WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Titans series premiere, “Titans,” streaming now on DC Universe.
The series premiere of DC Universe’s Titans devotes much of its time to introducing its heroes, and its central mysteries, while weaving in a handful of supporting players from the comics, such as Detective Amy Rohrbach, and Dick Grayson’s late parents, seen in a dream sequence. However, there’s another DC character you may have missed.
While the pursuit of Rachel Roth, played by Teagan Croft, by a sinister cabal will clearly drive the overarching plot of the season, the first episode sets up another puzzle in the identity, and true nature, of Koriand’r, aka Starfire (portrayed by Anna Diop. Awaking in a bullet-riddled car outside of Vienna, Austria, with armed attackers in hot pursuit, she flees, with the only clues to her identity an American passport with the name Kory Anders, and a room key for a luxury hotel. In her penthouse suite, she finds a phone, with a photo of herself posing with s smiling mystery man as its wallpaper. Well, that and another man beaten, bound and gagged in the closet.
From him, we learn three things: Kory is also trying to find Rachel, for undetermined reasons; Kory isn’t who she led everyone to believe; and the man in the photo is Konstantin Kovar.
If that name is at all familiar, it’s probably because you’re a faithful viewer of The CW’s Arrow, on which Dolph Lundgren guest-starred as a Russian government strongman who was ultimately killed by Oliver Queen on Lian Yu. If not that, then it’s because you have a virtually encyclopedic knowledge of DC comics.
Introduced in 1968 in Teen Titans #18, Kovar was a Soviet archaeologist who, while investigating a meteorite strike in Siberia, only to find a crashed alien spacecraft instead. The boy, Leonid Konstantinovitch Kovar, ventured into the crater and, in the fashion of 1960s superhero comics, emerged with superpowers. He went on to become a hero and national symbol. Although he was later dubbed Red Star, his original code name is more pertinent here: Starfire.
Konstantin was believed to have died when Leonid was still a teen. However, it was revealed in the 1990s, after Red Star had finally joined the Titans, that his father was still alive, and had been planning in secret to overthrow the Russian government using an army of cyborgs. That scheme didn’t work out, and Konstantin died with his dream unfulfilled.
The Konstantin Kovar on Titans isn’t an archaeologist or a mad scientist, but instead a gangster who owns his own nightclub in Vienna, Das Schaman. He’s also a bit emotional, becoming, at turns, angry and weepy when he learns that not only was he somehow betrayed by Kory, the woman he loved, but that she doesn’t even remember him, and certainly didn’t feel the same about him. Of course, he would’ve been better off nursing his emotional wounds and calling it a day. But instead, he shoots Kory, and she unconsciously responds by unleashing her powers, and filling the nightclub’s office with flame. The room is left in ruin, and Konstantin and his two thugs little more than human-shaped piles of ash, like something from the Old Testament.
Now streaming on DC Universe, Titans stars Brenton Thwaites as Robin, Anna Diop as Starfire, Teagan Croft as Raven, Ryan Potter as Beast Boy, Alan Ritchson as Hawk, Minka Kelly as Dove, and Lindsey Gort as Amy Rohrbach. A new episode debuts each Friday.
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