your source for everything titans

Teen Titans: Season Two Episode Guide

 Episode 14: How Long Is Forever?

Starfire: “In my world, Rekmas means “The Drifting,” the point in which close friends begin to drift apart… and their friendship begins to die…”
Robin: “We’re not going to drift apart, Star. I promise. We’ll all be friends forever.”
Starfire: “Forever?”

Originally aired: Jan. 10, 2004
Written by David Slack
Directed by Alex Soto

A super-thief from the future called Warp travels back in time to steal a priceless antique. But when the Teen Titans show up to stop him, the villain tries to escape. And in a last-ditch effort to catch the crook, Starfire is pulled into his Time Vortex – and accidentally hurled 20 years into the future. There, she makes a disturbing discovery: in this future, her friends are not friends anymore, and the Titans are history. Can Starfire stop Warp and fix the past so that this grim future never happens?

Xander Berkeley as Warp

  • This is the first appearance of Nightwing on TEEN TITANS.
  • There is an ongoing debate over which Robin is portrayed in the animated series. Is it the first Robin, Dick Grayson or the third Robin, Tim Drake – or even the second Robin, Jason Todd? In the comics, the first Robin [Dick Grayson] later becomes the hero known as Nightwing. So does that mean Robin in TEEN TITANS is Dick Grayson? Not necessarily. The producers just see Robin as Robin, since there are no alter egos in the series. So whether you want to see him as Dick Grayson or Tim Drake – it’s really up to the viewer.
  • The episode title – “How Long Is Forever” – is a reference to a story by sci-fi author Philip K. Dick.

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on HOW LONG IS FOREVER: “That was a really fun episode to write and I was pleased with the way it came out. It was a nice way to start the second season because we had found some material we didn’t explore in season one. Can our weird wacky animated cartoon do something thoughtful? And really pretty sentimental. Another thing I liked about the episode – besides the time travel (I’m a sucker for time travel) – is that it roots into a basic fear of childhood: Will we be the same people when we grow up? That one was a joy to write. I like the way it came out in the end.”

“Nightwing was one of those things that occurred to us along the way. Sam, Glen and I talked about season two and took things from the top-down. We talked about things we remembered from being kids and looking at things we hadn’t done in season one. And also looking at doing a time travel one. We thought that would be cool. My original working title for that one was “Best Friends Forever” – which is a bad title. But it seemed to be something everyone could relate to. I think everyone has someone from their childhood that they can’t relate to as an adult. So I thought there was something emotionally powerful there.

“So it was a fusion of those two things: “Looking for experiences and fears from childhood” and “Wouldn’t it be cool if we did time travel?”

“Once we got the basic concept, it fell into place quickly. That story broke quickly. Glen and I did have a disagreement about how it should end. I had this idea: That as Starfire went through the vortex, she saw the future change for the better. But Glen said “You don’t want to SHOW that” And he ended up being right about that.”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on the fates of the characters: “That took a lot of discussion. Sam was concerned we were going too dark, initially. So we backed off a bit. Glen does concept sketches as we talk about these things; He had done a sketch of an older version of Cyborg silhouetted and slumped against a building with cobwebs and stuff. Great visual.”

“As soon as we started talking, we decided: Robin’s Nightwing; Cyborg’s broken; Raven’s crazy; Beast Boy is just terrified. It just grew out of who they were to a certain extent. And DC was kind enough to let us use Nightwing for that one episode (there’s complicated rights issues with that sort of thing). And, y’know, we can’t just always go into the future all the time. ”

The first Robin later becomes his own heroic identity as Nightwing in the pages of Tales of the Teen Titans #44 [1984].

When Raven is cleansed of her father’s evil, she wears a white cloak, as seen in this episode.

Warp is a villain from the comic book series. He is a member of the Brotherhood of Evil, a group of international terrorists. He first appeared in New Teen Titans #14 [first series] in 1981. The French villain is able to create dimensional warps from one place to another. However, he is not a time traveler, as he is in the animated series.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 15: Every Dog Has His Day

Soto: “Bad Dog! You should not try to escape!”
Beast Boy: “You sure you got the right dog?”
Soto: “…Now we go home.”
Beast Boy: “Home?”
Soto: “Soto’s planet. On far side of galaxy.”

– Conversation with Soto and Beast Boy

Originally aired: Jan. 17, 2004
Written by Rob Hoegee
Directed by Michael Chang

A strange alien dogcomes to Earth with a mysterious flying saucer chasing after it. But when the Alien Dog bumps into green dog Beast Boy (who’s hanging out at the Dog Park, looking for attention), the Flying Saucer accidentally abducts the wrong pooch. And when the Titans spot the Alien Dog, they mistakenly think it’s Beast Boy! Can our heroes clear up the confusion before the alien ship carts Beast Boy off to the far side of the galaxy?

Dee Bradley Baker as the Alien Dog and Soto

  • References are made to past episodes: Starfire and Raven are meditating together [see SWITCHED] and Cyborg is working on his car [see CAR TROUBLE].
  • The alien’s name, Soto, is a reference to series director Alex Soto

Writer/Story Editor Rob Hoegee on Writing Beast Boy: “As any proud parent will say, I love them all. But I think I have more an affinity for Beast Boy. Not that I exactly relate to him, but I think in a lot of ways, I do. Everyone always roots for the underdog. Beast Boy on our team certainly is. I think a lot of the aspects of Beast Boy’s character remind me of my own adolescence. And as much as we like to use Beast Boy as the comic relief and the butt of the jokes, I think there really is a lot of heart to him. A lot of strength. In the Beast Boy episodes I’ve done, I’ve tried to find that in there. ”

Writer/Story Editor Rob Hoegee on EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY: ” I like trying to do a range of things. But those [funny freak-out] episodes were a lot of fun. We were definitely going for that B-Movie camp in EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY.”

