Marvel Team-Up (3rd series) #12

Issue Date: 
November 2005
Story Title: 
Titannus War part two

Robert Kirkman (writer), Paco Medina (pencils), Juan Vlasco (inks), Studio F (colors), VC’s Cory Petit (letters), Schmidt, Lazer & Sitterson (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Having defeated the Hulk, Titannus explains to the assembled heroes how he came to be on Earth and asking for their help. He offers them a string of lies, telling them he was abused on his homeworld, and only found peace on an alien planet which was then conquered by the war-loving Trellions. There, he was cast into the wasteland for being in love with the king’s daughter. He built an army and fought back. The king infected his daughter with a rare disease as punishment and Titannus was forced to flee to the Earth with her. In fact, Titannus was transformed into a Super Skrull and soon brought his own people to their knees. His vicious nature was too much even for them. He moved onto another planet, which he conquered before then moving on to Trellion, which he also intended to conquer. He met fierce resistance, but was accepted by the king, who was impressed with his fighting skills. He wanted the king’s daughter and, when the king confronted him about it, Titannus had him tossed into a dungeon. The king was later freed, and Titannus fled the planet with his daughter. Refusing to have anything to do with him, Amissa was placed into a stasis pod for the time being. He now wants the heroes to help him conquer Trellion, but Dr. Strange and Wolverine feel he is lying and take the battle to him.

Full Summary: 


Having defeated the Incredible Hulk with ease, the assembled heroes cautiously allow Titannus to explain his presence on Earth.

(flashback - lies)
Titannus explains that he was born on the Skrull homeworld, and was deemed inferior at birth by Skrull standards of physical perfection, as he was never able to harness his natural shape-shifting abilities. Because of this, his superiors experimented upon him, and he became part of the Super-Skrull program. These tests failed, and only resulted in disfiguring Titannus, making him even less useful to the empire. However, they weren’t done with him yet.

They continued to experiment with him and it was torture. Eventually, they succeeded and he was given powers far beyond those of a normal Skrull. For a time, his superiors were happy. However, they wanted to conduct more tests and Titannus endured them as long as he could. He attempted to escape but failed. He was severely punished for this, but he didn’t give up. He had to get away, and eventually he managed to escape.

(flashback - the truth)

Titannus was born on the Skrull homeworld, and grew up to be a violent, murderous individual. Because of his innate aggressiveness, he was subjected to experiments to make him a Super-Skrull. The experiments succeeded, and the scientists were impressed. They tested the limits of his strength and were pleased with his improvement. However, Titannus felt there was more out there for him. He murdered one of the scientists and left the facility, bringing it down around him as he left.

(flashback - lies)

Titannus tried to hide and start a new life away from civilization, where he could live in peace. With his powers, he could have enslaved the Skrull people and destroyed their cities, but instead he sought peace and he hid. They soon tracked him down, but deemed him no longer of any use in their experiments. They exiled him into space, sending him away with no supplies, no food and forcing him to eat all sorts of horrible things to survive. Once these food sources were exhausted he was left alone to drift in space to die.

However, his pod crashed on a peaceful, alien planet, where he was greeted with open arms. He was given gifts and accepted into their society, which was ruled by a kind and fair king, who had brought peace to his people. He caught the king’s eye immediately. He was treated like a son, and for the first time in his life he was happy.

(flashback - the truth)

Once free, Titannus ravaged his homeworld and brought the Skrulls to their knees. He stole a pod and set off into space. With little or no food on aboard, he took to cannibalism and ate the crew. Once the crew were no more, he found a nearby planet and set down. Warriors met him as he emerged from his craft and Titannus soon came into conflict with them. Eventually, he was subdued, but the king was impressed with his fighting qualities and decided to use him in his gladiatorial arena. He became a great champion, content for the time being to kill people and be praised for it.

(flashback - lies)

This period of tranquility was not to last and, eventually, the old king passed on. Though it would not fill the void in his heart by his passing, the king left his crown to him. He suddenly found himself ruler of the planet. In honor of his departed liege, he took very good care of his daughters, providing them with their every desire. He was a good and fair king; a peaceful king who thought it important to ensure the previous king’s legacy endured. To that end, he spread goodwill across his planet and, eventually, the galaxy.

He spread his message across all the neighboring star systems, wanting to make his fallen king proud. For a time, it seemed like he was succeeding. Then, then Trellions invaded his newly adopted planet. They were a vicious army, and a peaceful civilization like theirs was no match for them. They conquered his planet, slaughtering millions. Titannus held his ground as long as he could, but in the end, he was only one man.

(flashback - the truth)

One day, Titannus ruthlessly murdered the king and took control of his planet, using fear to control his people. He enslaved the king’s daughters, using them as his concubines. He callously murdered anyone who dared stand against him, and enjoyed nothing more than to wage war with anyone he could. He traveled across the planet, pillaging every village and killing those who lived there. When he ran out of people to conquer, he took a fleet into space and began a piratical existence. Titannus eventually found another world to conquer, but the Trellions defended it voraciously. His own army was defeated, leaving him alone against the defending army.

(flashback - lies)

It was early in the occupation that Titannus met the Trellion king. He was a ruthless man who took a special interest in him. His prowess on the battlefield impressed Titannus. He had never seen such an accomplished fighter. He was to be kept alive, and so was taken prisoner. The conditions under which he was kept were unbearable, proving just how sinister and brutal the Trellion race was. He was kept in a cage and saw no sunlight, no hint of the outside world. He lost track of time and soon lost his will to live. He was fed only when it appeared he might die from starvation. His captors were powerful and tried to keep him weak. He thought his treatment on the Skrull homeworld was inhumane, but he soon found himself longing to go back there.

