

Story Editor/Writer Rob Hoegee on the Hive kids: “I think it was a lot fun to see them in their own environment. Y’know… let’s not see them as bad guys but as high school kids. Let’s see them as regular people despite it’s a school for super-villains. Character-wise, they’re the same. But now we see them with their guards down. It was fun to play with those high school stereotypes – but to do it with bad guys. I mean, they’re worried about the ‘theory of mayhem test.’ All those things are fun. [And Jinx is] a fun character. If only because so many fans have such a fascination with her. She’s sort of our ‘Boba Fett.’ So we are aware of that and when we use her we try to do something a little special with her. ”

Producer Glen Murakami on Brother Blood: “We wanted to do Brother Blood – but we couldn’t do Brother Blood as a cult leader who hangs out in a pool of blood. […] I felt as the character went on, we became more like Dracula. That kind of worked for me. He became a very difficult character to figure out. I wonder, if we did it again, if we could refine that.”

Cyborg uses the alias “Stone” in this episode. In the comic book series, Cyborg’s real name is Victor Stone. In the comic book series, the H.I.V.E. was a super-secret criminal organization bent on world domination. Made up of prominent scientists and businessmen, the members wore purple robes to hide their identities from one another.

Brother Blood first appeared in NEW TEEN TITANS #21-22 [1982]. Blood is the leader of a religious cult that enticed young people to join. Blood was able to gain strength by feeding off the faith of his followers. He used his cult as a ‘front’ to further his plans of conquest. The animated version is quite different from his comic book counterpart. In the comics, Brother Blood had nothing to do with the HIVE. They do share a few traits: Both are charismatic and able to sway young people to their cause; And both amass a group of followers to further their plans. More on Brother Blood as season three continues…

Cyborg mentions his ‘Theory of Mayhem’ test… which is amusing since Brother Blood’s right hand advisor was named Mother Mayhem.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 28: X

Beast Boy: “Red X? I thought Robin was Red X!”
Red X : “Think again!

Originally aired: September 4, 2004
Written by David Slack
Directed by Ben Jones

When the Titans track down the culprit of a string of recent robberies, our heroes are shocked to find themselves facing the foe they never thought they’d see again: Robin’s evil alter-ego, Red X. While puzzling out the identity of Red X, the team tries to stop him from stealing Xenothium, the rare unstable energy source that powers the suit. Is Robin to blame for Red X’s crimes?

Scott Menville as Red X
James Hong as Professor Chang

  • This episode features the ‘return’ of Red X – who last appeared in season one’s MASKS
  • Beast Boy’s pet worm from DATE WITH DESTINY is seen in the tower
  • Professor Chang was named after TEEN TITANS series director, Michael Chang
  • Red X stole from a company named SOTO – a reference to TEEN TITANS series director, Alex Soto
  • Beast Boy’s blackboard of theories to Red X’s identity:
  • – “Evil Twin” [Robin and Nibor [Robin backwards, a subtle FRACTURED reference]]
  • – “Part of a clone army”
  • – “Interdimensional Imp” [Larry the Titan from FRACTURED unmasking as Red X]
  • – “Time Travelling” with image of Nightwing from HOW LONG IS FOREVER?
  • – “Long Lost Brother” with a Robin image that bears a passing resemblance to Robin’s voice actor, Scott Menville
  • – “Jason Todd” [the second comic book Robin]
  • – “Bionic Monkey”
  • The whole episode seems inspired by a John Woo movie. There is a high-action theme, asian woodwind soundtrack, and a white dove appears during the battle – a John Woo signature

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on X: “Sam Register said “Wouldn’t it be cool if we brought Red X back and it wasn’t Robin in the suit?” So that was where we started. It took a long time for me to find the rest of the story. So what I realized was this: Red X still represents Robin, and it’s a side of him that he’s not proud of. So it became a meditation on the nature of good and evil and the line between them. And since it was a Robin episode, it became a more film noir story. We wanted to bring that sensibility to it. So now we’ve got Red X out there. He’s the variable. You never know what side he’s on – because he’s just on his own side. ”

“I thought it was also a rite of passage for Robin. Part of growing up is realizing the answers aren’t simple. Especially to the important questions. I think in previous episodes, Robin had a pretty black-and-white viewpoint, so bringing back Red X tended to muddy that line for him a little more. It’s all part of growing up. That was also the first episode Ben Jones directed after Ciro Nieli moved to do his show for Disney [“Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go”]. And Ben did a great job on it. The gag where Beast Boy turns into a hippo on the eyebeam – that was Ben.”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack Red X’s identity : “We had some extensive discussions about that when we worked on it. Ultimately, I decided it was more fun to not get in that. Glen had some ideas in mind about revealing some things. In hindsight, I do think it was a fun idea to let the audience guess.”

Producer Glen Murakami on Red X: “I always liked those kinds of characters. Characters like Boba Fett [from Star Wars] and Racer X [from Speed Racer]. In the old comics, there’s that character Joshua [in Teen Titans #20]. Having seen that, would I have incorporated more of that? I don’t know. Maybe. And it’s weird… I saw that character after we did Red X. The parallels are always strange to me. I won’t realize how strong the parallels are. I mean, I hadn’t read that Titans comic in years. You go back and read the story – and we’re close to it without knowing how close we are to it.”

“We went around and around and around as to who that character was. But I never thought that was important. He was such a strong visual. I don’t think it’s important to know who is under the mask. We actually came up with someone who it might be. But I’m not going to tell you [laughs].”

“[…]  I just like the Red X character; I think it’s sorta neat that you have a good Robin and a bad Robin. It’s an interesting conflict to put the character in; You have a character that has to fight himself. What happens when Robin is evenly matched? That’s an interesting trope to put the characters through. That’s how I look at Red X as a character. Sometimes, it’s that simple. We talk about these stories in a metaphoric way. “Robin has to fight himself.” Or, “Robin has to fight his brother.” And we don’t literally mean it’s Robin’s biological brother. That’s how we start to develop a story and we’ll think of it that way. That’s how we think of it on an emotional level. The mechanics aren’t that important. Once you get too literal, it doesn’t work anymore.”

Beast Boy’s blackboard of theories to Red X’s identity contains a reference to “Jason Todd”, who is the second comic book Robin. Jason was brave, but also very impulsive and reckless. After searching for the identity of his mother, Jason was killed by the Joker. That tragedy looms over Batman and all future Robins.