Soto and the alien dog do not appear in the comic book and were created specifically for the series.

In the comic book, Beast Boy was the youngest member of the team; He sometimes had an inferiority complex when comparing himself to his fellow Titans.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 16: Terra

“Don’t get too attached my young friend.. I saw her first.”
– Slade

Originally aired: Jan. 24, 2004
Written by Amy Wolfram
Directed by Ciro Nieli

The Titans meet Terra, small teenage girl with big powers. Gifted with amazing earth-moving abilities, Terra can make rocks fly, mountains crumble, and the ground tremble beneath her feet. At first, it seems like this hip,funny, young hero might make a great addition to the team. But Terra has a secret … a terrible secret. And only Slade knows the truth. Will the Titans’ new friend put the whole team in danger?

Ron Perlman as Slade
Ashley Johnson as Terra

  • First appearance of Terra
  • Slade’s interest in Terra mirrors his interest in Robin from season one [APPRENTICE]

Producer David Slack on TERRA: “I’ve really enjoyed working with Marv [Wolfman], who’s a great writer. And we’ve done our best at every turn to honor the spirit in which that original comic book was created. Like the stuff we did with JUDAS CONTRACT. For a lot of reasons, we couldn’t do what they did in the comic book exactly. For one thing, they did it very well so what’s the point in doing it again? But we were able to find our way of doing it that fit our show and I think we still honored what that character of Terra was: a lost, mixed up teenage girl whose a lot stronger than she realizes.”

Producer David Slack on reading and adapting the “Judas Contract” comic book storyline: “Oh yeah. [I read it] Cover to cover, multiple times. That’s the first thing I do when I’m going to work on something Marv [Wolfman] has done [in the comic book series]. I dig in deep and really look at the way they had done it. The JUDAS CONTRACT stuff is so well done and so interesting. It was a joy researching that. So we looked at that, and Glen and I made the choice to have one writer work consistently on the whole arc. And Amy [Wolfram] had done such a good job on her episodes in season one – plus, since it was a female character, we wanted a female perspective”.

“So Amy went and read the JUDAS CONTRACT and Glen reread it. Then we sat down and talked… what were some of the things we can use from it, what were some things we wanted to change, who was ‘our’ Terra vs. theirs. Obviously, the biggest change is that the Terra that Marv and George wrote is just a bad seed. Not even just a bad seed – but she’s evil. She’s not a good person. We were more interested in showing things from Terra’s point of view a little bit more. That sometimes people can do very bad things, but not be a completely bad person. That was where we thought out story was – and that opened it up to tell to a six year old audience. Because some of the Terra/Slade relationship stuff in JUDAS CONTRACT is a little too hot for TV. ”

“So we used what George and Marv had done as huge, huge stepping stones. I’ve said this before at conventions: We’re standing on the shoulders of giants here. We couldn’t ask for better source material than the stuff that Marv and George created. ”

Writer/Story Editor Amy Wolfram on Terra: “Definitely in the comics she was a little bit darker – a little bit more grown-up – than we went [laughs]. We approached her as being someone who wasn’t sure what she was – or what she wanted. And someone who was not in control of her powers. So she was looking for that help. Someone to give her guidance, whether it was someone who was good or bad. And she was an interesting character because I think in a lot of ways, she was real. Because she wasn’t sure of everything. All the other Titans have a sense of who they are. But with Terra, we got to see her figure out who she was. ”

Terra first appeared in NEW TEEN TITANS #26 and 28 [1983]. Much like the animated version, she’s a troubled and confused girl. She appears to be forced to be working for terrorists until the Titans take her in. Beast Boy specifically reached out to Terra. Terra also had problems controlling her powers, particularly when enraged.

Also in the comics, Deathstroke [Slade] takes a particular interest in Terra. More notes on Slade and Terra as season two progresses…

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 17: Only Human

“Fool! Did you actually think you could defeat Atlas? I am all robot… and you are only human.”
– Atlas

Originally aired: Jan. 31, 2004
Written by Adam Beechen
Directed by Alex Soto

Back when Cyborg was a fully human athlete, he loved trying to do more than he thought he could do. He always gave 110%. But now that his muscles are mechanical, Cy’s limitations are built-in. No matter how hard he tries, 100% is all he’s got. But when the other Titans are captured, Cyborg is forced to fight a giant robot called Atlas. This cocky, competitive fighting machine is bigger, faster, and stronger — and it looks like Cy doesn’t stand a chance. Can Cyborg exceed his limitations and save his friends?

Keith David as Atlas
John DiMaggio as Spike

  • Keith David is no stranger to animation. He voiced the lead character in HBO’s “Spawn,” Goliath in “Gargoyles” and Despero in a “Justice League” episode, “Heart and Minds”
  • Spike may sound familiar as well; John DiMaggio provides the voice of Bender on “Futurama”; He also provides the voice for Brother Blood in season three
  • The name Derrick Wyatt – used in this episode – is a reference to the series character designer of the same name

Cyborg mentions his past as an athlete; In the comics, Cyborg had a promising athletic career in front of him, until a tragic accident that required cybernetics to save his life.

The scene where Cyborg tests his limits of endurance is very similar to a scene in TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #42 [1984].

