Titans creator Geoff Johns says that the DC Universe’s flagship series will explore why Robin left Batman to start a solo career as a vigilante. Fans of the character were shocked when the show’s first trailer saw Robin address a group of criminals by cursing out the Dark Knight. Speaking to Comic Book Resources, Johns says fans should take that moment for what is a, but still understand that it is just one moment of the show. Johns says that the dialogue was intended to be controversial and that a large part of the series will be exploring why Robin chose to leave his role as Batman’s sidekick and partner.

Robin’s loneliness and his need to find a family of his own will also be a driving plot point in Titans. Johns explains that when the series starts, Robin feels lost. Joining with the other Titans, Robin finds a new sense of belonging and a surrogate family. Johns also reveals that the other Titans, who include Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy, are all facing similar problems at the start of the series, and they turn to each other to discover a sense of stability in their lives. Johns says that in this respect, the show follows themes from Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s The New Teen Titans comic series from the 80s.

Promotional images from Titans also hint at Robin having to once again confront the murder of his family. In an image set in an abandoned warehouse, the bodies of Robin’s mother and father sit lifeless on the floor as the former Boy Wonder wields a bo staff. As fans of the character know, in the comics, Robin’s family were acrobats known as the Flying Graysons. When a mobster named Tony Zucco fails to extort money from the circus that employed them, Zucco kills the Graysons during a performance. The event is the defining moment of Robin’s life, leading him to become Batman’s ward and a crimefighting vigilante. Titans premieres on October 12 on the DC Universe streaming service. Attendees of New York Comic Con will get to see the pilot episode early with a special screening on October 3, followed by a question and answer session at the Hammerstein Ballroom. The show stars Brenton Thwaites as Robin, Anna Diop as Starfire, Teagan Croft as Raven, and Ryan Potter as Beast Boy.