Titans season 3 has given the season 2 finale’s dramatic Blackfire arrival the retcon treatment. Mame-Anna Diop’s Starfire spent Titans‘ early episodes piecing together her memories and figuring out why she could shoot fire from her hands, but when the princess from Tamaran finally reclaimed her identity, she invited a brand new threat to Earth – her sister, Blackfire. Initially, Blackfire wanted her younger sibling back on Tamaran so that they could rule together, but Starfire had other ideas. So, as sisters do, a deeply unhappy Blackfire possessed Kori’s love interest, forced her to mercy-kill him, then explained how she’d slaughtered their parents to claim the throne for herself. Classic sibling rivalry.
Starfire threatened revenge for these crimes, and Titans season 2 concluded with Blackfire coming to Earth personally, occupying an unsuspecting human host in a parking lot. Though the Titans didn’t know it, Blackfire was on the warpath, making a beeline for Koriand’r and her new super-family. And then she wasn’t. Damaris Lewis’ Blackfire is entirely absent from Titans season 3‘s opening trio of episodes, and when Blackfire finally does return, she’s the helpless prisoner of an anti-extra-terrestrial Earth agency.
Given the terse exchange of words between sisters, and the immense pain Blackfire caused when she murdered Kori’s parents and possessed Faddei, the pair were bound for a violent collision in season 3. Titans season 2’s finale tease only added fuel to that fire. Blackfire landed on Earth and a new threat was cemented – Kori’s sister was primed to inherit Deathstroke’s position as Titans‘ big bad in season 3.
That foreshadowing has been ignored in Titans season 3, with Blackfire’s absence leaving her firmly on the back burner, and when Blackfire finally does resurface, Titans shifts the emphasis of her character entirely. After making a grand entrance at the end of season 2, the raging Blackfire apparently strutted straight into a containment cage. That’s quite the anticlimax, and makes the hype surrounding her arrival look silly in hindsight. What’s the point in a post-credits introduction for a major new villain, only for them to show up next season powerless and jailed? In an even bigger change of direction, Blackfire may not be a villain at all in Titans season 3. She and Kori beat each other up for a while, taking out their respective sisterly baggage, then Starfire marches her evil sister home like a naughty child, lining up a more comedic role for Blackfire. This surely isn’t what Titans had in mind when Blackfire possessed an innocent parent and abandoned the victim’s children in season 2’s finale.
The reason for Titans‘ Blackfire retcon could be Jason Todd’s transformation into Red Hood. Though Titans season 2 ended with Jason distanced from the other Titans and angry at the world, there was no overt suggestion that he’d immediately transition into Red Hood. It’s possible that between Titans seasons 2 & 3, the decision was made to amplify Jason’s role and designate Red Hood as season 3’s main villain. This might’ve then forced a rethink on Blackfire’s situation, and a dialing down of her evil qualities into something more comedic, thereby allowing Jason Todd to take center stage.
Fortunately, all is not lost for Blackfire in Titans season 3. Though her timeout session seems to have calmed the fiery instincts seen in season 2, Blackfire could be a time bomb waiting to go off. Once her powers inevitably return and she’s sick of living with Starfire’s Titans friends, Blackfire could become the major villain Titans originally promised.