Titanium Man

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Titanium Man
Titaniummanwarmachine.png
Titanium Man
Variant cover for War Machine #1. Art by Mike Deodato.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Tales of Suspense #69
(Sep 1965)
Created by Stan Lee (writer)
Don Heck (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego (I) Boris Bullski, (II) Kondrati "Gremlin" Topolov
Team affiliations (I) KGB, (II) Soviet Super Soldiers, (I) Green Liberation Front, Titanic Three, Secret Defenders
Notable aliases (I) Boris the Merciless, the Other, the Commander
Abilities

Costume generates:

  • Supersonic flight
  • Concussive blasts
  • Superhuman strength
  • Projection of constrictive force "rings", and electromagnetically paralytic beams
  • Resistance to conventional artillery

The Titanium Man ("Chelovek-Titan") is the name of two fictional supervillains in the Marvel Comics universe. The original Titanium Man first appeared in Tales of Suspense #69 (September 1965). He was created by Stan Lee and Don Heck.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Titanium Man I[edit]

Boris Bullski was born in Makeyevka, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. According to the Black Widow, he was a KGB-member when he was a young man, and she was his combat instructor for a time. An ambitious official of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Boris Bullski was demoted after displeasing his superiors.[volume & issue needed]

While working as an administrator of a Siberian labor camp, he commissioned the imprisoned scientists at the camp to build a suit of armor using the lab of Anton Vanko, the creator of the original Crimson Dynamo armor. Seeking to win back the Party's favor, Bullski conceived the idea of winning a propaganda victory against the West by defeating the American superhero Iron Man. He assigned the scientists to create a powerful suit of titanium armor based on the Iron Man technology, though the inferior resources available to the scientists meant that the armor was twice the size of Iron Man's. Bullski received permission to issue his challenge and Iron Man accepted, defeating Titanium Man in a battle before a worldwide television audience.[volume & issue needed]

Undaunted, Bullski prepared for a rematch by having the suit redesigned and undergoing medical treatments that increased both his size and strength. Traveling to the United States, Bullski fought Iron Man in the skies above Washington, D.C. but was defeated. Withdrawing for retrieval by a Soviet submarine, he discovered that he had been abandoned on orders from Moscow. After working for the Vietnamese Communist scientist Half-Face (who increased his power yet again) for a while, he returned to the service of the Government of the Soviet Union, and was dispatched to the United States to retrieve the third Crimson Dynamo. Finding the Dynamo at Cord Industries, a three-way battle between Titanium Man, Crimson Dynamo, and Iron Man began, during which Titanium Man killed Janice Cord with an electronic beam. Enraged, Iron Man soundly defeated Titanium Man, and left him in the murky depths of the Hudson River.[volume & issue needed]

After the defeat, the two disgraced Soviet agents fled to Communist-controlled Vietnam, where they joined with Radioactive Man to form the Titanic Three. Though Bullski enjoyed working as a sanctioned agent once again, he longed to return to the Soviet Union, and devised a new plan to win his superiors' favor. Adopting the alias of "The Other", he dispatched another former Soviet agent, the Unicorn, to destroy Iron Man. When the Unicorn failed, the Titanium Man went to destroy Iron Man himself, only to fail once more.[volume & issue needed]

Despite his failures, Bullski was in favor with the Soviet government once more, and returned to the United States on a mission for the KGB. By threatening the parents of a Soviet defector named Sergei, he forced the man to design technologically advanced armored suits that could be transformed into small card-like objects. Posing as "the Commander", Bullski used the suits to equip members of the Green Liberation Front (G.L.F.), an organization of disaffected Vietnam War veterans who felt ignored by their country. With the suits, the G.L.F. robbed a New York City bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York;[1] though the members believed that they were simply acting as thieves, Bullski used the robberies as a cover for implanting a computer virus that would destroy American financial records, causing chaos in the economy of the United States. Beta Ray Bill and Sif opposed the G.L.F. and the Commander, but when Sergei discovered that his parents were dead he exposed Bullski's true identity and the angry members of the G.L.F. turned on the Titanium Man. Teleporting away, he rematerialized in card form, which Sergei then simply tore and threw away.[2]

Sometime later, the new Crimson Dynamo was sent to the United States by the Soviet government to retrieve the remnants for reintegration.[3] The G.L.F. discovered the Crimson Dynamo's mission and attacked him, forcing him to seek assistance by reactivating the Titanium Man, who due to the incomplete nature of his reassembly was still missing body parts. Enraged, Bullski slaughtered the members of the G.L.F., and was only stopped when the Dynamo lured him over the Atlantic Ocean and returned him to card form.[3] Bullski was later restored and continued to serve as Titanium Man, as a member of the Soviet Super-Soldiers[3] and later Remont-4, but felt increasingly despondent as the Soviet Union declined. After an attack on a Stark Enterprises factory in Russia he was believed killed while battling Tony Stark, who was wearing Crimson Dynamo armor that was being controlled by Colonel General Valentin Shatalov, a former friend of Bullski.

