The DC Universe Titans paid homage to The Dark Knight Returns Comic, leaving some significance in comic book history: Corto Maltese. Curiously, the Titans used the name in a completely different way from how the earlier DC Comics adaptation used it.
The central plot of Titans Season 2, Episode 10, “Fallen” focused on Dick Grayson, as he was placed at the Kane County Correctional Facility following the attack of a federal air marshal.
He did this as a personal ascetic who wanted to punish himself for his role in the death of Jericho Wilson.
The guards who carried out Dick’s paperwork noted that he was a former police detective and tried to be admitted as a Dick-Jail snatch. When Dick turned down his offer, he arranged for Dick to share a cell with the three worst members of a gang known as the Kortori Maltese.
The name Corto Maltese may be familiar to some Titans fans. Corto Maltese was also the name of an island nation in the Dark Knight Returns, which became the center of a deliberate event similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The name itself was a tribute to the titanium hero of a series of graphic novels about a mysterious sea captain and soldier of fate known only as Corto Maltese.
Written and produced by famed comic book creator Hugo Pratt, the series was reportedly a major influence on the writing and art style of Dark Knight Returns writer Frank Miller and is still considered one of the best Italian comic book series of all time goes…
Since then, the name Corto Maltese has been used by various DC Comics properties whenever a name was needed for a fictional nation in Central America or South America.
It was the name of the country whose revolution Vicky Vale became famous for chronicling in the 1989 Batman film in Time magazine.
A country called Corto Maltese has its meaning on both Earth-1 and Earth-38 in Aerovores. The Earth-1 version is where Thea Queen trained in Assassin’s Art between season 2 and season 3 of Arrow under the patronage of Malk Merlin.
In Supergirl’s world, Corto was the site of a massacre organized by the Maltese mercenary merchant John Corbin, which would later become the first Kryptonite-powered cyberborg known as Metallo.
It is unclear whether the gang took its name from their country of birth or if there is any other reason for the Dark Knight Returns.
In either case, it is unlikely to come again, as the only reason the characters were present at the first time was to help facilitate Dick Grayson’s transformation into Night Gring. Nevertheless, Tito’s use of the name Corto Maltese is an interesting change of pace, even if there is little reason behind it.