Atlas and Spike were created specifically for the animated series.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 18: Fear Itself

 “I don’t do fear.”
– Raven

Originally aired: February 7th
Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Directed by Michael Chang

Raven doesn’t do fear. Or at least, that’s what she wants you to think.But when a ghostly, unknown force starts hunting down the Titans one by one,Titans Tower turns into a house of horrors — and even Raven gets rattled. Will she be able to control her fear long enough to find out what’s really going on?

Alex Polinsky as Control Freak
Tress MacNeille as Horror Movie Actress

  • “Fear Itself” features the debut of Control Freak – a villain that Dwayne McDuffie created but never used when he was writing the ‘Impulse’ comic book series.
  • The trophy room features souvenirs from past episodes: Slade’s mask, The Puppet King, Cyborg’s puppet, the chip Red X stole, Trident’s trident, Mad Mod’s bust, among others

First appearance of Control Freak, who was created for the animated series.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 19: Date With Destiny

“Her name is Kitten – and you will take her to prom.”
– Killer Moth

Originally aired: February 14, 2004
Written by Rick Copp
Directed by Ciro Nieli

A creepy criminal known as Killer Moth threatens to destroy the city with a flying army of mutant moths, unless … Robin takes his spoiled-rotten teenage daughter Kitten to her junior prom?!? So while the other Titans are scouring the city in search of Moth’s secret hideout, a reluctant Robin has no choice but to go along with the villain’s bizarre demand. Can Robin survive his date with destiny?

Thomas Hayden Church as Killer Moth
Tara Strong as Kitten
Will Friedle as Fang

  • Will Friedle – voice of Fang – also provided the voice of Terry McGuiness on “Batman Beyond.”
  • Killer Moth’s house is an exact replica of the house from the “Brady Bunch” – complete with the same decor.
  • Starfire’s eyeblasts manifest in the NEXT episode, “Transformation”; She should not have that power in this episode.
  • One of the prom kids – the one with brown hair and glasses – is modeled after character designer Derrick Wyatt

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on DATE WITH DESTINY: “That episode had a very winding road to your television screen. That premise was written by Rick Copp – who eventually wrote the episode. That was in the pipeline since season one. It changed a lot from the original – but the initial idea of Robin being forced to go the prom was an idea we all liked. We thought there was something that resonated about that. But after the script for SISTERS came down, we thought we might be hitting romance too much for our audience – it’s a boy’s action show. Don’t get me wrong, I love that girls watch it. But that first season we wanted to make sure we hit our core audience. So in season one, that episode got bumped.”

“Then season two came around and we decided to do it. We brought Rick back and he did a hilarious script. And then our storyboard artists got a hold of it. We wrote some of the jealousy stuff with Starfire, but I was thrilled when the animation came back on that one. Like the part where she jumps out of her boots. Or when she incinerates into a match. All that stuff is our excellent storyboard artists and directors. And Kitten came out to be tremendous fun. Tara Strong did the voice on that. She had a great time with it. I think it’s one of our funniest episodes. So we did our romantic comedy episode. ”

Producer/Story Editor David Slack on Robin & Starfire’s relationship: “Well, there’s the Sam & Diane problem from CHEERS. Once you let the relationship get too far, it suddenly isn’t interesting anymore. We have some episodes coming up that take that a little further. BETROTHED took it a little further. And we’ll definitely be hitting on that thread again.”

Killer Moth is actually a Batman foe, not a Titans foe. He’s a low-level criminal that dresses like a giant moth. He is later transformed into a disgusting half human/half insect creature by the demon, Neron.

Robin’s messed up hair – with dual spitcurls – is a nod to the Boy Wonder’s original hairstyle through the 1940s and 1950s.

Starfire’s jealousy is another nod to the long-standing Robin/Starfire relationship in the comic book series.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 20: Transformation

“But when my sister had Transformation, she merely turned purple for two days.” 
– Starfire

Originally aired: February 21, 2004
Written by Rob Hoegee
Directed by Alex Soto

The beautiful alien Starfire has never thought much about her looks. But when a strange red bump appears on her forehead, Star becomes concerned. Raven tells her not to worry — it’s probably just a zit. Or is it? As she grows tusks on her neck, scales on her skin, and hideous clawed fingernails, the question becomes unavoidable: is Starfire turning into some sort of horrible alien monster?

Dee Dradley Baker as Plasmus
Catherine Cavadini as Alien Woman
Tony Jay as Narrator

  • Starfire mentions that her sister has gone through the transformation; Starfire’s sister, Blackfire, has eyeblasts in the episode, SISTERS
  • Before Starfire eats the fly, it says “help me.” – which is a reference to the Jeff Goldblum 1986 remake of “The Fly.”
  • Plasmus retains his acid touch when he appears next in AFTERSHOCKS
  • Catherine Cavadini provides the voice of Bubbles on “The Powerpuff Girls’; Tara Strong (voice of Raven) provides the voice of Bubbles
  • One of the kids that laughs at Starfire – the kid in the band hat – is modeled after series producer Glen Murakami
  • The Cironeilian Chryssalis Eater is named after series director Ciro Neili

In the comic cooks, Plasmus is not a shape-shifter, although his appearance is similar. He has the power to burn whatever he touches. Plasmus gains acid-spewing abilities this episode.