The inclusion of Jason further clouds the issue “Who is Robin?” in the TEEN TITANS series. FRACTURED and HOW LONG IS FOREVER? supported the “Dick Grayson” theory. Now, it appears the creative team is just having fun with us.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 29: Betrothed

“I am… getting married” 
– Starfire

Originally aired: September 11, 2004
Written by Amy Wolfram
Directed by Alex Soto

The Teen Titans take a trip to Starfire’s home planet, Tamaran. But this is no ordinary visit: The Grand Ruler of Tamaran has arranged for Starfire to be married! The Titans try to go along with the strange ways of Starfire’s homeworld, but Robin has a hard time believing that Starfire really wants to marry someone she’s never met. And when the team discovers that Blackfire is Tamaran’s new ruler, Robin becomes suspicious. But can the Titans learn the truth before Starfire marries the repulsive Glgrdsklechhh?

Hynden Walch, who does the voice of Starfire, also provides the voice of Blackfire
Alan Shearman as Galfore
Dee Bradley Baker as Glgrdsklechhh

  • Blackfire appeared last in season one’s SISTERS, which was also written by Amy Wolfram
  • The Tamaranean dish “Glorg” was seen in TERRA
  • The T-Sub was first used for space travel in TRANSFORMATION
  • The Tamaranean bagpipes played at Starfire’s wedding were also seen in ONLY HUMAN
  • Reference to the movie, “The Graduate”: At Starfire’s wedding, Robin calls to her from behind the glass panel, similar to Dustin Hoffman’s character at the climax of the movie

Story Editor/Writer Amy Wolfram on BETROTHED : “In season three, we realized there were some characters we loved from season one. And now we had a chance to revisit them. But we really wanted to make sure we didn’t do another story just like SISTERS. We wanted to take it to another level… another place. And what better place than Tamaran? And that gave us a whole lot. The idea of Starfire being forced to go along with the wedding gave us an opportunity to see her world. And also to see Blackfire again. And to see their relationship was the same yet different. ”

“[…] I think she realizes she knows what she wants and where she wants to be. But at the same time, Blackfire is her sister and she’d never be intentionally mean or cruel to her. So we wanted to honor that too. She wouldn’t turn her back on her sister. We wanted to strike a balance – Starfire   is still sweet and genuine but we also wanted to give her some backbone. ”

“And we had fun with developing Tamaran and the whole culture. We know they’re hearty eaters. And that they’re warriors. So we went with that and had fun with it. I had a lot of fun with the character of Galfore. He’s this big hulking creature but at the same time he’s Starfire’s nanny and he’s very sweet. […] We just thought that Starfire would have someone like Galfore watching her, even if her parents were around. Since her parents are the king and queen, it seemed to make sense she might be raised by someone else. ”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on BETROTHED” I’m not exactly sure where that story came from. I think since we view Starfire as ‘the foreign exchange student’, the idea of this arranged marriage for her seemed like a natural thing to explore. And we knew we wanted to bring Blackfire back and go to Tamaran. So there was an opportunity to do something about culture clash as well. ”

Producer Glen Murakami on Starfire: “Several times we talked about doing a Starfire [season long] story. We would talk about these really cool Starfire moments, but then it would get absorbed in a storyline. Rob [Hoegee] talked about doing an Omega Men story. And we were thinking about Starfire going home and tying the Omega Men into it. But every time we talked about doing a Starfire arc, it would get absorbed into a story.

“To tell you the truth, when I was a kid, I never liked when the Titans went into space. I think they went into space at the same time that the X-Men went into space. It just seemed like those storylines went on so long. I remember thinking as a kid, “Gee, I wish they weren’t in space so long.” That might have been the other reason why I didn’t want to do a big intergalactic epic. I think the Titans worked best as earth-bound teenagers. I think you can’t really take that and continue into space.”

The comic book series had a storyline where Starfire was forced to marry a Tamaranean Prince named Karras to keep peace. This happened in NEW TEEN TITANS [second series] #13-23 [1985-1986]. Starfire actually went through with the marriage, which ended her relationship with Nightwing [formerly Robin].

In the comic books, Starfire had two living parents – Myand’r and Luand’r – who were the king and queen of Tamaran. They later perished when Tamaran was destroyed in New Titans #128 [1995]. She also had a younger brother, Ryand’r. Galfore was created for the animated series.

Starfire is indeed the Princess of Tamaran and rightful successor to the throne. Her older sister, Blackfire, should have been bestowed that honor. But Blackfire was born without the power to harness the sun’s energies, so she was overlooked for the throne. This made her bitter towards her own people – and her rage was often directed at Starfire, who received honors that should have been hers. The full story is revealed in Tales of the New Teen Titans mini series #4 [1982].

Blackfire wrested control of Tamaran and became its queen in the same story where Starfire was married, in NEW TEEN TITANS [second series] #13-23 [1985-1986].

When Galfore greets Starfire, he speaks Tamaranean and utters the word, “Koriand’r.” Koriand’r is Starfire’s real Tamaranean name in the comic book. [Blackfire’s real name is Komand’r].

Galfore also uses the phrase, “X’Hal” [pronounced as “Xzhal”]. X’Hal is a living battle goddess worshipped by much of the Vegan System, including Tamaran. In the comics, Starfire often uttered the exclamation “X’Hal.” On the balcony scene, Starfire even says, “Thank X’Hal you…”

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 30: Crash

 “I may not be smart enough to do everything… but I’m dumb enough to try anything. “
– Beast Boy

Originally aired: September 18, 2004
Written by Rick Copp
Directed by Michael Chang

When Beast Boy mistakes Cyborg’s system recharger for a video game system, he accidentily infects it with a nasty computer virus. The virus quickly spreads to Cyborg himself, causing the half-teen-half-machine to go haywire. The only way to stop the virus is to shrink down to microscopic size and go in on a fantastic voyage inside Cyborg.

But the only person with the knowledge and technology for such a mission is the evil genius, Gizmo. To keep the boy villain in check, Beast Boy assumes the form of an amoeba to assist. Meanwhile, the rest of the team tries to stop Cyborg from eating everything in sight – and destroying the city in the process. Can Beast Boy wipe the virus in time to save his friend?

Lauren Tom as Gizmo

  • Reference to the sci-fi classic “Fantastic Voyage”: A group of adventurers shrink down to microscopic size and travel inside a man’s body.
  • Cyborg eats a Mumbo Alarm Clock – an item seen in the episode HOW LONG IS FOREVER?
  • An unwritten rules of the series is that Beast Boy does not speak while in animal form. This episode is the first [and only] time that rule is broken.

