After a somewhat extended hiatus away from the disturbing comforts of Gotham City and other Titans settings, fans finally have our first big taste of what Season 3 will look like with the release of the mood-driven trailer seen above. And even though it always seemed inevitable that Titans would take Curran Walters' Jason Todd to some of the character's darkest moments from the comics, I was nonetheless a bit shocked (in the best way) to see the trailer immediately going hard on teasing the iconic A Death in the Family storyline.

Given that this is more of a teaser trailer than a full three-minute dive into Season 3 at large, Titans keeps its focus on Jason's Robin for the first chunk of it as he stumbles upon what appears to be a Joker villain, as hinted at by the corpse's poofed-out cheeks and the sound of cackling. And while the video didn't spend any time showcasing Jason's transition into Red Hood mode, making it seem like the vigilante might not be doomed just yet, the definitive connection to Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo's 1988 A Death in the Family arc is the shot of the bloodied crowbar that follows a longing stare from Iain Glen's Bruce Wayne. (Unless that's just jam from a jar that Dick opened using that crowbar, of course.)

Anyone who's reading this that isn't familiar with A Death in the Family can probably already infer what goes down in the comic from the clues already laid out. It's doubtful that Titans will stick to all the details from that comic arc, such as The Joker working for the Ayatollah Khomeini, but what Titans fans will presumably see at some point is Jason being tortured to death by the Clown Prince, with a crowbar as the weapon of choice. The comic was particularly noteworthy for killing off Jason Todd as the result of a reader vote, with fans having grown weary of the character's petulance at the time.

Not that Jason and Joker's laugh are the only elements on display in Titans' first big look at Season 3. We have a buffed-up Joshua Orpin going all wide-eyed through some kind of a fiery situation. Brenton Thwaites' Dick Grayson is in full face-bashing mode as Nightwing, which is already a season highlight in my book. Anna Diop's Kory gets to rock out her new uniform, though she does look a bit worried later on. There are glimpses of Titans' take on the classic villain Scarecrow, with Mad Men vet Vincent Kartheiser taking control of the fear toxin as Jonathan Crane. Here's hoping the full trailer released later will deliver introductions for the third Robin, Jay Lycurgo's Tim Drake, and Savannah Welch's Barbara Gordon.

Titans Season 3 will finally make its official HBO Max debut on Thursday, August 12, though there are plenty of other 2021 Summer TV shows to catch up on in the meantime.

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