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December 9, 2009

Unsung Characters of Comicdom: Titan

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Written by: Josh
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Titan

Titan

What do you get when you mix He-Man’s body with Eddie Munster’s hair, slap on a van dyke, and dress him in an American Apparel unisex V-neck? Titan, that’s what! Titan comics were created by John Jordan and published by Nashville, Tennessee’s own Music City Comics in the early nineties. For those of you who don’t know, Nashville is my base of operations, which is one of the reasons I own this comic. Also, Nashville is often referred to as Music City, hence the publishers name. Coincidentally, Nashville would later obtain the NFL team known as the Houston Oilers, and rename them the Tennessee Titans. Fun facts aside, Titan is a good, yet confusing, and sometimes ridiculous concept. The main plot points involve genetic engineering and time travel. So, if you’re an analytical thinker and over rationalize the plot, it can make your head hurt. My suggestion? Just take the scientific facts with a grain of salt, relax, and enjoy this weeks Unsung Characters of Comicdom, featuring the mighty Titan!

First appearance: Titan #1
Secret Identity: Although, he was a thin, blonde haired orphan child until age ten, little else is known about this mysterious figure from the future.
Alias/ Codename: Titan
Powers: Super-strength, invulnerability, advanced hand-to-hand combat skills, and accelerated healing abilities
Weaknesses: None known
Most memorable quote: “Speak Woman! Or I will…” (last words spoken to the professor’s assistant, Leslie, before falling out of a third-story window.)

Origin: In the year 2090, four orphan children were chosen for a government experiment called the Mathias Project, but one of the boys stood out among the group. With years of genetic alteration, he developed an incredibly unnatural amount of body mass and a wicked widows peak. He was trained in various forms of hand-to-hand combat, and given instruction on how to control his enhanced abilities. The Doctors pitted him against various robotic enemies, which he tore through like wet toilet paper. He developed faster and more fully than the other children, earning him the nickname, Titan. The initiation of the Mathias Project was in response to the recent increase of illegal genetic experimentation being conducted on humans. The plan was to hunt down this new breed of criminals and fight the monstrosities that they had created. Before the foursome could complete their first mission, Titan was taken from the ranks. Flash back to 1975. A man known as Professor Stevens was attempting to obtain an inanimate object from the future to study it’s properties. He zeroed in on a goblet from the the year 2090. It was intended to be brought back to his present time, but something went horribly wrong. Just as he was about to zap the item back to his Laboratory, Titan put his hand on the chalice to take a drink. The result? You guessed it. Titan was brought back to 1975.

The time machine was not built to transport people, so the trip took quite a physical and mental toll on this man from the future. He staggered out of the portal and collapsed instantly. He was out for hours, and when he woke up, he was confused and disoriented. He lost his footing and somehow fell out of a third-story window, then landed flat on his back. A Mack truck plowed into him as he attempted to pull himself to his feet. The truck was totaled and Titan walked away without a scratch. When he got back to the lab, the professor told him that he couldn’t send him back to future. The trip back would apparently be too much for his body to handle, and the professor refused to take the risk. Titan agreed to be stored in a cryogenic chamber until the professor could perfect his time machine prototype, and he was frozen shortly thereafter (talk about a bad day). Flash forward to 1990. Fifteen years had passed since Titan was brought back in time, and that was the limit that a body could be frozen without damage to the organs. The Professor revived him, only to break the news that the government had bought out the lab, and had cut funding to his research. This meant that Titan was stuck in the year 1990, and couldn’t be sent back to his own time. Thus he’s now a hero from the future fighting in the present (which is now the past).