Story Editor/Writer Rob Hoegee on CRASH: ” I story edited that one, which was written by Rick Copp. It originally came from an idea to do a Die-Hard type episode – which transformed into a Fantastic Voyage adventure. It was also an opportunity for Beast Boy to be the hero at the end despite making some mistakes along the way. We also wanted to do a ‘buddy-cop’ type episode. We wanted to do that with Cyborg and Beast Boy, and this episode is sort of that. Except Beast Boy is actually inside him. That episode took a humorous turn – but we did want to keep some believable jeopardy, as far as the stakes were concerned. No pun intended. ”

Beast Boy mentions downloading the video game from “an underground server in Eastern Zandia.” In the comic books, Zandia is a island nation composed of criminals and terrorists. The Brotherhood of Evil and Brother Blood both have connections to Zandia. It’s no wonder the game contained a virus!

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 31: Haunted

“I am the thing that keeps you up at night. The evil that haunts every dark corner of your mind. “
– Slade

Originally aired: October 2, 2004
Written by Adam Beechen
Directed by Ben Jones

Ever since the Titans final confrontation with Slade, Robin has been haunted by one question: Is Slade really gone? When Cinderblock breaks out of jail, Robin finally gets his answer: he sees Slade. Robin goes after him, determined to stop his nemesis once and for all.

But Robin begins to doubt himself when only he sees Slade. As his obsession mounts, his friends become more concerned. Has Slade really returned? Or is Robin just haunted by the memory of Slade?

Ron Perlman as Slade

  • First appearance of Slade since AFTERSHOCK
  • Beast Boy’s pet worm from DATE WITH DESTINY appears again
  • Many references to past Slade appearances: His mask from APPRENTICE, the ‘s’ disk from FORCES OF NATURE, the Ferris Wheel from BETRAYAL, and the broken gears from Slade’s fallen headquarters
  • The cracked mask that affects Robin is from the episode APPRENTICE [part two] – not the mask seen melting in lava from AFTERSHOCK [part two]

Story Editor/Writer Amy Wolfram on HAUNTED ” That one was definitely very dark. That episode came about for two reasons. First, it came out of Robin’s character. Robin’s greatest strength is that he’s obsessive and he won’t ever let anything go – ever. But that also becomes his greatest weakness. It became a way to give Robin a really good story. And two, we also wanted to see Slade. We last saw him in the Terra arc and we wanted to bring some sort of finality about it in an unusual way. ”

“[…] We wanted to make sure that what was real to Robin was truly real to him. And that the other characters understood that. Whatever the case, it was very real to Robin whether it’s really Slade or not. I think that’s true with children. If they think there’s a monster under the bed, to them, there IS a monster under the bed. It’s real to them. So we wanted to address that.”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on HAUNTED: ” I can’t take too much credit for that one. That was an episode that Amy and Adam Beechen cooked up. It’s a really, really cool episode. And I think it’s one of the scariest ones we’ve done. When we saw the animation that came back for that one, I remember Amy said, “Oh dear. Is this too scary?” But it was a great way to bring him back without bringing him back exactly. We didn’t want Slade upstaging this other arc we have going on, because he’s so evil and cool. But we love Slade as a character and Ron Perlman as an actor. So it seemed right to do something with him. And as you see season four unfold, you’ll see some mysteries to puzzle concerning where Slade was. ”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on what inspired HAUNTED: “We talked about things like FIGHT CLUB, GASLIGHT and THE SIXTH SENSE. Movies with a good twist ending. What would happen if Robin couldn’t let Slade go, even though Slade wasn’t around. It’s a story about how sometimes we carry things with us a lot longer than we need to. ”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on who activated the Slade mask: “That might be something people may have to wait and guess for themselves at this point. That may remain a bit of a mystery. ”

Once more, we get a hint to the identity of Robin. When Raven enters his mind, we see elements from Dick Grayson’s past. Robin takes a crimefighting oath in the Batcave, which is straight from Robin’s very first story in DETECTIVE COMICS #38 [1940]. And Raven sees the fateful night at the circus when the Flying Graysons fell to their deaths – an event which started the chain of events that led to Dick Grayson becoming Robin.

Although the identity of Robin is not revealed in the series, this is yet another hint that the character is based on Dick Grayson. Also see notes for the episodes FRACTURED and HOW LONG IS FOREVER for more.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 32: Spellbound

“I am not creepy. I’m just different. I wish there was someone who could understand that. Someone I could talk to. Someone more like me.”
– Raven

Originally aired: October 9, 2004
Written by David Slack
Directed by Alex Soto

There’s no one else quite like Raven: dark, somber and undeniably creepy. Even with four friends around her, Raven still manages to feel alone at Titans Tower… until she discovers a charming young Wizard named Malchior trapped inside one of her ancient books.

Greg Ellis as Malchior

  • First appearance of Kardiak – a villain created for the series
  • Malchior was also created for the animated series
  • This is the third time Raven wears a white cloak; She also wears it in NEVERMORE and HOW LONG IS FOREVER?

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on SPELLBOUND: ” We thought it would be cool to do a story about the ‘first bad boyfriend.’ And that seemed like there was something there for Raven since she’s so isolated. That’s where the idea of Malchior came about. It’s also a metaphor – the book becomes a representation of an internet chat room. Malchior has the ability to represent himself as something other than what he is. There’s a connection there – but it’s not genuine on Machior’s part. I’m really proud of that episode because we get a chance to see another side of Raven. There’s a vulnerability there that she keeps very private.”

“The other thing that’s fun for me in that episode is Kardiak. He’s my idea of a really weird villain – and that’s someone Glen responded to. We draw a lot of influence from comic books – but from anime as well. We thought it had been awhile since we had a really weird anime-type villain. Kardiak basically eats little kids. We thought since the episode was a bit talky, we needed something for the action portions that was unique and interesting and scary. I felt Kardiak did that. And since this was an episode about romance and breaking hearts, we thought a villain that was a giant heart seemed appropriate. ”

There was a comic book story that bears some similarity to this episode. After Raven was cleansed of her father’s evil, she entered into her first romantic relationship with a man named Eric Forrester. But Forrester was actually a soul vampire that intended to use Raven to absorb her soul-self through physical contact. Raven trusted him and shut out her own teammates. She was heart-broken when she learned of Eric’s true intentions. It all happened in New Titans #66-67 [1990].

