The Mighty Titan is an indie comic series with a very unique premise. Written by Joe Martino, the comic follows his real life experience of being diagnosed with cancer, except his story has been adapted to be told through an original super hero tale. The first issue, which I enjoyed and reviewed here, introduced us to the world and characters. Cancer was never actually explicitly mentioned in that issue, but this time things get more serious as the protagonist is actually diagnosed.
Issue two opens with a flashback showing the first real battle that Titan himself got into, one that isn’t going too well for him. Afterwards we jump to the conclusion of last issue’s cliffhanger and find out what happened after Mark, Titan’s alter-ego, collapsed. There’s some nice parallels between these two opening scenes, in the flashback we see Titan up against an intimidating enemy with his life on the line, then returning to Mark we know he’s up against a very different type of foe. It ties them together nicely thematically and sets up what’s to come.
There are some powerful scenes as Mark talks directly with doctors about what’s happening within his body. When things turn serious I genuinely didn’t think about which moments were being pulled from reality and which weren’t, not until after I’d finished the whole issue and reflected anyway. It’s an important point in hindsight, as it marks the series as being a good comic on its own merits. This isn’t just an autobiography with capes tossed in. I’m invested in this world and care about this character. Seeing how this all begins to affect Titan’s career powerfully humanises him as a character. It’s hard not to feel for him as it creeps into his life and affects his attempts to rescue people.
It’d be very difficult, potentially impossible, to discern that this issue had lines of dialogue pulled from real life if you weren’t already aware. I’m continuously impressed that Martino keeps the real world elements blended so well with his characters. This is an involving story whether you embrace its origins in truth or just follow it for the super heroics.
As with the first issue the art is solid stuff, and strong work for an indie comic. Luca Cicchitti is back handling the bulk of the issue, while Cory Smith steps in to handle the flashback segment. It’s easy art to like, the well realised characters dominate the panels with their realistic expressions and postures. Both artists nail it.
Titan is a hero that feels like he belongs in the Silver Age, with simple down to earth action, and the bold art of Cicchitti matches up. The flashback by Smith has Titan bloodied and his villain is far more sinister looking than the robotic enemies seen later, but due to the nature of the story this all blends together quite well. It means the two different art styles work to separate the two alternative times in Titan’s life.
The first issue bounced between a light and dark tone, depending on the scene in question. This time things are quite solemn and serious throughout, but it doesn’t sacrifice the feel of that world that was established last time. Titan still comes across as a wholesome hero, even if his villains are very grim.
Packaged together this is a good issue. The somber events change up the pace and there’s quite a different feel from last time. But despite the much bleaker plot there are still plenty of super heroics and memorable moments. So altogether The Mighty Titan continues to be a very unique super hero story, one that’s worth seeing for yourself.