(flashback- the truth)

The Trellion King was impressed with Titannus, and he agreed to work for the king as his bodyguard. He stood by the king as he overthrew other regimes. For this, he was rewarded with high status, good food and fine wine. The king’s beautiful daughter soon took his fancy.

(flashback - lies)

Titannus was sure he would have died had Princess Amissa, the King’s daughter, not taken a liking to him. She began by sneaking him extra food and visiting him in the dead of night. She took great risks in coming to see him, and over time they formed a bond. They became friends, and more. Were her father to find out about their love, she would surely be met with his unbridled fury. Thankfully, they were able to keep it a secret… for a time.

Their love was discovered, and he was beaten within an inch of his life. The king would have killed him, were it not for Amissa’s pleas. The king sent Titannus out into the wasteland to die, a fate worse than being kept prisoner. He thinks it was more to punish Amissa than himself. He knew it would destroy her to know the tortures he was to encounter in the wasteland. Rather than perish, he flourished and learned to survive. He regained the strength he had lost long ago in the Trellion prison and amassed an army in secret - one strong enough to overthrow Amissa’s evil father. He waited for an opportune moment to strike.

(flashback- the truth)

Titannus took Amissa by force and, when her father confronted Titannus about it, the Skrull defeated him with ease and had the king taken away by guards. Taking over this new kingdom, he forced Amissa to sit by his side as he ruled.

(flashback - lies)

One day, he returned to the palace and confronted the king. Amissa rejoiced at his return, which made her father furious. Titannus fought through his forces, eager to get to his lost love, but their reunion was bittersweet. In one final act of inhumanity, the king infected his daughter with a rare disease native only to his planet. He thought it better to seal her fate rather than allow her to live in happiness with his enemy. Titannus fled with Amissa into space. The Trellions pursued them as long as they could but finally they were free.

Sadly, Amissa’s condition overtook her and Titannus was unable to help. The only cure lay on her home planet, but he could not return for fear of incurring her father’s wrath. He did the only thing he could think of, and placed Amissa in one of the ship’s stasis pods, preserving her and preventing the illness from taking her life. He then focused his efforts in searching the galaxy for a civilization that could aid him in returning to Trellion to defeat the king and cure his beloved Amissa.

Damage sustained in the escape from Trellion made his landing on Earth difficult and, at first, he thought he had been stranded on a remote planet that could be of no assistance. He soon came to realize that fate had placed him on Earth, providing him with everything he might require in his quest so save Amissa.

(flashback- the truth)

One day, Amissa slipped the keys to the dungeons to a trusted friend who freed the king and some of his comrades. The king confronted Titannus once again, but he managed to grab Amissa and fight his way to a craft to make his escape. The pursuing Trellion craft were finally disposed of and Amissa fought Titannus, though her struggles were futile. To stop her constant complaints, he shoved her into a stasis pod to keep her quiet until he found a new planet to land on. Damage sustained to his craft meant the landing wasn’t perfect, but he soon discovered that the heroes on the planet might be of use to him.


Titannus concludes his story against the backdrop of a Tokyo in ruins. He apologizes to the assembled heroes for the damage, but he found himself threatened by the inhabitants of the city and lost his temper. He regrets his actions, but once again he asks for their help. Dr. Strange tells him he senses little truth in his words. Wolverine knows he’s lying. He can smell it on him. He snikts his claws, preparing for battle.

Titannus says he feels insulted that they don’t believe him. Dr. Strange replies that if what he says is true, then he needs some proof. He is a doctor, and he asks to be allowed to examine Amissa to confirm her illness. He may even be able to save her without involving Trellion; preventing the war Titannus speaks of.

Titannus is furious. He insists the only way to her salvation lies on Trellion. They must go there and take it by force. Spidey asks if he’s got this whole story straight. He wants them, after he has destroyed Tokyo, to take his word and trot out into space to fight some galactic battle on his behalf. That’s not how it works. He hasn’t been in the Avengers, or the Champions (or whatever they are) for very long, but he knows that this isn’t how it works. Warbird whispers that they’re not the Champions.

Wolverine agrees, and prepares to jump Titannus. Titannus summons energy into his gauntlet, and tells them that he will kill them all if he must. There is no shortage of their kind on the Earth, and it will be a simple matter to seek them out once they have been slain. Spidey replies that it’s a good plan. That’ll really endear him to the super hero community on Earth. He turns to his comrades. “Shall we?” he asks. “Let’s,” replies She-Hulk. The heroes launch into their attack, as Spidey remarks that it’s been nice knowing them all.

Characters Involved: 

Bruce Banner

Dr. Strange

Nova the Human Rocket



Ms. Marvel



(in flashback)


Unnamed Skrulls

Trellions, including Princess Amissa and her father, the king

Story Notes: 

The Champions was a short-lived 17-issue series from the mid-1970’s featuring Angel, Iceman, Black Widow, Hercules and Ghost Rider. They were based in Los Angeles, as opposed to New York, where teams are usually based. As a result, they didn’t come into contact with many of the normal villains of the time.

Nova was actually part of a team called the New Champions for a while, alongside Comet, Crimebuster, Diamondhead and Powerhouse. The team fought in the Skrull/Xandar war before Nova returned to Earth. The remaining members, the Champions of Xandar, were killed during Nebula’s destruction of Xandar.

This team is almost a version of the Secret Defenders, which had a 25-issue series in the early 1990’s. Dr. Strange used to find heroes to deal with particular threats. The difference here is that the heroes he assembled were pretty much all he could find in a short space of time.

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