In the comics, Raven wears her white cloak when she is cleansed of her father’s evil. In this episode, it’s an outward sign of her happiness of being in love.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 33: Revolution

“Smashing, luv. Jolly good laugh [Yelp] Oh dear. I’m a tommy… a limey… a Brit!” “
– British Beast Boy

Originally aired: October 16, 2004
Written by John Esposito
Directed by Michael Chang

The Titans’ Fourth of July festivities are cut short when Mad Mod crashes the party, declaring the American Revolution is a hoax and reclaiming the city for Jolly Old England. If that wasn’t enough, old Mod uses his high-tech cane to steal Robin’s youth, making “King Moddie” young again while Robin turns into a withered dried up old man.

Malcolm McDowell as the Mad Mod

  • Second appearance of Mad Mod; He first appeared in season one’s MAD MOD
  • Beast Boy says to Raven: “You’re just jealous because I sound like a rock star.” Greg Cipes [voice of Beast Boy] is a singer and musician in his own right.
  • Mad Mod’s chess pieces are modeled after the Teen Titans Collectible Maquettes
  • Reference to the movie “Patton”: Beast Boy saluting in front of the United States flag
  • The building facings look like the cover to Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Graphitti”
  • Spotted in the parade crowd: Character designer Derrick Wyatt and the Goth kid from SISTERS
  • King Norm is inspired by series prop designer Norm Ryang

Terry Gilliam and Monty Python:

  • This episode features several references to the wildly creative Terry Gilliam. Gilliam may be best known as the director of “The Fisher King”, “Time Bandits” and “12 Monkeys.” But Gilliam ‘s revolutionary animation was featured in “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.” Gilliam was part of the Monty Python comedy troupe; He also contributed to their movies, as well as “Flying Circus.” Here’s some Terry Gilliam/Monty Python references seen in this episode:
  • The background art with Union Jack flag is done in Terry Gilliam style – similar to the opening to “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”
  • The sequence with the fish market, the two British men talking and the newspaper kid is very much like Gilliam’s animation.
  • The giant foot stomping down on the Titans is from opening to “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” – it’s probably the most-referenced Monty Python animation.
  • Monty Python quote: “How to avoid being seen”
  • Monty Python quote: Beast Boy yells “Run away!”
  • Mad Mod above the clouds in similar to God above the clouds [an animated sequence by Gilliam] in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

Beatles References:

  • This episode also contained quite a few references to The Beatles:
  • The background art of the city is similar to the city scene in “Yellow Submarine.”
  • Mad Mod changes the faces on Mount Rushmore – and they are made to look like The Beatles, with Mad Mod’s hair
  • The Titans cross the street in an homage to the cover to “Abbey Road.”
  • Mad Mod in the last act looks like a Blue Meanie from The Beatles animated movie “Yellow Submarine.”
  • Cyborg’s floating hand is similar to the floating gloved hand in “Yellow Submarine.”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on REVOLUTION: ” REVOLUTION happened because we all went to a British pub for lunch. That’s the whole reason REVOLUTION happened. Glen wanted fish and chips for lunch so we went to this British pub and we were talking about what to do next. And Mad Mod came up. We initially had this idea of a rift within the Titans – some discord over who was in charge. That all came together. ”

“[…] It also tied back to the Cyborg arc; About Cyborg feeling like he didn’t have a voice on the team. So the idea was to have the team struggle amongst themselves – to not only find a leader but find a way to save the day. Ultimately, they learn it doesn’t take one person to lead the team. It’s really all of them. Just because Robin is the guy saying “Titans Go!”, it doesn’t mean that he’s any more important than the rest of them. Then, put on top of that, this crazy madcap adventure with everyone’s favorite Mad Mod!”

“[…] And the animation on that one came back incredible. I’m a big fan of Terry Gilliam and the Beatles so that was a lot of fun to work on. Mad Mod episodes are always difficult – particularly since the first one came out so well. It was hard to find a way to bring him back that would have a chance of topping that first episode.”

“Turning everything British was fun. It’s been fun seeing the response to it. Some people have said “You shouldn’t make fun of America.” And other people said “It’s not nice to make fun of the British.” The truth is, we were making fun of both and honoring both. So we thought we were pretty even-handed. We’re making fun of Britain while we’re honoring all the great creativity that’s come out of there. And we make fun of America with Beast Boy’s “Ugly American” attitude – while at the same time honoring democracy.”

“Originally we were thinking about Beast Boy having the English accent the whole time. But Glen thought of something — that there ARE people in the United States who have absolutely no appreciation for other cultures. We thought that would be a fun attitude for Beast Boy. That he would have that jingoistic ignorance. And Beast Boy can get away with it because he’s such a charming character. But ultimately – the episode is more about “Mad Mod is a crazy old nutjob” than it is about international politics.”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on REVOLUTION: “That was a difficult story to break. I story edited that and it was written by John Esposito. He did a great job in a short amount of time. We had a great character in Mad Mod and a fantastic set-up for an adventure, but also a whole lot of story and plot to reconcile. The crux of that story was how the Titans sort of take Robin for granted as their leader… so what would happen if circumstances took him out of the picture? Who would be in charge then? How would they survive without him? ”

“[…] We have to give credit to the artists on that one. They took a script that was pretty good and they made it a whole lot better. ”

Mad Mod was a British super-villain who had a disdain for American culture. The Mad Mod was a fashion designer who lived on Carnaby Street in London, where Mod clothes were the rage. Mod used his fashion label as a front to conceal contraband items in the clothes he made. He first appeared in Teen Titans #7 [1967].

With all the Beatles references, it’s worth noting that The Teen Titans first appeared at the height of The Beatles’ popularity. DC used to refer to the original Teen Titans [Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad and Wonder Girl] as the “Fab Four” – a term also used to refer to The Beatles. When Speedy was retro-actively made a member later on, fans came to refer to the founding five Titans as “The Fab Five.” To this day, Titans fans still call the original members The Fab Five.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 34: Wavelength

“Think about it, sparky. If I wasn’t on your side, you’d be spare parts by now. ”
– Bumblebee

Originally aired: October 23, 2004
Written by Greg Klein and Tom Pugsley
Directed by Ben Jones

Aqualad arrives at Titans Tower looking for aid. Brother Blood is back. And this time, it’s personal. Cyborg learns that Blood stole his blueprints – and the villain is using Cy’s technology to create a doomsday device in a secret underwater base. Can Cyborg take charge of the team and lead a mission to stop his arch-enemy? Or will he even get the chance?

