|First appearance||Teen Titans #7 (January–February 1967)|
|Created by||Bob Haney|
|Alter ego||Neil Richards|
|Place of origin||Earth|
Mad Mod first appeared in Teen Titans #7 and was created by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy.
Fictional character biography
One of the first villains ever to menace the Teen Titans, Mad Mod (real name Neil Richards) was a Carnaby Street fashion designer with no actual superpowers of his own. His assumed name is derived from the popular Mod style in England at the time. He used his label as a front to smuggle goods inside his clothing. After being foiled, he later hatched a plot to steal the Queen of Britain's scepter, but was stopped as well by the Titans.
The character disappeared following the cancellation of the original Teen Titans and was absent from the 1980-1994 series written by Marv Wolfman. The character resurfaced in the Dan Jurgans written Teen Titans series of the mid-1990s, as an ally of the Mr. Jupiter backed version of the Titans. The character was shown having renounced crime and designed the Jurgans Titans team's costumes. The character's clothing lines would later be referenced on occasion in various Teen Titans books, with the implication that Mod is a popular clothing designer on par with other real world fashion designers in the DC Universe.
The New 52
In The New 52 (a 2011 reboot of the DC Comics universe), Mad Mod was a member of a group known as "Diablo", that seeks to prevent the original Teen Titans from regaining their memories of their original incarnation of the group. Mad Mod is portrayed as a hipster figure as opposed to a "mod" complete with a handlebar mustache, much younger than his pre-New 52 incarnation. Mad Mod interrogates the super-heroine Bumblebee after her husband is kidnapped by Mister Twister who Diablo seeks to stop. When Mad Mod realizes that the Titans have regained their memories of their past activities, Mad Mod orders the team killed in order to stop Mister Twister from using them in an occult ritual.
Powers and abilities
During the Mad Mod's heyday as a villain, he would match his outrageous clothing with a way out approach in his intricate but deadly traps. He would employ a gang of thugs to do most of the handiwork that needed muscle.
Mad Mod term
The term "Mad Mod, Poet God" was used by Peter Milligan for the unrelated DC character Shade, the Changing Man. Another unrelated DC character is the Mad Mod Witch from The Unexpected, later revealed to be a resident of the Dreaming known as "the Fashion Thing".
In the Titans Tomorrow future the Titans battled Mad Mod's synthetics. They later mentioned they killed Mad Mod.
In other media
- Mad Mod appeared in the Teen Titans TV series voiced by Malcolm McDowell. Mad Mod has no superpowers of his own, but he is a master of technological trickery such as robots and holographic projectors, which he controls with a ruby-handled cane. His ability to produce illusions resulted in surreal, 1960s-styled landscapes, and allowed "Moddie" to appear in several different forms; even appearing stylized in the manner of God as he appeared in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, or becoming a round Blue Meanie-esque figure. In one circumstance, he was able to use such a cane to drain the youth from someone, making them old and him young again. He has an English accent and is utterly anglophilic. Moddie, as he often calls himself, tends to view the Titans as rebellious "snots", and claims that they show no respect for their elders. He has an odd habit of calling people "my duckies". He first appears in "Mad Mod", where he kidnaps the Titans, frequently calls them, "My Duckies", and places them in a psychedelic "school". He attempts to "teach them to behave" through hypnosis, using methods similar to the Ludovico technique (used in A Clockwork Orange, which McDowell starred in). When his initial attempts fail, he leads them on a Scooby-Doo-like chase through a Yellow Submarine-esque maze. The Titans escape when Robin realizes that Mad Mod is as fake as the rest of their surroundings; he thus abandons his attempts to capture him in favor of searching for flaws in the illusion. He quickly notices one — Mod's weapons have made an intriguing hole in the backdrop, which leads into the illusion's internal works. This enables him to make his way to the control room where he confronts the real Mad Mod — a sickly-looking old man using an advanced computer to control the whole school and a hologram of his younger self. Robin, of course, has no trouble defeating him. In "Revolution", Mad Mod crashes the Independence Day celebration claiming the American Revolution was a hoax. He then remakes the entire city in the image of Old England by using hypno-screens to control the population and giant illusions to change the look of the entire city to that of Merry Old London, claiming that "the United States belongs to England again". Mad Mod also kidnaps Robin and uses his cane to drain his youth, reducing Robin to a weak and helpless old man, while Mad Mod becomes his younger self again. The other Titans are initially prevented from reaching Mad Mod and freeing Robin by various large robots modeled after the Coldstream Guards and Mad Mod anticipating their plans. Later, they succeed in getting the cane from him. Robin then uses it to reverse the aging effects. He breaks the cane, thus ending Mad Mod's rule over the city by deactivating his equipment. The Titans then chase after Mad Mod. Mad Mod's aged form made a cameo appearance in "The Lost Episode" as one of the audience members in the orchestra and is last seen fleeing when Punk Rocket strikes. He later has several small appearances as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil where he is somehow young again. In "Revved Up", Mad Mod was seen taking part in Ding Dong Daddy's race. He was last seen fighting in "Titans Together", where he was blown off his feet by Beast Boy's Tyrannosaurus form. He was briefly possessed by Jericho and then was crushed by Overload. Jericho then left his body. He was flash-frozen along with the rest of the Brotherhood in the end.
- A super deformed version of Mad Mod appears in the DC Nation Shorts cartoon short series "New Teen Titans". The episode featuring Mad Mod had him using a machine to manipulate time in order to make himself young again by turning time back to the 1960s. His machine is shown as resembling a British phone box, with a similar design for the TARDIS from Doctor Who. In the short, the Titans are shown as they have been drawn throughout the decades with Mad Mod finally being defeated and Robin winding up in the future as a robot.
- Mad Mod appears in the Teen Titans Go! episode "Salty Codgers". He was going around Jump City turning everyone into old people. He even manages to turn the Teen Titans (except for Raven) into old people as well, much to Raven's initial delight as she adores old people.
Mad Mod makes a silent cameo appearance in the Teen Titans Go! theatrical film Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. In the film, as many villains including Control Freak, Mad Mod appears strapped to a light signal which forms Robin's name in the sky during Robin's musical number "My Superhero Movie".
- In Teen Titans Go! (the comic based on the cartoon), Mad Mod attempts to rule the world by selling people clothes that control their minds, and soon the civilians, along with Beast Boy and Starfire, are under Mad Mod's control and attack the remaining Titans. Cyborg uses a sonic device to destroy Mad Mod's clothes, which leaves everyone that wore the clothes naked, much to their shock and embarrassment — especially Robin upon the sight of Starfire. The Teen Titans then stop Mad Mod.
- Mad Mod appeared in issue #7 of the comic book tie-in to Batman: The Brave and the Bold. This iteration is similar to his portrayal in the Teen Titans animated series. He captures almost all of Doom Patrol and plans to duplicate their costumes to sell to other villains and was defeated by the team and Batman. He appears again in the 15th issue but was stopped by Batman, Super-Hip and Brother Power the Geek. He appears at the beginning of Volume 2, #16 (the final issue), and is defeated by Batman and Batgirl.
- Neil Richards exists as an artist based in Gotham City in the DC Extended Universe, as mentioned in the guide book Time Out Shortlist Gotham City and Metropolis, which was released as a tie-in to the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
- Mad Mod is an unlockable character in the "Master of Games" mode in the console Teen Titans video game. In the game, he is voiced by Greg Ellis, and is the only character featured in the game with a different voice actor than that of the TV series. He isn't included in the story mode like Control Freak, Blackfire, and others that appear in Master of Games mode.
- Titans Hunt #6