Sometime later, during a space mission to destroy an enormous asteroid that threatened to impact on Earth, a Titanium Man, stated his name was Andy Stockwell (revealed to be an alias to Bullski), and had never had a connection with the USSR. However, moments later it was revealed he was actually a member of "The Hammer", an international network of communist sleeper cells who wanted to destroy the United States. He was lost in space, but being relatively close to Earth, may have returned under his own power.

Now a mercenary, Bullski was hired by Tony Stark to fake an attack on Congress trying to show reasons to stop the superhuman registration act. He battled Spider-Man there and made a withdrawal after Spidey damaged his helmet with his cybernetic claws, but not without saying to a camera in Spider-Man's Iron Spider suit a planned talk which Stark used in the Congress in rejection of the SRA.

Later, the Titanium Man reappeared, this time in Russia, as a member of the rogue Soviet super-rebel group called Remont Six. He was knocked out by Darkstar, but was apparently not captured.[4]

Time later Titanium Man was seen being beaten down by the Protector. The identity of this Titanium Man or the circumstances of the battle remain undisclosed, but he is presumably Bullski, because he was wearing that version of the armor.[5]

During Doctor Octopus's latest scheme, Octavius contacted the Titanium Man as one of several villains to assist in his plans after two of the Sinister Six were defeated, but this backfired when the Titanium Man contacted the Black Widow to warn her about the villain's current schemes, defining himself as a Russian patriot rather than an American villain, and obeying Spider-Man's call to rally other heroes against his foe.[6] When Titanium Man entered one of Doctor Octopus' facilities, he was defeated by Scorpion despite his best efforts.[7]

Titanium Man II[edit]

The second Titanium Man was Kondrati Topolov, the mutant formerly known as Gremlin,[8] and served with the Soviet-era superhero group, the Soviet Super-Soldiers. The Gremlin was killed in combat with Iron Man during the first "Armor Wars" when the titanium in the suit exceeded its combustible temperature.

Other Titanium Men[edit]

The third Titanium Man's identity is the subject of some controversy. The first time this figure manifested itself, he attacked Stark Enterprises and Iron Man directly, apparently under orders of Stark-Fujikawa (possibly as a mercenary). While he was shown to cherish Soviet paraphernalia and newspaper clippings featuring Boris Bullski, his identity was not firmly established.

Sometime later, during a space mission to destroy an enormous asteroid that threatened to impact on Earth, a Titanium Man, claiming to be this same person, stated his name was Andy Stockwell, and had never had a connection with the USSR. However, moments later it was revealed he was actually a member of "The Hammer", an international network of communist sleeper cells who wanted to destroy the United States. He was lost in space, but being relatively close to Earth, may have returned under his own power.

In any case, a Titanium Man was contacted and hired, ostensibly through the Hammer again, to do a mercenary job for, of all people, Tony Stark in his effort to stop the superhuman registration bill.

It has been strongly suggested (outside of comics´ pages) that the third Titanium Man was indeed Boris Bullski, but against this speaks his apparent willingness to work for Tony Stark (under any set of circumstances) rather than kill him. His face was revealed to look nothing like Bullski's, and it is possible that there are multiple Titanium Men, or at least several people filling the role in turn.

Recently, the Titanium Man reappeared, this time in Russia, as a member of the rogue Soviet super-rebel group called Remont Six. He was knocked out by Darkstar, but was apparently not captured.[9]

In the same period, another Titanium Man was seen being beaten down by Noh-Varr. The identity of this Titanium Man or the circumstances of the battle remain undisclosed.[10]

A Titanium Man was among the Iron Man villains recruited by Mandarin and Zeke Stane to assist in a plot to take down Iron Man.[11]

During the Infinity storyline, a Titanium Man is among the villains recruited by Spymaster to help him attack the almost-defenseless Stark Tower.[12] Titanium Man attacks Blizzard and Whirlwind when they try to abandon the mission.[13] During the fight, it is revealed that Titanium Man is the Kree Captain At-Lass who was sent by the Kree to steal Iron Man's armor.[14]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Titanium Men used green armor similar to that used by Iron Man and to that used by the Crimson Dynamo (their sometime compatriot). Neither suit of armor was as sophisticated as that used by Tony Stark as Iron Man, but some of its weapons were deceptively powerful, and the first Titanium Man's physical strength seems to have been greater than that of Iron Man. He also boasted that his armor was made to last, not, like American technology, "with planned obsolescence" (although he had actually received several significant upgrades himself).