Wil Wheaton as Aqualad
T’Keyah Keymáh as Bumblebee
John DiMaggio as Brother Blood

  • This episode follows up events from DECEPTION
  • This is technically the second episode with Bumblebee; She appeared very briefly in DECEPTION, but had no dialogue; Cyborg says they have met, but this occurred ‘offscreen’
  • Aqualad last appeared in WINNER TAKE ALL; He has a Titans Communicator from that episode
  • This episode sets up events that are continued in TITANS EAST [it is mentioned that Brother Blood is ‘heading East’ – and Bumblebee and Aqualad head out to track him down]

Producer Sam Register on Bumblebee: “There was one other thing that came from [New Teen Titans creator] George [Pérez]. We are thinking of mining the other Titans to use as auxillary members, [and I asked], “Is there anyone you would like us to use?” and he did mention Bumblebee. So Bumblebee will be coming to the animated Titans as a request from George.”

Producer Glen Murakami on Bumblebee: “She was another Titans character that was available. We thought Bumblebee was cool. I played around with the designs and gave her those pom-poms and a striped shirt; And she eventually became a favorite. It think that’s due to how we re-imagined the character. Sometimes it’s cool to take a character – and try to put a new spin on it and make it as cool as we can. And with a name like Bumblebee, it makes sense that she would shrink down the size of a bee. And we tried to make her a bit different from our female characters. That’s why we made her the leader of Titans East.”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on WAVELENGTH: “[WAVELENGTH] was the next step in the arc. We knew we didn’t want to dwell on the fact that Brother Blood may be able to heal Cyborg. We played that card in DECEPTION, but we felt there was more to Cyborg than just, “Oh no, I’m a robot.” We had this idea about Cyborg starting to think that maybe it was time for him to leave the Titans. So WAVELENGTH would set that up. It would create a mission that was very personal to Cyborg. It was HIS technology. It was HIS bad guy. That episode was written by Greg Klein and Tom Pugsley and I story edited that one. So the episode became Cyborg’s mission – and then we put Robin in the way as an impediment to that as the leader. ”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on developing Bumblebee: “ I remember when we were developing Bumblebee. I didn’t want to come at it from the angle, “Oh, she’s black, so she and Cyborg MUST like each other.” So we went the opposite way with it – we decided they just wouldn’t get along. I think sometimes people treat race like a game of hoosker-doo… just find the two that match. That always bothered me. So we decided to make her a very confident person who was already on the inside. This was her personal mission too, just like it was Cyborg’s. That would create some conflict with them.”

“The first thing Marv Wolfman told me when I told him we were using Bumblebee was “Oh, no. Please don’t let her shoot stingers out of her butt.” [laughs] Early on, it was uncertain which characters we could use. But Bumblebee stood out. Not only was she a Titans character, but her name was dumb enough we were almost positive no one wanted it. So we started kicking around the idea of bringing Bumblebee in. ”

“So we worked on Bumblebee in terms of who she was, and came up with something that would contrast Cyborg well. We revised her powers a little bit. We thought, since her name was Bumblebee, we’ll make her shrink down to the size to an actual bee, which is a cool power that she uses well. And then we gave us some blasters for good measure. We all think she turned out pretty cool. ”

“The other thing with Bumblebee, was that we wanted her to be a unique and different female voice – just like Starfire and Raven. So we had to find a specific angle for that character. I think our heroines are some of the best characters, and I know we have a lot of female fans – young and old – of the show. And I think that’s great. I think one of my favorite things about our female characters if that they’re not “Lara Croft” – which is essentially a guy in a girl’s body. They’re feminine. I think that’s cool. At the comic conventions, it’s always fun… girls come up and they’re excited about a boy’s action cartoon show. So if there was a Titans East, I wanted there to be at least one girl member. ”

Bumblebee [Karen Beecher] first made the scene in TEEN TITANS #48 [1977]. Karen made herself a bumblebee supersuit and attacked the Titans to secretly help her boyfriend – Mal [Herald] Duncan – look good in front of the team. The Titans were impressed enough to offer her membership and she accepted. When the team broke up for a time, Karen and Mal got married and ‘retired’ from superheroics. They have returned to crime-fighting from time to time to assist the team. Bumblebee’s abilities are derived from her scientific super-suit. She does not have any super-powers – or the ability to shrink – as she does in the animated series.

A comic book story bears some similarity to this episode. The Teen Titans teamed up with Aqualad to infiltrate the H.I.V.E.’s underwater base, which they destroyed. This happened in TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #45-47 [1984]. This ultimately destroyed the H.I.V.E. The first H.I.V.E. Mistress perished in the explosion.

When the H.I.V.E. returned years later in TITANS #1-2 [1999], their troops were dressed very similar to the shock troop H.I.V.E. agents in this episode.

Brother Blood’s second costume looks more like his comic book counterpart, with a red and black color scheme.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 35: The Beast Within

Raven: “Having that thing inside doesn’t make you an animal. Knowing when to let it out is what makes you a man.”
Beast Boy : “Maybe you should call me Beast Man from now on.”
Raven: “We’re having a moment here. Don’t ruin it.”

Originally aired: October 30, 2004
Written by David Slack
Directed by Alex Soto

While battling Adonis, Beast Boy is bathed in strange chemicals. Back at the tower, he starts to develop an abrasive new attitude. And when Beast Boy begins turning into an angry and aggresive Man-Beast against his will, can the Titans save themselves from their savage friend?

Greg Cipes as Adonis
Dee Bradley Baker as The Were-Beast

  • First appearance of Adonis
  • This is the third appearance of the chef TV show. It also appeared in NEVERMORE and FRACTURED.
  • The Ben’s Bacon show is a reference to series director – Canadian Ben Jones. His face also appeared on the diner menu in BETRAYAL.
  • The scary movie TV channel shows a frightened cartoon version of series producer Glen Murakami – with a shadow of alien Soto from EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY
  • The car commercial shows an “A” logo and car that look very similar to Adonis
  • Beast Boy’s battle move – the curled up attack – is similar to Blanka’s attack in Street Fighter II
  • The entire episode is an homage to Werewolf monster movies, and horror movies in general. There’s some references – intentional or unintentional. The transformation scenes are similar to one of the most famous Werewolf movies, “American Werewolf in London.” Beast Boy’s kidnapping and protecting Raven – yet being the misunderstood monster – is a famous staple in such movies as “King Kong” and “Mighty Joe Young.” And Raven floating in the Titans Tower infirmary is similar to a scene in “Ghostbusters.”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on THE BEAST WITHIN: ” I watched American Werewolf in London for research for that one. That was a difficult story to break, since it had to be done so quickly. The original show nine was going to be BUNNY RAVEN. But then I got a call from Amy, who was story editing that one. She didn’t want to do just another romp episode. It was being developed as another chase set-piece like MAD MOD. […] So Amy said, “I don’t want to just do that – can Mumbo sing?” I was completely sold when she pitched the idea of doing a musical number, but we needed more time. So we moved that script back while Amy worked with Andy Sturmer on the musical piece for that episode. So we knew we wanted to do a dark Beast Boy episode. Despite being a super-hero, Beast Boy is a pretty gentle guy. So it seemed like there was an interesting story about Beast Boy becoming a man a little bit. So the werewolf myth seemed to be a good fit for that type of story. ”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on the Beasy Boy/Raven ‘moment’: ” Well, it was a story about a conflict between those two characters, so you have to resolve it. The shippers are free to do with that what they please. ”

