Warning: spoilers for Knight Terrors: Titans #2 ahead!The Titans are DC’s closest team, but there’s a member who has been with them since almost the start and yet never gets any love – or even a name. Thanks to DC’s Knight Terrors event, the Titans are finally on speaking terms with their most underrated member, and even discover their name.
Andrew Constant, Scott Godlewski, Mike Norton, Ryan Cody, Hi-Fi, and Wes Abbott’s Knight Terrors: Titans two-issue adventure begins with a mysterious woman clawing her way out of the floor of a haunted house. Guided by Raven’s voice, she finds and frees each member of the Titans from their own personal nightmares that have trapped them as the worst versions of themselves. With everyone freed and the nightmare assault continuing, Raven reveals the mystery. The haunted house is actually the divided nightmare of Titans Tower itself: its past as Blüdhaven Prison is trying to destroy them, while the woman who saved them is the building’s new potential as the Titans’ home. Confronting herself, the Tower subdues her troubled past and accepts her potential for growth: with the Titans now awake, she thanks them and tells Raven that she would like to go by the name “Joanne.”
Titans Tower Becomes Joanne
Making its first official appearance in Marv Wolfman, George Pérez, Romeo Tanghal, and Adrienne Roy’s New Teen Titans #1, Titans Tower has been the Titans’ T-shaped home and base of operations throughout multiple different incarnations, making it into the team’s many adaptations in one form or another. Despite having been destroyed many times, its latest iteration is designed to be a beacon of hope for the much-blighted city of Blüdhaven, replacing its oppressive prison with a symbol of compassion and aid.
Nightwing’s Titans Are Saving Blüdhaven (& Vice Versa)
The main thematic arc of Knight Terrors: Titans is of identity, making Joanne the perfect protagonist for the story: just as each Titan fears that their past is all they can be (an animal, a computer, etc.), Joanne must contend with her role as genius loci over a place that has overseen atrocity after atrocity in the name of profit. While the spirit of the Titans is ultimately triumphant, it is not an easily-won victory; as the site of some of the most destructive battles the Titans have faced, the Tower must choose to believe that she can truly bring hope to the team and the people of Blüdhaven and not just act as a magnet for more violence.
DC has a long history with major locations – such as Gotham City and Metropolis – manifesting sentient representations of their core nature, however few are as conflicted as Joanne. The nature of Titans Tower is to act as both a base and home to DC’s most close-knit and hopeful team, however Nightwing’s decision to convert a prison into the building’s latest iteration puts Joanne inherently at odds with her past. However, in embracing her heroic nature, Joanne becomes a true member of the team, and Nightwing’s attempt to spiritually better Blüdhaven takes a huge step forward. Dick has been using his inherited billions to uplift the city and free it from corruption, and now his team have welcomed in the embodiment of one of its darkest locations.
Titans Tower has long been an essential part of the team’s set-up, but thanks to the Titans‘ experiences during Knight Terrors, Joanne is now recognized as an ally in the truest sense.
Knight Terrors: Titans #2 is now available from DC Comics.