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Titan #2 featuring Lucex

Antagonists: Lucex was a government employed scientist from the year 2090 that had been genetically modified and endowed with enhanced intelligence. He went above and beyond the government’s allowed procedures, which rendered him disfigured and insane. He used his advanced knowledge of genetics, and his newly engorged melon to do illegal modifications to human DNA. These activities eventually had him removed from his post and imprisoned. After he was released, Lucex continued to tamper with the laws of nature, creating a race of humanoids called the Bio-Droids (among other monstrosities). At this time the team of youngsters in the Mathias Project had grown to adulthood, and their prime target was Lucex. Unfortunately, their most powerful member, Titan, had been transported back in time. So, attempts to apprehend the outlaw geneticist were unsuccessful. Soon after, Lucex began to research a number of old newspaper archives in an attempt to figure out what happened to the group‘s number one goliath. A story that was featured on the front page of a paper from 1975 caught his attention. It appeared that a cameraman had caught Titan stopping the truck with his shoulder and walking away unscathed. Lucex put two and two together, and concluded that this mysterious man that appeared out of nowhere must be the missing member of the Mathias Project. So, he followed his trail through time and arrived shortly before Titan was awakened from his induced hibernation. A greedy cigar-smoking business man teamed with the diabolical scientist in order to stage a number of robberies where no money was taken (stay with me). The Bio-Droids served as the would be thieves. They would cause a big scene and destroy a bunch of stuff (ripping cars in half, taking numerous bullets to the body, ect.), only to leave the money behind. They were completely indestructible to modern weapons, and they would wreak havoc until the press arrived. Then they would call out for Titan by name. This caused a lot of pressure for the authorities, who eventually goaded him out of hiding. When Titan finally emerged, he ripped the Bio-Droids to shreds and earned a quick reputation as a hero. Lucex remained safe though, and continued to use his corporate contacts and genetically modified henchmen to hunt down and destroy the futuristic powerhouse. Lucex’s prime objective is to ensure that Titan never returns to 2090 to rejoin the Mathias Project.

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Years of genetic modification have given Titan both the bulid and the anotamy of an action figure

Allies: Titan needs all the help he can get to better understand the archaic ways of twenty-first century society. Since the rest of his team was left in the future, Titan relies on the help of Professor Stevens and his assistant, Leslie. She is quite smitten with the big oaf right off the bat. Shortly after he’s awakened from his cryogenic sleep wearing nothing but tightie-whities. Titan muses, “Leslie! You’ve barely aged!” To which she responds, “I have missed you! You seem to be in fine shape.” She proceeds to eye him up and down. All the while, the professor is awkwardly watching from a dark corner. After a bit of uncomfortable silence, Professor Stevens adds. “Yes, er, they designed you well. You’re one of a kind.” Jeez, talk about a third wheel.

Motivation: To eliminate any genetically altered threats that have been introduced to the twenty-first century, apprehend Lucex, and get his ass back home, so he can rejoin the Mathias Project.

As far as I can tell, this series only ran for six issues (little information is available concerning Titan outside of the comics themselves), and even though the publisher was based in my hometown, finding these comics comes few and far between. So, I’m always pumped every time I find one. The story is a little convoluted, but the artwork has this simplistic bronze age style to it, that I find very appealing. It’s an early nineties independent comic, and in that respect, it’s not rare. Though, I have to admit, it’s very cool owning a piece of the local comic book heritage (this comic pre-dates Eric Powell‘s first published work, another Nashville based comic creator, by five years). So, keep your eyes open when raiding the fifty cent and quarter bins. Who knows? Your local shop may get a long box from middle Tennessee.

Josh Jones
josh@comicattack.net

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4 Comments



  1. “He developed an incredibly unnatural amount of body mass and a wicked widows peak.” LOL!!!

    Oh, and you just had to bring up “Music City” and the “Tennessee Titans.” Just so the record is clear, there was no miracle in Music City back in 1999, only a FORWARD LATERAL!! GO BILLS!!


  2. Billy

    The dude looks like a porn star. lol


  3. Infinite Speech

    The first Titan pic looks like he has a baby arm lol though he does have a decent powerset. How many of the 6 issues do you own?



  4. @Billy- As you can see in the last pic, it appears he’s missing the necessary equipment.

    @IS- Baby arm?!..haha.. That pic actually reminds me of Jack Kirby and Eric Larson’s style of breaking the 4th wall with the characters fist.

    I own issues 1&2, both signed by John Jordan. No luck finding the other issues as of yet.



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