There was a storyline in the comic book where Beast Boy gave into the more sinister side of his shape shifting. Exposure to the Mento helmet unleashed a new side of Beast Boy – a darker side. Instead of taking the form of normal animals found in nature, Beast Boy began to shape shift into strange demonic creatures – and found himself liking it. This storyline ran from NEW TITANS #99-130 [1993-1995].

Also during that story, an evil version of Raven turned Beast Boy against his own teammates. He battled the team in NEW TITANS #115-116.

The Titans have had more members turn evil and battle the team than perhaps any other super-group. The turncoats include: The first Terra, The Trigon-Raven and resurrected-Raven, Jericho, Beast Boy (under Raven’s thrall), the future Team Titans, former Titan Hawk (who became Monarch) and Rose (Ravager) Wilson.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 36: Can I Keep Him?

“Please be nice to monster. “
– Starfire’s sign on Silkie’s island

Originally aired: November 6th, 2004
Written by Simon Racioppa and Richard Elliott
Directed by Michael Chang and Christopher Berkely

Starfire adopts a weird mutant silkworm named silkie as a pet. But when she feeds him some alien food from Tamaran, Silkie has an unexpected – and monstrous – growth spurt. Can Starfire keep her beloved worm?

Dee Bradley Baker as Silkie
Henry Rollins as Johnny Rancid
Marc Worden as Killer Moth

  • This episode is a sequel to second season’s DATE WITH DESTINY. At the end of that episode, Beast Boy wanted to keep Killer Moth’s orphaned worm
  • Silkie has appeared in the background in three episodes in season three: X, BETROTHED and HAUNTED
  • Thomas Hayden Church provided the voice of Killer Moth in DATE WITH DESTINY; He was not available for this episode and the role was assumed by Marc Worden
  • The opening crowd scene shows the Goth kid from the club scene in SISTERS
  • Robin says “We’re shutting you down Jonny” and Raven adds, “and you’re little dog, too.” Raven’s line is a reference to the Wicked Witch’s line from “Wizard of Oz”
  • Starfire tries to feed Silkie mustard – which is her favorite food – as revealed in SUM OF HIS PARTS
  • The mutant-Silkie and mechanical-lizard battle is a send-up of “Godzilla vs. Mothra”
  • Star Wars reference: Killer Moth tries to coax Silkie by saying: “Larva M319, I am your father. Join me and we can… go on a picnic or something.” It’s similar to the speech Darth Vader gave Luke at the end of “The Empire Strikes Back.”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on CAN I KEEP HIM?: “Simon Racioppa and Richard Elliott wrote that one. and I want to apologize to everyone for how gross that was [laughs]. It was Glen [Murakami]’s idea for Starfire to eat the carcass at the end. I tried to talk him out of it. ”

“[…] One would think we developed that story way far back. What happened was, we did DATE WITH DESTINY in season two and designed these larvae things at the end of it. And Ben Jones – who is now a director but he was a storyboard artist at the time – he just wouldn’t let them go. So in all his boards, he would put this thing in the background – and he named him “Silkie.” So that caught on and some other artists started doing it. So we had all these episodes where Sillkie is crawling around in the background, still leftover from season two. So it started to seem like we needed to do something with that. It was similar to the situation with Larry [the Titan]. It grew out of a joke that the artists were tossing around. So that’s how that came about.”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on giving Silkie to Starfire rather than Beast Boy: “[It] seemed to fit Starfire; We thought it made sense that she would feed it something that would make it grow and mutate. Plus, since Starfire is so genuine and sincere, that when we started talking about her lying it got really, really funny. Like her line, “What is this sofa of which you speak?” It gave us a chance to do a different type of humor with Starfire. ”

Starfire had a Tamaranean pet as a child. She adored the animal – which died under mysterious circumstances – in the presense of her evil sister, Blackfire. The story is recalled in Tales of the New Teen Titans mini-series #4 [1982] which shows the origin of Starfire.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 37: Bunny Raven

“If you can’t beat Mumbo… join Mumbo!”
– Mumbo

Originally aired: January 8, 2005
Written by Louis Hirshorn and Joelle Sellner
Directed by Ben Jones

The Amazing Mumbo is up to his old tricks. When the Titans try to stop the madcap magician in mid-performance, Mumbo pulls a fast one. With a wave of his wand, he sucks the Titans into his hat…. where our heroes discover a strange magical world of weirdness.

Tom Kenny as Mumbo

  • This episode is also known as “Bunny Raven aka How to Make a Titananimal Disappear”
  • The song performed in this episode is called “Master of Your Fate” and is sung by Tom Kenny, who provides the voice of Mumbo. It is written and produced by Andy Sturmer.
  • Muppet reference number one: The Muppet Mumbo announcer who appeared several times; Similar to the way Kermit would introduce a show or segment. The animated team thought the Muppets reference seemed appropriate given the theater/vaudeville theme of the episode.
  • Muppet reference number two: The two older audience members in the balcony were a staple on The Muppet Show. They would often make jokes at the expense of the show.
  • One of the old men in the balcony is modeled after character designer Derrick Wyatt. Derrick has also ‘appeared’ in two previous episodes.
  • Mumbo at the piano is dressed as Liberace, a flamboyant famous piano player
  • Mumbo’s head against the ‘golden circles within circles’ is very similar to the classic Warner Brothers’ cartoon opening sequence.
  • This episode is directed by Ben Jones, who also directed X. Viewers will remember a strong John Woo influence in that episode, including Woo’s signature white dove. With its magician theme, this episode has MANY white doves appearing.

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on BUNNY RAVEN: “[THE BEAST WITHIN episode] was a difficult story to break, since it had to be done so quickly. The original show nine was going to be BUNNY RAVEN. But then I got a call from Amy, who was story editing that one. She didn’t want to do just another romp episode. It was being developed as another chase set-piece like MAD MOD. […] So Amy said, “I don’t want to just do that – can Mumbo sing?” I was completely sold when she pitched the idea of doing a musical number, but we needed more time. So we moved that script back while Amy worked with Andy Sturmer on the musical piece for that episode.”

