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Yes, that really was Grant Morrison playing Grant Morrison in HBO Max's Titans

Ready for a couple of unexpected Animal Man shout-outs?

Grant Morrison in Titans
Image credit: HBO Max

The latest episode of HBO Max’s Titans series sees Beast Boy traveling the multiverse — it’s all the rage these days, don’t you know — and encountering arguably the least expected guest star of all: legendary comic book writer Grant Morrison… playing Grant Morrison.

Yes, really.

Morrison’s appearance is one of two specific call-outs to the writer’s work in the episode. “Dude, Where’s My Gar?” introduces a new player to the Titans mythology, one that Morrison created almost forty years ago — Dominici Mnbawe, who took over the mantle of B’Wana Beast — and changed the name to Freedom Beast, pointedly — during Morrison’s beloved Animal Man run of the late 1980s.

That same Animal Man run inspires part of Morrison’s appearance, when they “meet” Beast Boy through a multiversal portal and ask, “I can see you. Can you see me?” This appearance echoes a moment in Morrison’s Animal Man when the title character becomes aware of his status as a comic book character and looks directly at the reader, saying “Oh God. Oh my God. I can see you!”

There’s a second easter egg in Morrison’s cameo — they appear to be sketching a version of the map of the multiverse that they co-created with designer and illiustrator Rian Hughes for the 2014-2015 project The Multiversity, which defined the DC multiverse of the period. (It’s since been significantly expanded, thanks to Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths; such things happen.) It was likely that project that brought Morrison to the show; a title card at the end of the episode reads, “A very special thanks to Grant Morrison, the true master of the multiverse.”

Morrison’s cameo is just one of many in the episode as Gar crosses multiple realities: audiences also get glimpses of the CW’s Flash and Stargirl, the Joker from the 1966 Batman TV show, Beast Boy from Teen Titans Go!, and Zachary Levi’s Shazam, amongst others. As such, it’s one of the most complete DC multiverse experiences to date… at least until the new DCU emerges from DC Studios.

Titans is available for streaming on HBO Max now.

At NYCC 2022, Beast Boy actor Ryan Potter teased the “juicy” season audiences are now enjoying.