For the mountain in San Marino, see Monte Titano. For the suffix "Titano-" as used in taxonomy, see List of commonly used taxonomic affixes.

Titano attacking the Daily Planet building in the style of King Kong, from Showcase Presents Superman Volume 2 (2006). Art by Curt Swan and George Klein.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Superman #127 (February 1959)
Created by Otto Binder
Curt Swan
In-story information
Species Common chimpanzee
Notable aliases Super-Ape, Toto
Abilities Super-strength
Able to project kryptonite beams via his eyes

Titano the Super-Ape is a fictional character, a supervillain that appears in American comic books published by DC Comics, primarily as a foe of Superman.

Publication history

Titano first appeared in Superman #127 and was created by Otto Binder and Curt Swan.

Fictional character biography

Pre-Crisis (Silver Age) version

The pre-Crisis Titano first appeared in Superman #127 (February 1959). Originally named Toto, he is a common chimpanzee who was dubbed "one of the world's most intelligent apes". Rocketed into space, he and his ship were bombarded with radiation, which changed him into a giant ape with incredible strength and the ability to emit beams of Kryptonite radiation from his eyes. This made the ape a difficult menace for Superman to face.[1] Writer Martin Pasko revived Titano in Superman #324 (June 1978).[2]

The pre-Crisis Titano appears in a dream of the character Ambush Bug.[3]

Post-Crisis version

The post-Crisis version first appeared in the "Tears for Titano" story in Superman Annual #1. Titano was originally a normal baby chimpanzee used in cruel scientific experiments for the U.S. government. This lab is headed by Dr. Thomas Moyers, an irresponsible man who caused the creation of Rampage, the super-strong alter-ego of Dr. Kitty Faulkner, also in the employ is Amanda Waller operating under the orders of Sarge Steel. The chimpanzee gains his name from a mean-spirited joke by the other staffers.

A brief visit by Lois Lane to the government laboratories ended soon after Titano tried to escape his tormentors by leaping into Lane's arms. An accident caused the ape to gain super-strength and grow to enormous proportions. Attempting to kill Moyers, whom he saw as his tormentor, Titano was stopped by and engaged in a battle with Superman. The presence of Lane causes Titano to calm down, as he considered her a friend. Moyers used his equipment to reverse the transformation. The reversal is too much for the chimpanzee, who dies in Lane's arms. She later writes the Daily Planet article "Tears for Titano" in honor of the animal.[4]

Another version of Titano appeared as the mascot of "Titano's Pizza". Television advertisements showed a giant ape in a chef's hat defeating "Turtle Boy", who represented the slower delivery of other pizzerias.[5][6] However, Turtle Boy (played by Jimmy Olsen) proved to be much more popular than Titano, and the commercials were discontinued.

In Action Comics #854, a monkey experimented upon by the Kryptonite Man was imbued with Kryptonite radiation, gaining the ability to grow in size and fire kryptonite beams from his eyes, like the pre-Crisis Titano. He was eventually calmed down by "Mr. Action" (Jimmy Olsen) and placed in the care of S.T.A.R. Labs.[7]

Titano's pre-Crisis version would make a reappearance of sorts in Superman/Batman #28, as a guise for a shape-shifting telepathic alien entity.[8]

The New 52

In The New 52, a reboot of the DC Comics Universe, Titano was redesigned and given a new origin. Titano was now only slightly bigger than a regular gorilla and not as gigantic as the earlier versions, and was now an albino. He also was given a new origin in which he was a genetic mutation created by a deranged biophysicist.[9] He was later shown on life support in a Metropolis laboratory and is executed by a creature appearing to be Superman.[10]

Titano was again redesigned by the creative team of Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. This version was a giant chimpanzee robot with green-glowing inside parts, alluding to a kryptonite origin.[11]

Other versions

A Bizarro version of Titano from Bizarro World. Cover of Adventure Comics #295 (Apr. 1962). Art by John Forte

JLA: Earth 2

An antimatter version of Titano, appeared near the end of Grant Morrison's JLA: Earth 2. This version is actually a genetic experiment conducted by Brainiac and Ultraman (Subject 773, "Ultra-Titanus") freed by Brainiac and fires Anti-Kryptonite beams at Superman. Being an opposite version of Titano, the beams make him stronger. He is later caught by the Green Lantern.[12]

DC One Million

In DC Comics's DC One Million setting, Titano One Million is the Superman-like defender of the Gorilla Galaxy, a direct descendent of Solovar.[13]

In other media




Characters based on Titano have occasionally appeared in comics homaging the Silver Age Superman.

See also


  1. Binder, Otto (w), Boring, Wayne (p), Kaye, Stan (i). "Titano the Super-Ape!" Superman 127 (February 1959)
  2. Eury, Michael (2006). The Krypton Companion. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 158. ISBN 1893905616.
  3. Giffen, Keith; Fleming, Robert Loren (w), Giffen, Keith (p), Oksner, Bob (i). "Witless for the Prosecution" Son of Ambush Bug 5 (November 1986)
  4. Byrne, John (w), Frenz, Ron (p), Breeding, Brett (i). "Tears for Titano!" Superman Annual v2, 1 (1987)
  5. Ordway, Jerry (w), Grummett, Tom (p), Hazlewood, Doug (i). "Christmas in Suicide Slumberland" The Adventures of Superman 487 (February 1992)
  6. Ordway, Jerry (w), Grummett, Tom (p), Hazlewood, Doug (i). "The Blaze/Satanus War, Part 1 of 4: Sibling Rivalry" The Adventures of Superman 493 (August 1992)
  7. Busiek, Kurt (w), Walker, Brad (p), Livesay, John (i). "3-2-1 Action! Part 3 Pal" Action Comics 854 (Mid October 2007)
  8. Verheiden, Mark (w), Van Sciver, Ethan (p), Van Sciver, Ethan (i). "The Enemies Among Us, Part 1" Superman/Batman 28 (September 2006)
  9. Pérez, George (w), Pérez, George; Scott, Nicola (p), Scott, Trevor (i). "A Cold Day in Hell" Superman v3, 3 (January 2012)
  10. Pérez, George (w), Scott, Nicola (p), Scott, Trevor (i). "Menace!" Superman v3, 5 (March 2012)
  11. Johns, Geoff (w), Romita Jr., John (p), Janson, Klaus (i). "The Men of Tomorrow" Superman v3, 32 (June 2014)
  12. Morrison, Grant (w), Quitely, Frank (p), Quitely, Frank (i). "JLA: Earth 2" JLA: Earth 2 (2000)
  13. Morrison, Grant (w), Abell, Dusty (p), Royal, Jim (i). "Crisis One Million" DC One Million 80-Page Giant 1,000,000 (August 1999)
  14. "Test Show 1". Sesame Street. July 1969. 10 minutes in. NET.
  15. Moore, Alan (w), Veitch, Rick (p), Veitch, Rick (i). "A Roster of Rogues" Supreme 51 (Late July 1997), Awesome Comics
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