“[…] I was thrilled with that because it really did set that episode apart from our other ‘crazy’ episodes. I thought it was brilliant. ”

Story Editor/Writer Amy Wolfram on BUNNY RAVEN: “Well, we knew we wanted to bring back Mumbo. He was a character that we felt we could do more with. But we also wanted to have the Titans turn into animals. And we thought, “How can we do that?” And that seemed to fit with Mumbo’s world – that would be something he would have power over. That he could create his own world inside his hat. ”

” Oh, [and the musical number] was fun. So much fun. I love musicals. And it seemed for Mumbo – the greatest showman in the world – that he would have a show-stopper. So the song came out of that. It was just to create something a little different for that episode. ”

In New Teen Titans #15 [1982], The evil General Zahl placed the Titans into a devolving pit – where they devolved into strange creatures. Robin and the others morphed into monkeys – but Starfire devolved into a cat-like creature. This suggests Tamaraneans are an evolved form of human-feline. Curious Starfire is transformed into a cat this episode!

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 38: Titans East (part 1)

“Leader? Me? Seriously? ”
– Cyborg

Originally aired: January 15, 2005
Written by Marv Wolfman
Directed by Alex Soto

The final showdown between Cyborg and Brother Blood culminates in the creation of a new branch of the Titans team. Titans East includes a new tower in a new city with five new members: Aqualad, Bumblebee, Speedy and a pair known as Mas Y Menos.

Wil Wheaton as Aqualad
Mike Erwin as Speedy
T’Keyah Keymáh as Bumblebee
Freddy Rodriguez as Mas Y Menos
John DiMaggio as Brother Blood

  • Mas Y Menos were created for the animated series, and are not characters from the comic book series. But the Titans do have a history of sibling heroes [Hawk & Dove, Thunder & Lightning] as well as super-speedsters [Kid Flash, Jesse Quick, Impulse/Kid Flash II]
  • Since the 1970s, the comic book Teen Titans have had East Coast and West Coast teams – although the West Coast branch traditionally was disorganized. The main Teen Titans team is now based on the West Coast, just like in the animated series
  • This episode is written by Marv Wolfman, who wrote the Teen Titans comic book for sixteen years [1980-1996]. He also co-created Cyborg, Starfire, Raven and Brother Blood with artist George Pérez.

Producer Glen Murakami on Cyborg: “[…] At one point, we talked about the fact that [Cyborg] was the oldest Titan. And that at one point, he could be the first to leave the group. And then we would bring in a new Titan. I think because he was the oldest, he sometimes seemed like the more mature Titan. I think that’s also a reason why maybe sometimes he didn’t fit in.”

Wil Wheaton on Voicing Aqualad: “The weekend was awesome. I started out with some ADR work on Teen Titans Friday morning, for Titans East Parts One and Two… holy [expletive deleted]. It’s no secret that I love Teen Titans, and it’s no secret that I’m fiercely proud of my work there… but holy [expletive deleted]. The episodes just keep getting better and better, and this story arc is the best I’ve been in so far. It’s dark, it’s a little scary, and the animation is SO FREAKING COOL! I actually had my very first “cool, dry superhero” line on Friday. I got to say, “Something tells me you guys don’t like water… ” right before I… uh, I mean, Aqualad does some seriously cool superhero stuff. I can’t wait to see this episode when it airs.”

Producer David Slack on bringing back Speedy: “With Speedy, we were looking for someone to mirror Robin. For the purpose of that episode, we wanted someone to go up against Robin. And Speedy ends up having some of the same problems Robin has. He’s got kind of a dippy name, he shoots… arrows. [laughs] So there’s stuff about him that’s not all that cool. I think we managed to make him pretty cool. And we did that the same way we did with Robin. We searched for some more contemporary ways for him to express himself. When we bring back Speedy at the end of season three, we have a slightly different take on his character. We nudged him a bit more gruff direction. […] We sort of played more into the whole bad boy thing when we brought him back. ”

Producer David Slack on developing Titans East: “There was a lot of discussion about that as far as what characters we’d use – and also their interaction with each other. Then there are the licensing issues. We finally arrived at our group through a   bit of a long, slow process. We loved Aqualad, so we knew he was in. Speedy seemed to come out really cool so it would be fun to bring him back. But we knew if we brought him back, we didn’t want to bring him back as a ‘Robin clone’ like we first saw him [in WINNER TAKE ALL].   So we decided to dig into the character that had been developed over the years in the comics, and push him into a   bit of a darker place. We thought he would be a bit like our teenage Wolverine.”

“Then Mas Y Menos developed from wanting to a speedster character. But we didn’t just want to do another version of Kid Flash. Then Sam and Glen thought of this idea of a binary Flash. They can go really fast, but only when they’re touching. They’re kind of like circus acrobats. If they grab hands, zoom! If they get knocked apart, they’re just a couple of kids.”

“So then I said the sentence I may regret for the rest of my life. I said, “OK, but only if they just speak Spanish.” [laughs]. It was a really fun idea but ended up being difficult to do. I don’t know that we’d want to do a whole episode with them…. but we got a little bilingual in the show. I speak decent Spanish, but Alex Soto – our director, speaks fluent Spanish. So he was correcting my terrible translation.”

“So they’re kind of a cross between Flash and the Wonder Twins. That’s really something that Sam, Glen and the whole group cooked up. the great thing about TITANS is that it’s really just a pot-luck. Everyone brings something. […] They’re a lot of fun. They are so unlike other super-heroes you’re going to see. They’re really sympathetic. And they are unique in a way. Our other characters have mostly been adapted from another medium and given a different tone. Mas Y Menos, in a sense, are the only true ‘animated’ Titans. ”

“And then we also brought Bumblebee in. I wanted another girl character besides Bumblebee to have the same balance that own Titans had. But the compromise there was to make Bumblebee the leader. And she’s very well suited for that. ”

Producer David Slack on characters NOT using Hotspot, Wildebeest or other Titans characters for Titans East: ” I forget why we didn’t go with those. We know we wanted to use Speedy and Aqualad in there. We thought about Wildebeest. But then we thought that Cyborg would be the strong guy on the team. We kicked around a number of characters. When we originally talked about doing Mas y Menos, we talked about doing a female Flash character. We thought it might be easier to create our own. And then there’s discussions about whose powers complement whose.”