The suit of armor increases the wearer's physical strength to superhuman levels, and is in fact stronger than Iron Man. It was also able to fly at supersonic speeds (it can even reach escape velocity), shoot concussive force blasts from the hands, project constrictive force "rings", fire an electromagnetically paralytic beam from the helmet, and was resistant to conventional artillery.

Boris Bullski, the original Titanium Man, also possessed enhanced strength due to treatments given to him by the Soviet government to augment his physiology, making him grow into an 11-foot-tall giant. The Gremlin, being a dwarf who seldom exercised, was weaker than most people, but he possessed super-human intelligence, was capable of creating advanced devices and weapons, and was an accomplished genetic engineer.

Other versions[edit]

Heroes Reborn — Iron Man[edit]

A Soviet Titanium Man, developed for the Russians by Victor von Doom, proved the better of the Iron Man prototype. Later, the same individual was shown, together with the Crimson Dynamo, as a free agent working for HYDRA. This Titanium Man was physically similar to the original mainstream version.[15]

Civil War: House of M[edit]

In the House of M reality, the second Titanium Man was seen as a member of the Soviet Super-Soldiers.[16]

Ultimate Titanium Man[edit]

The Ultimate Marvel version of the Titanium Man is Howard Stark Sr. when the character was featured in Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars, although parts of him resembled Iron Monger as well.[17]

Another Titanium Man appears in the pages of Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #18. Jake Miller was employee of the Crystal Lake Energy Complex. During the Hydra attack to the United States (in the "Divided We Fall" storyline), he volunteered to enter the unattended nuclear plant in order to take control and prevent a catastrophe, but his family was killed by Hydra soldiers while he was away. In despair, Miller built a titanium armor using Quark-based pirated technology, and led to the nuclear plant in order to blow it up in revenge of the country. He was stopped by the Ultimates, who convinced him to surrender.[18]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Titanium Man appeared in the Iron Man animated series voiced by Gerard Maguire. In the series' first episode, he's shown as a powerful minion of the Mandarin and a creation of MODOK. Titanium Man does not make more appearances during the first season. In one chapter of the second season, Titanium Man makes an alliance with Dark Aegis, but at the end he helps Iron Man and War Machine, sacrificing himself in order to stop Dark Aegis.

Video game[edit]

Toys[edit]

  • Titanium Man, based on his animated appearance, was part of the Toy Biz Iron Man toyline.
  • Titanium Man, based on his design from the video game, is featured in the toyline for the Iron Man film.
  • Titanium Man was released in the Iron Man Face Off 4-pack from the Marvel Super Hero Squad line, packaged with figures of Iron Man, War Machine, and Crimson Dynamo. A repaint of that figure was released in the Armor Wars: Part II 3-pack, packaged with Iron Man and Crimson Dynamo.
  • A figure of Titanium Man was released in wave 32 of the Marvel Minimates line.
  • A figure of Titanium Man in his Mark II armor was released in wave 2 of Hasbro's 3.75" Iron Man 2 movie tie-in line.

Music[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Thor vol. 1 #357 (July 1985)
  2. ^ Thor vol. 1 #358 (August 1985)
  3. ^ a b c Soviet Super Soldiers #1 (Nov. 1992)
  4. ^ Hulk: Winter Guard
  5. ^ The Avengers vol. 4 #2
  6. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #685
  7. ^ Amazing Spider-Man: Ends of the Earth #1
  8. ^ Iron Man Manual Mark 3
  9. ^ Hulk: Winter Guard
  10. ^ Avengers Vol. 4 2
  11. ^ Invincible Iron Man #513
  12. ^ Infinity: Heist #1
  13. ^ Infinity: Heist #2
  14. ^ Infinity: Heist #3
  15. ^ Iron Man Vol. 2 #9
  16. ^ Civil War: House of M #2
  17. ^ Ultimate Comics: Armor Wars #4
  18. ^ Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #18
  19. ^ http://marvel.toonzone.net/news.php?action=fullnews&id=676
  20. ^ Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 NPC Spotlight: Prodigy & Titanium Man, Posted: 2009-09-04 00:00:00 Updated: 2009-09-29

External links[edit]