Many fans have remarked that the insect-alien woman looks a lot like the White Queen from the LEGION OF SUPERHEROES comic book series.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 21: Titan Rising

“I don’t believe it. They actually trust me.”
– Terra

Originally aired: February 28, 2004
Written by Amy Wolfram
Directed by Michael Chang

Terra returns to Titans Tower — and this time, she’s ready to join the team. But after what happened the last time they saw her, the Titans aren’t sure that’s such a good idea — and Raven is positive that it’s not. But Robin reminds her that everyone deserves a second chance. And when Slade unveils his latest diabolical plot, Terra gets hers. Can Terra win the Titans’ trust and become a full-fledged member of the team? Or will she again lead our heroes into disaster?

Ron Perlman as Slade
Ashley Johnson as Terra

  • This is Terra’s second appearance
  • Terra joins the team in this episode
  • Terra has greater control of her powers from her last appearance. The reason for this is explained in her next full episode, BETRAYAL

Producer Glen Murakami on Terra’s costume change: “It’s things like that – that after awhile everything just seems to blend together. We were going through things the other day, and I had forgotten that Terra had that first costume [in the comic books]. And we actually have her making those costume changes. We didn’t copy it, but it’s interesting that in the back of my mind I thought “Oh, when we first see her, she won’t have this costume… and then she’ll get this costume [when she joins].” Things like that.. I don’t know if I remembered that, or that it’s just so subconscious now.”

Producer David Slack on Ashley Johnson as Terra: “Terra is a fascinating character. She was really difficult but really fun to write. And we got great casting. Ashley Johnson – oh my God – she brought that character to life. That’s something I should mention. We have a great cast because we have the best voice director in the business. Andrea Romano is just phenomenal at what she does and always guides us interesting, smart casting choices of really talented actors that are also really nice people. And all the good scripts and great drawings in world would mean nothing without her talent and theirs. You go to Andrea’s house, and she has a table that’s just filled with Emmys. I can’t give her enough respect. She’s nice and personable, but is also so good at what she does. ”

Raven is very suspicious of Terra, as seen in NEW TEEN TITANS #28 [1983] and TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #41 [1984]. Her empathic powers sensed something troubling about Terra – as seen in this episode. Terra adopts a new costume when she joins the team in NEW TEEN TITANS #30 [1983].

More notes on Terra as season two progresses…

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 22: Winner Take All

Speedy: “Just a friendly competition huh?”
Robin: “Yeah, should be fun.”
Speedy: “Right. ‘Cuz winning isn’t everything.”
Robin: “It’s just the only thing that matters.”

Originally aired: March 6, 2004
Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Directed by Ciro Nieli

Robin, Cyborg, and Beast Boy are transported to an alternate dimension. There, the mysterious Master of Gamesinvites our heroes and five other superpowered teens (Aqualad, Speedy, Gizmo, Hotspot, and Wildebeest) to participate in a friendly competition: The Tournament of Heroes. As the contest rages on, Robin becomes more and more determined to win – while Cyborg becomes more and more worried about what happens to the losers after they disappear. Will Robin realize that winning isn’t everything before he loses the only thing that matters: his friends?

Wil Wheaton as Aqualad
Mike Erwin as Speedy
Jim Cummings as Master of Games
Lauren Tom as Gizmo [uncredited]
Hotspot is uncredited
Wildebeest is uncredited

  • The episode was originally titled “It’s How You Play The Game” but it was retitled “Winner Take All.”
  • First appearances of Speedy, Hotspot and Wildebeest; Second appearance of Aqualad; all become honorary members this episode
  • The original synopsis listed Hotspot as ‘Joto’ – his name in the comic book series [see comic book linear notes]
  • Mike Erwin [Speedy] played the Teenage Bruce Banner in the 2003 movie, “HULK,” based on the comic book character

Producer David Slack on WINNER TAKE ALL: “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. ”

“We had so many characters in that episode. It’s amazing how fast the script fills up with just five people – never mind nine. So Wildebeest just grunts. When you have that many characters to juggle, it’s not so bad to have a character that just grunts. Dwayne [McDuffie] and I were still able to make some jokes about what he does. With Wildebeest, you just ‘write the look’; He’s this great, big guy.”

“Then there’s Hotspot. He was Joto originally, and then we learned what that meant in Spanish and changed his name. [note: Joto is Swahili for heat; in Spanish, it’s a derogatory term]. With Hoptspot, the description we wrote was “A human flame-thrower with a fiery temper to match.” So he became the not-so-nice one.”

“Then there’s Gizmo… who’s just a pain in the butt. The guys we used in that episode – we just wanted them to all be different. We tried to give each character one distinct trait to write. We didn’t have much time to deal with all of them. And we always run into timing issues and tight deadlines – especially with that one.”

Producer David Slack on choosing the characters for WINNER TAKE ALL:“Dwayne [McDuffie] is EXTREMELY well-versed in comic books. And of course, he’s worked on JUSTICE LEAGUE and STATIC SHOCK. Dwayne, Glen and I talked about which characters we wanted to use. There was a lot of phone calls and e-mails to get a final approved list of who we could use in the episode. We thought about doing Jericho – but we were concerned we wouldn’t have time to deal with his powers in such a short time frame. He requires a bit of explanation. Plus, with Jericho there’s the sign language thing. We’d have to make sure we got that right. ”

“Who else were we looking at? We had a long list of guys. We originally had 10 and slimmed it down to 8. And we ended up doing a three-way match – which added some excitement. We had to keep it down for various reasons. We had to keep to a budget. Like the amount of voice actors and that kind of stuff, too. We had character designers about to die [laughs]. I think once we brainstormed the list of people, we let more practical concerns take over.”