“There was a lot of discussion about some of those [comic book] characters. We’re still looking for some opportunities to bring them in. We’d love to get our hands on a number of the other Titans. It’s a question of finding the right episode for them and getting the OK from everybody.”

Producer David Slack on working with Marv Wolfman [co-creator of the New Teen Titans]: “Marv is great because he’s not only an excellent writer, but he’s a very understanding guy. He recognized that we were lucky to get to do a guy named ‘Brother Blood’ at all! And a great deal of what Brother Blood did in comics would not be appropriate for our audience. So Marv was on board with the adjustments of the character for this incarnation. And let’s not forget that Marv is the guy who gave us the new interpretation of Lex Luthor as an evil businessman rather than a straight-up super-villain. So Marv is no stranger to new takes on old characters So he was great and helpful in our understanding of who this Brother Blood was.”

[…] “Marv Wolfman and I wrote that final 2-parter. It was an honor to get to work with Marv. And he did a great job, he was just tremendous. Together, we created the character of Steamroller, who appeared in TITANS EAST, part one. And we created Steel City for Titans East, which was more of an East Coast city. It was more like Pittsburgh, Chicago or New York. So we felt like we wanted an East Coast version of someone like Cinderblock or Plasmus. So it was fun to create that character with Marv.”

The bicostal Titans Teams are somewhat confusing… so follow along if you can!

TITANS WEST: The comic book Teen Titans were traditionally based on the East Coast – either in New York or outside Gotham City. In TEEN TITANS [1977] #50-52, a West Coast group of Titans emerged known as Titans West. The animated “Titans East” is founded on that same tradition.

BUMBLEBEE: Bumblebee was not a member of the original Titans West, but she was a member of Titans “East” when the groups met. She later relocated to California with her husband and fellow Titan, Mal. Since then, she has been a member of Titans West when the group gathered again.

AQUALAD & SPEEDY: Aqualad and Speedy were founding members of the original Teen Titans, as shown in their origin story in TEEN TITANS [1978] #53.

TITANS EAST: The Teen Titans were time-tossed 10 years in the future in TEEN TITANS (third series) #17-19 [2004]. The current team met a resistance Titans-group known as Titans East! This was the first time the name “Titans East” was actually ever used in the comic book series. Members included Cyborg, Bumblebee, Terra, Rose Wilson as Ravager, Captain Marvel Jr. and Bat-Girl. Cyborg’s appearance in the future is inspired by his animated appearance. So follow this: the comic book inspired the animated series that has now inspired the comic book. All clear?

Speedy is characterized a bit ‘gruffer’ than seen in WINNER TAKE ALL. In the Teen Titans comic book series, Speedy was always a bit of a bad boy – often getting himself into trouble.

Cyborg uses “Titans, Together!” as a battle cry for Titans East. “Titans Together!” was the battle cry for the New Teen Titans when Marv Wolfman wrote the series.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 39: Titans East (part 2)

Robin: “But Cyborg, we need you.”
Cyborg: “Sorry, man. They need me more.”

Originally aired: January 22, 2005
Written by David Slack
Directed by Michael Chang

The final showdown between Cyborg and Brother Blood culminates in the creation of a new branch of the Titans team. Titans East includes a new tower in a new city with five new members: Aqualad, Bumblebee, Speedy and a pair known as Mas Y Menos.

Wil Wheaton as Aqualad
Mike Erwin as Speedy
T’Keyah Keymáh as Bumblebee
Freddy Rodriguez as Mas Y Menos
John DiMaggio as Brother Blood

  • Bumblebee’s ability to resist Brother Blood is consistent with her comments in WAVELENGTH. With Blood’s amped brain power, she is unable to resist as strongly in this episode.
  • Robin and Cyborg’s competitive friendship is also evident in DIVIDE AND CONQUER and WINNER TAKE ALL.

Producer Glen Murakami on Brother Blood’s evolution: “I felt as the character went on, we became more like Dracula. That kind of worked for me. He became a very difficult character to figure out. I wonder, if we did it again, if we could refine that. […] I have to say, I don’t know if we figured it out quite as well as we did with Slade. It’s tough. There were a number of things we couldn’t do with him – things that wouldn’t be appropriate for a 6-11 year old cartoon. We weren’t trying to water down the character. So maybe it didn’t quite work. I didn’t feel I had a great handle on who Brother Blood was.”

Producer David Slack on Brother Blood’s evolution: “As far as Brother Blood, I forget exactly when we came up with the notion he wanted to look like Cyborg… but once that aspect came into it, it really seemed to make sense. And not just for Brother Blood’s character, but for the series as a whole. We had two seasons where Slade was trying to make someone like him. We thought it would be an interesting contrast to have a bad guy who was trying to make himself more like our hero. Blood was always conceived as the opposite of Slade. […] Plus, the idea that Brother Blood would voluntarily do to himself something that happened to Cyborg as a result of an accident… to me, that made him extremely creepy. ”

Producer David Slack on the ‘anime’ look to the final battle: “I’d imagine that was something Glen [Murakami] and the directors did. The show has always had a very strong anime influence. So sometimes we hit that tone more strongly than other times. And of course, in a showdown with Cyborg and Brother Blood, there is sort of that ‘cyber-punk’ feeling. So that’s common in anime. ”

Producer Glen Murakami on Titans East: “I think [Executive Producer] Sam [Register] wanted Titans East to be a bigger part of the show [than they actually became]. But we only planned on using them as much as we did. I mean, I like the characters. But it felt sometimes like we were doing “the spin-off.” As much as we liked Titans East, we were all fond of our five core characters. They’re such strong personalities.”

“I think when we thought about Titans East, we wanted to make them different [from our five main characters]. So we didn’t want Speedy to be too much like Robin. We didn’t want Aqualad to be too much like Robin. So that was hard. I think that’s when the strength of our casting comes into play. Like casting Wil Wheaton as Aqualad. I think he came off a little bit older than Robin, without upstaging Robin. That’s what’s great about our voice actors; You have more personality coming through. Our cast brought so much to those characters.”

Brother Blood kidnapped and brainwashed Dick Grayson and Raven and turned them against their teammates in NEW TEEN TITANS (second series) #26-31 [1987]. They broke his control and exposed Blood as a fraud.

Beast Boy’s sadness at Cyborg leaving brought to mind their strong friendship in the comic book series; Beast Boy and Cyborg have been best friends for a long time.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

Visit the Teen Titans Animated Series Guide for more information. Titans Go!

End of transmission. About this author:  Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Read more from this author