The Mighty Titan was a Kickstarter project that was sucessfully funded back in August 2012. It was created by Joe Martino. We will be reviewing part 1 and 2.
As Joe puts it, The Mighty Titan is a 5 mini issue series that essentially takes his experiences and wraps them in a superhero shell. This isn’t autobiographical. He has researched and talked to other cancer survivors to try and get the feeling of what other people have experienced. He created Titan in 2004 during his first bout with Kidney cancer. It was a tough decision for him to take some of his personal experiences and put them to paper in order to entertain and possibly allow people a glimpse of what some people go through while battling this potentialy deadly disease.
Joe describes it as a cool, fun superhero book with vile villians, giant Mechas and some really great mythological creatures. But there is certainly an underlying theme of fear and loss.
The tale in The Mighty Titan gives of a very 1950s vibe even though it is set in our modern times. It pits our perfect invulnerable hero against a mad Nazi scientist and his army of mecha, while also having our heroes alternate identity taking on the battle against cancer. The story is part autobiographical, with several real conversations that Joe Martino actually had sprinkled through it. The action is pretty good but the real genius is when the comic asks the big question what happens when the invulnerable becomes vulnerable? OK we have seen this kinda happen in main stream, with Batman being broken and certain X-Men loosing their powers, but Titan is a superman leveled character and in his alternate identity he is suffering from an all too human weakness. Through shows like Breaking Bad we have seen less morally upstanding prideful victims of cancer take darker roots to survive. In this we see real hero give up his pride and face the cancer like a man, its very powerful and moving. The further autobiographical edge brings back the feeling of other great graphic novels such as the Crow, though very different this story is equally as moving.
Cancer isn’t the only issue touched on in this masterpiece. The economic downturn is looked at as well, a topic I think everyone can relate to; struggling to pay rent, endless job rejections, living from week to week, this human weakness really helps bring Titan and his alter ego closer to us than any mainstream hero who are like ancient gods and far removed from us. Titan is a modern hero for a modern reader.
You should forgive me here because I have spoken at great length about the story but have forgotten to mention the artwork. With colourful vibrant scenes and some old school bad-ass mecha this series looks very awesome and has a real professional feel about it. But it still keeps the indie charm that draws you in. It’a well written and beautifully illustrated comic that leaves you craving more to read.