Producer David Slack on the Tournament of Heroines: Any thought to using more female Titans?: “Yeah, we did. But after working so hard on all the other characters – and trying to get the episode just right – we just sort of ran out of time. We did go with suggestive silhouettes – so you’d say “Hey, was that Wonder Girl?” We thought that would be fun.”

Speedy – sidekick to Green Arrow – was a founding member of the Teen Titans as detailed in TEEN TITANS #53 [a flashback origin story] in 1978. Speedy later became the hero known as Arsenal. Speedy/Arsenal has been a member of just about every incarnation of the Titans.

The comment about Speedy being a ‘Robin clone’ is more than amusing. In the 1960s, Green Arrow and his sidekick Speedy had much in common with Batman & Robin. Green Arrow had an Arrowcave, and Arrowmobile and an array of gadget arrows. Green Arrow was a millionaire in his alter ego, and adopted a young orphan, Roy Harper [Speedy]. In the 1970’s, Green Arrow and Speedy were developed to stand on their own – with unique personalities. And the Batman/Robin similarities have become something of a running joke.

Hot Spot is based on the Teen Titan known as Joto in the comic book series; Joto is swahili for heat. Joto became a member of the reformed second group of Teen Titans in TEEN TITANS [second series] #1 [1996].

Wildebeest was originally a mysterious villain dressed in a Wildebeest costume who first appeared in NEW TEEN TITANS #36-37 [1987]. Later, it was revealed there was a whole Wildebeest Society; To that end, the original Wildebeest, who became the Society’s leader, created the clever strategy of permitting only one member to be seen in public at any one time. The Society was defeated by the Titans, leaving them with a baby Wildebeest.

Baby Wildebeest was a genetic experiment created by the evil society. The docile baby would hulk-out to a giant Wildebeest creature to defend his newfound friends, the Titans.

The Master of Games was created for the animated series.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 23: Betrayal

“She is not your friend. She is my apprentice.”
– Slade to Beast Boy

Originally aired: July 31, 2004
Written by Amy Wolfram
Directed by Alex Soto

After a few weeks as a Teen Titan, Terra has everything she ever wanted: a nice home, good friends, and even a little romance with Beast Boy. Everything seems perfect … but is it?

Ron Perlman as Slade
Ashley Johnson as Terra

  • Terra betrays the team this episode
  • The whole Terra arc has a recurring theme of reflections; Beast Boy gives Terra a heart shaped box with a mirror. Terra looks at her reflection twice in the diner… once in a spoon and the next, she sees Slade in back of her at the window. The climax to the episode takes place in a hall or mirrors.
  • The face on the diner menu is modeled after series director Ben Jones

Producer Sam Register on the Terra arc: “We chose [JUDAS CONTRACT] because of all the Wolfman/Pérez stories, that was probably the best story that they did. It was sort of their uber-story. It was one I remembered as a kid. I talked to [comics writer] Marv Wolfman and he said, at the time, Kitty Pryde was really big at Marvel on the X-Men. And they wanted to do an evil version of Kitty Pryde. And that’s where Terra came from. And from day one, when they greenlit the show, me and Glen [Murakami] always knew we wanted to do Terra. So second season is when we decided to do it.”

Producer Sam Register on Terra/Beast Boy: “Yeah, for the Beast Boy and Terra relationship to work we really needed to not make her completely evil – otherwise it wouldn’t have worked. And we have a shorter amount of time to tell a story than they do in the comic books. We can’t write as much as they wrote in the books.”

Producer David Slack on Terra: “I think the important thing with Terra was to drag you back and forth with her. To make you like her, then you hate her, then you like her again, then we make you hate her again. Because Terra is “the bad friend.” The kid you know that… well, something isn’t right there. Something’s going on. That felt more useful to us with our audience. I think people do get lost. Look at the state of the world today. Bad things happen. And I think from my own aesthetic, I’m always more interested in WHY people do bad things than just evil itself. […] And I think in the end, Terra is still a little bit of a bit of a puzzle. Why was she like that?”

Terra is revealed to be working with Slade in this episode. In NEW TEEN TITANS #34 [1983], it is revealed that Terra was a spy planted in the group to learn all their secrets.

Terra used a camera contact lens to gain footage of the team; The freeze frames and analysis of each team member in the opening sequence seems similar to that.

In the comics, Beast Boy developed romantic feelings for Terra. He was crushed when he learned of her betrayal. The comic book version of Terra was much less sympathetic; She hated the Titans for no particular reason. In the cartoon, her feelings for Beast Boy seem more genuine, since she seemed willing to spare him.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 24: Fractured

“Welcome to our universe, small amusing doppelganger!”
– Starfire to Larry the Titan

Originally aired: August 5, 2004
Written by David Slack
Directed by Michael Chang

When Robin accidentally wrecks the R-Cycle while pursuing a nasty thug named Jonny Rancid, he winds up with his arm in a cast — and doubt in himself. Lucky for Robin, he gets a helpful visit from his Number One Fan: a short little weirdo from another dimension known as Larry the Titan! But unlucky for Robin, Larry’s reality bending powers cause more problems than they fix. Can Robin get his nerve back and take down Johnny Rancid before Larry’s “help” breaks the fabric of spacetime and destroys reality as we know it?

