The Moment Titan’s Conner and Komand’r Became TV’s Hottest Couple

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The New Teen Titans was and always will be my favorite comic-book series. Maybe that’s why I find HBO Max’s Titans so lackluster as a whole. And it has nothing to do with canon or faith to the original material.

As a matter of fact the contortions the show sometimes does to be faithful are my least favorite. It always feels like the writers are forcing the show and its actors into situations and places they don’t naturally shine: Dick/Kory/Donna I’m looking at you.

Where Titans has defied expectation and with wonderful character flourishes so dynamic they threaten or could threaten to dominate (and maybe should?) the ensemble is when it takes hard unexpected lefts and takes detours that widely diverge from its source material, yet ironically it’s there  that it feels like a Marv Wolfman/George Pérez production and nothing has been more emblematic of that then Season 3 episode 12 “Prodigal’s” lightning in a bottle romance between Superboy (Conner Kent) and Blackfire (Komand’r).

Gar and Raven are likable enough and I do like them a lot. But as the season is rapidly climaxing  their sexual tension burns  about as hot as the one between a brother and sister–that is to say none.

But the moment it became clear that Demaris Lewis’ Komand’r was here to stay at least for a minute at Wayne Manor, well I haven’t seen such pure fun and mischievous thespian joy in an actor’s eye as Lewis since Michelle Yeoh’s Emperor Georgiou stepped on board the USS Discovery.

Like Yeoh, Lewis seems confident, capable, and aware of how awry and over the line her performance could go and you feel the tension when she reigns it in and the release in the daring leaps where she plays a dangerous game of double dutch, alternating back and forth over from carnal to  camp (it actually feels as if she’s  channeling Yeoh in these moments).

And if you had told me a two years ago I would ever refer to Joshua Orphin as smoldering, and not be referring to his heat vision, well… Lewis brings it out.

They have chemistry.

And great repartee:

Komand’r: Maybe we can do good together.

Conner: Just you and me?

Komand’r: And Krypto.

Conner: Like Hawk and Dove? Be our own super duo?

K: Yes.

Conner: You’re right. Fuck the Titans.

Then when confronting the Cadmus stooge  who screams, “Don’t kill me!”

Conner: That’s up to my girlfriend. Can I call you my girlfriend?

Komand’r: You better.

Then as they are about to depart for Tamaran:

Komand’r: Now it’s different. Now I’m their queen.

Conner: You need to be a queen to matter? You mattered to me since the moment I saw you.

And when they kiss… well let’s just say it’s the first one on the show that feels real.

The season finale of Titans Season 3 airs October 21 on HBO Max.