Dee Bradley Baker as Larry the Titan
Henry Rollins as Johnny Rancid

  • Each season seem to follow a pattern of a ‘wacky’ episode just before the season arc wraps up; Season One had MAD MOD and season two brings us FRACTURED
  • The episode title refers to Robin’s injury as well as the fractured state of reality
  • The opening sequence is sung in Japanese by Larry the Titan and features Larry in the sequence; It was actually sung by Puffy Ami Yumi’s manager. It’s called the “Toshi Mix.” Toshi is credited in Fractured as Toy C.
  • Raven uses her healing powers – not seen since FINAL EXAM in season one
  • Robin’s chainsaw hand is most likely an homage to the Ash character in the “Evil Dead” trilogy.
  • Jonny Rancid’s name is similar to Jonny Rotten of Sex Pistols fame. His voice is provided by Henry Rollins, lead singer of the rock group, Black Flag.

Producer David Slack on FRACTURED: “That actually started as far back as season one. Sam [Register] suggested we do an episode where everything just goes crazy. So that was there. Meanwhile, all the guys on the crew started drawing a little reject Titan that they called “Larry the Titan.” There were all these different designs for him and he never looked the same way twice. But they would draw all these pictures of Larry.”

“So somehow, somewhere… we were thinking of doing a Bat-Mite type character. And someone said, “Why not make it Larry?” So we started to develop this anti-Robin. But we didn’t want to do Mxyzptlk. We wanted him to be a more earnest trouble-maker. That he really didn’t mean to make trouble. So it became an episode about making mistakes. So that made it a natural for Robin, who almost never makes mistakes. That was another one that was difficult to make the story work. That was definitely the weirdest thing I’ve ever written. And I’ve read the message boards on that one. For the record, we were all stone-cold sober. We were just very sleep deprived.”

“We were up until like 2:30 in the morning coming up with that one. I think the band-aid on Beast Boy’s brain was [director] Michael Chang. I came up with that whole mouth-switch thing. There was a lot of weird, weird stuff in there. Originally, we had Beast Boy speaking Japanese, but we decided it would be funnier – and easier – if he spoke backwards. Yep. Stone-cold sober! ”

Producer David Slack on Larry as an ‘alternate Dick Grayson’: ” It was sorta just to keep people guessing. I really didn’t expect it to be written on the screen like that. [laughs] It was just gonna be that he was going to SAY it. I think maybe eventually we may get around to settling the Robin thing once and for all… but for now.. […] But hey, Larry’s from another dimension — so who knows? Could mean something. Could be a coincidence. I’m not telling! ”

Development Manager Tramm Wigzell on the Robin Controversy: “Robin is Peter Parker,” Wigzell said seriously, before busting out in laughter. “One of the best things about Titans is we’re not married to continuity, so who’s to say which heroes it will and won’t be. That’s not really important! But there’s an episode coming up where that question may be answered, if you pay really close attention!”

FRACTURED is the episode Tramm was referring to; Larry the Titan is a alternate dimension version of Robin… and he states his name: Kcid Nosyarg. As his name spins backward it reads Dick Grayson, who was the first Robin.

Personally, I think trying to figure out which Robin is in TEEN TITANS is as pointless at trying to deduce the location of Springfield on THE SIMPSONS. Don’t think too much… just enjoy.

Larry the Titan is very similar to the mischief-making interdimensional imp, Bat-Mite. Bat-Mite appeared in the Batman comics in the 1960s and 1970s before disappearing into obscurity. Larry the Titan could very well be Bat-Mite’s sidekick.

Raven mentions “The Book Of Azar”; Azar was the spiritual leader of Azarath, the dimension where Raven was born and grew up.

One of the images Larry conjures up of Robin is modeled after Robin’s look in the 1950s.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 25: Aftershock [Part 1]

“I knew her better than anyone. I know all the terrible things she’s done. And I know exactly how messed up she is. But she’s not evil. And we can’t just give up on her.”
– Beast Boy

Originally aired: August 14, 2004
Written by David Slack
Directed by Ciro Nieli

A long lost friend of the Titans returns with a vengenance – and Slade orders Overload, Cinderblock, and Plasmus to launch a series of sinister strikes all over the city. Can our heroes stop three monsters, Slade, and their newest enemy? Or will the Teen Titans finally be destroyed?

Ron Perlman as Slade
Ashley Johnson as Terra
Dee Bradley Baker as Cinderblock, Plasmus, Overload

  • There is a recurring theme of ‘reflections’ in season two’s Terra arc. It continues this episode when Robin forces Terra to look at herself
  • Another theme is Terra’s hair falling to one side, giving her a visual similarity to Slade
  • Plasmus retains his acid-spewing abilities from TRANSFORMATION
  • The man making copies in the office is drawn in the likeness of character designer, Derrick Wyatt

Producer David Slack on the Terra arc: “After having a bit of an exploration process in season one, we decided we wanted an overview for the arc in season two. So Amy and I worked together and came up with an arc overview – a little paragraph of what happens in each episode. So we knew where we were heading. That said, while I was writing AFTERSHOCK, part one Any kept calling me and saying “The story we have for part two doesn’t work.” And I said, “No, no, keep going. You’ll be fine”. And sure enough she sent me the draft she was working on … and I call her back and say “This isn’t working.” And she said “What did I tell you?” So we sat down and very quickly worked out the way to go. Not even major tweaks. We were just missing some story elements. So we figured that out and did a rewrite.”

“So my point is we have an overview, but things change a lot. For example, the giant worms in TITAN RISING were not part of the plan. Originally, we had a very different episode in mind. And in BETRAYAL it originally didn’t include the big attack on Titans Tower. For all our planning, there’s still a lot of discovery along the way. Same with the other arcs.You cant know what each episode is gonna do. For all the planning, you still build it episode by episode. You see how the first episode turns out to see what you can do in the second one. It’s a tricky process.”

Writer/Story Editor Amy Wolfram on adapting THE JUDAS CONTRACT comic book story: ” I went back [to the comics] for the Terra arc. That was helpful to see the various things they went through in the comics. We didn’t really stick right to it. We had kinda the same beginning, kinda the same middle and kinda the same end. But for some of the other characters we bring in, I actually go to your website to see who they were [laughs]. But for the most part, I try to make them who they need to be on our show. And they may be similar – but they may be different. ”

Terra betrayed the team in the classic JUDAS CONTRACT story in TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #42-44 and Annual #3 [1984]; Initially joining the team in NEW TEEN TITANS #30, Terra was actually a spy for Slade from the very beginning. She and Slade used the Titans secrets and weaknesses against them to bring them down one by one.

In the comics, Terra also had a special hatred for Raven – whose powers threatened to expose Terra’s duplicity. In turn, Raven was extremely distrustful of Terra. Terra attacked Raven and gloated over her fallen body, similar to their battle this episode.

In the JUDAS CONTRACT, Robin was the last Titan to be brought down by Slade and Terra.

Beast Boy was also disbelieving when confronted with Terra’s betrayal. He initially blamed Slade before realizing Terra made many decisions of her own accord. There were brief times when it seemed Terra was confused; She would become enraged when the Titans reached out to help her.

EPISODE SCREEN CAPS [click to enlarge]:

 Episode 26: Aftershock [Part 2]

 “My name is Terra. I have done horrible things. And I have absolutely no regrets. “
– Terra

Originally aired: August 21, 2004
Written by Amy Wolfram
Directed by Alex Soto

In a world without Titans, Slade has taken control of everything: the streets, the city, and the heart of his young Apprentice. But … are our heroes really gone?

Ron Perlman as Slade
Ashley Johnson as Terra
Dee Bradley Baker as Cinderblock, Plasmus, Overload

  • The theme of reflections continues in the Terra arc; The mirror Beast Boy gave her in BETRAYAL breaks in the opening sequence
  • Terra’s hair falls to one eye when she’s doing bad things – reflecting Slade’s look; When she regrets her actions, her hair falls back to show both eyes
  • Slade seemingly dies this episode
  • The Mumbo battle seen in flashback has not appeared on the show. However, TEEN TITANS GO! comic book #12 [released October 2004] revealed details with that Mumbo encounter: “The Titans go face-to-face with their strangest foe: Mumbo! Can they survive more of his “tricks”?”; The issue features Terra and takes place between TITAN RISING and BETRAYAL.

Sam Register on AFTERSHOCK: “There was some issues with how bad we could make Terra – and how we end it. Obviously, it comes to a pretty sad end in the comics. So how do we end it in the cartoon so it still means something, but maybe isn’t as violent. And how to deal with having her smoke and drink which she did in the comic – we couldn’t do that, obviously. But other than that, it was a very simple story about betrayal. And you didn’t have to change too much to make the idea of betrayal work for the show.”

Comic Book Writer Marv Wolfman on the animated Terra on his “Today’s Views” column: “Because of last night’s moving episode of The Teen Titans cartoon show on Cartoon Network, I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking me to bring back Terra in one way or another. It reminds me of when we did the original version of that story 20+ years ago. Terra then, and now, elicited a lot of strong feelings, including one death threat. But Terra in the comics is dead and has been (the 2nd Terra who appeared in Team Titans, was clearly and honestly described as a girl who had been kidnapped and brainwashed into thinking she was Terra and the Titans were led, through duplicity, to believe that she was the original. But she never was). The Terra on TV, more repentant than the psychopathic killer from the comics, has been, well, see the episode for yourselves. However, for all those writing to me, as much as I love hearing your thoughts and comments about the characters George Pérez and I created way back when, I really have no say as to what goes on in the TV show.”

Producer David Slack on understanding Terra: “We definitely struggled to figure out who she was and why she was doing what she was doing. I was looking at the last pass of the final script just balling my eyes out. I mean, she’s just lost. Something inside her hurts so bad that right and wrong don’t matter anymore.”

 I think that what’s cool about the JUDAS CONTRACT is that it’s a tragedy. And the trick of tragedy is to not give you the easy answers. I don’t know if she redeemed herself with what she did. I know she did one thing right, but as fans pointed out, she also caused that volcano. I know she sacrificed herself to save the city and her friends but she also betrayed them. I think the tragedy is that she’ll never be able to explain herself. And when people do get lost in their own lives, there’s a point we can’t understand. Like why that person got into drugs or why that person killed himself. I think it’s complicated. Evil is complicated. We definitely wanted a sense that she redeemed herself … but in the end, I don’t know that she did or not.”

And I think whether you’re a writer, an artist or a director… the art form we’re all working in is stories. And I think the best told stories stick to your ribs. That you find yourself thinking about them later on. The key is to give enough so the story makes sense – but not enough that you tell them everything. I think we have a pretty smart audience; There’s a lot of brains thinking about this stuff. I think everybody I know knows somebody who got lost in life. Someone that couldn’t hang on like the rest of us could. And they’d get involved with bad people or drugs or whatever.”

“Whether Terra is or isn’t evil, I cared about her. I was sad to see her go. I think Terra’s story is a story about responsibility. I think Terra doesn’t feel responsibility for anything she does. As a result, she feels very out of control. She feels like she needs somebody else to be to be in charge of her. In the end, she finally does take charge. Whether or not she was actually a good person or an evil person, I think she finally resolved whatever was plaguing her. She finally found some real spine and real courage. ”

Producer David Slack on the intensity of AFTERSHOCK: “You cant write a show that kids are watching and not wonder if you’re going too far with it. But we have a lot of people looking out to make sure that doesn’t happen. In the end I don’t feel we’ve done anything bad for audience. Lately, I’ve been thinking back to the Disney movies we grew up with, and they’re really dark. There’s some really dark and scary stuff that happens there. And I don’t think it’s a terrible thing for children to be scared by something they see on TV because that how we learn to deal with being scared. It’d be a bad thing if there was a generation that didn’t know how to handle being scared. I don’t worry about it too much. But writing the scenes with Slade and Robin and Slade and Terra is one thing, but seeing the animation, it’s a grown man beating up a teenager. So there’s definitely moments where you go, “Woah. That’s intense.”

“But in the end, Slade gets what’s coming to him. In the end, it ends… well, reasonably well. [laughs] But the show can get really intense. We’ve all kinda had moments where we’ll look at each other and go, “Yikes. Are we going too far here?” But thus far, no one has complained. And I feel good about it. And we have a lighter arc coming in season three, so we’ll see how that turns out. ”

Writer/Stort Editor Amy Wolfram on AFTERSHOCK: “Well, we also saw that as her redemption too. It wasn’t necessarily a sad thing; She saw what she needed to do save the world and her friends… in some ways, to save herself. So we went for that. I certainly wanted to beat up Slade more than they let me [laughs]. I threw him in boiling lava and even that didn’t seem to be enough.”

Terra betrayed the team in the classic JUDAS CONTRACT story in TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #42-44 and Annual #3 [1984]; She used the Titans secrets and weaknesses against them.

The comic book Terra is much more unstable than her animated counterpart. She hates the Titans for no reason. When Slade and Terra’s scheme falls apart, she loses any grip she had on sanity. She’s so far gone that she uses her powers to create earthquakes that consume her in a mountain of debris. Beast Boy later finds her dead body. The Titans gives her a hero’s funeral and don’t reveal to the public she was a traitor. It all happens in TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS Annual #3. But the comic book Terra never shows an ounce of remorse.

This event effects the Titans for quite some time in the comic books. Beast Boy blames Slade, and later realizes Terra was evil before Slade met her. And for awhile, the Titans have trouble trusting new people.

Animated Terra vs Comic Book Terra

Same tale of betrayal. Two slightly different takes on it. The comic book Terra, ultimately, is an unredeemable psychopath. When first introduced, she appears to be a mouthy but confused girl. Six issues later, we learn she is secretly working with Slade to bring down the Titans. As the story continues, there are a few times where it seems Terra may have a change of heart… but in the end, she betrays them all with no regrets.

Terra’s insanity consumes her. She hates the Titans for absolutely no reason and ends up taking her own life in a explosive display of her powers. This leaves the Titans with sorrow and confusion: Why did Terra do this? Beast Boy becomes consumed with confronting Slade, believing he is responsible for corrupting her. When he does locate Slade, he learns the truth: Terra was corrupt when Slade met her. She had already killed at least one person at the age of 15. She lost any capacity for good long before Slade even met her.

The animated Terra is also a confused and lonely girl. But from the outset in TERRA, we learn she has the capacity for good. Here, it is established that Terra has a pattern of going to a new place, and it all falls in ruins when she can’t control her powers. Slade plants the seeds of doubt in Terra concerning the Titans. Ironically, at the end of TERRA, it is Terra who is ‘betrayed’ by Beast Boy… setting things in motion that will have serious consequences.

The animated Terra is set on a destructive course by Slade. She is unstable and desperate – and Slade has promised he can help her control her powers. Terra knows her lack of control is what prevents her from ever having a home. And, in her mind, the Titans are not her friends… they betrayed HER. When animated Terra infiltrates the Titans, she has no hesitation to enact Slade’s plan. And despite some guilt, she goes through with it. She does terrible things. She leaves the Titans – except Beast Boy – for dead in BETRAYAL.

Once again, when she almost escapes Slade’s influence, she feels betrayed by Beast Boy when he said “You have no friends.” Beast Boy has no reason to forgive or trust her at that point, but Terra seeks his acceptance nonetheless. That’s actually the key to animated Terra’s character: All she is seeking is acceptance… from someone.

Terra allows herself to be influenced by these events and she sets out to destroy the Titans. I’m glad the series made a point of highlighting the fact that Terra is responsible for her choices. Despite her ultimate change of heart, Terra did terrible things. Unlike her comic book counterpart, animated Terra at least still had the capacity for good. She is able to at last become her own person and make the right choice. Raven makes an interesting observation early in the episode, when she notes Terra seemed scared, but not sorry. Big difference. Later in the episode, Terra finally says she is sorry for everything… marking a turning point for her. Finally, she sees the effect of all the horrible things she’s done.

The original comic book tale, JUDAS CONTRACT, was like a sucker punch to readers. I think many of the readers thought Terra might have a last minute change of heart.. or at least, a measure of regret. The fact that she was irredeemable was shocking at the time. Part of me misses that ‘sucker punch’ impact in the animated series.

But the animated Terra was more sympathetic from the outset. And the writers certainly didn’t paint her as a ‘victim’ of Slade. She betrayed the Titans of her own volition – and paid the ultimate price.

The closing words from Beast Boy say it all: “Her name was Terra. She was gifted with tremendous power and cursed with it as well. She was a dangerous enemy and a good friend. And she was one of the bravest people I have ever known.”

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