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Battalion

Alias: (first name unknown) Lyons

Team Titans Member
Joined: 
Team Titans #2 [1992]

Related Links:  Comics Scene Yearbook Article
Wizard #25 Titans Article  • Phil Jimenez Looks Back
Team Titans FAQ

Battalion Quick Bio: Battalion became leader to the Team Titans after his own family was brutally slain by Lord Chaos. A self-described “drill sergeant from Hell”, battle-worn Battalion trained the Teamers in battle. Battalion was erased from time during the Zero Hour time crisis.

Team Titans File Photos:

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History


The Drill Sergeant From Hell

In an alternate future, the world was ruled by a cruel and barbarous demigod with powers from beyond the stars. He was Lord Chaos, and he would enslave or kill all who would oppose him. But one group did challenge Lord Chaos’ authority – a collection of underground freedom fighters inspired by the legendary Teen Titans. Galvanized by a mysterious leader, dozens of these super-powered recruits collectively became known as the Team Titans.

To combat these paranormal rebels, Lord Chaos either killed or recruited any potentially dangerous meta-human enemies. One man who evaded Chaos’ grasp was Lyons, a celebrated concert pianist. Lyons had a gentle demeanor that betrayed his genetic mutation, which prompted the media to dub the grizzly-looking musician “The Battle Lion.” But Lord Chaos viewed Lyons as an aberration. In a brutal display of his power, Chaos slaughtered the pianist’s wife and children before his eyes.

With that, Lyons was imprisoned in Lord Chaos’ dungeons. His stamina and endurance honed by tremendous torture, Lyons escaped the mad dictator’s clutches and joined the fight for global independence as Battalion. As the official field leader and trainer of the Team Titans, Battalion became the self-styled “drill sergeant from Hell,” a tough-talking, impossibly strong combat master who turned the Teamers into the most efficient fighting force on Earth.

ABOVE: Battalion debuts in TEAM TITANS #2 [1992].
BELOW: Battle, Battalion style, from TEAM TITANS #3 [1992]. 

Total Chaos

Shortly thereafter, the Team Titans’ leader gave one of his super-powered squads a critical mission. Mirage, Killowat, Dagon, Terra, Redwing and Prester Jon were sent back to Earth’s past to find Lord Chaos’ mother – Donna Troy of the New Titans – and slay her before she bore her demonic son. Hurdled through time on a one-way trip, the Team Titans infiltrated the Titans but Donna Troy gave birth before they could intervene.

Total turmoil erupted when the future Lord Chaos arrived as well, hoping to insure his own future. Battalion traveled through time in pursuit of the power-mad god, as both teams united in the present to end Chaos and spare Donna’s life at the same time. With their mission now completed, Battalion and the Team Titans found themselves stranded in the past with no future ahead. Donna Troy provided a new home for the time-lost teenagers at her New Jersey farmhouse, where she could help them find their place in a world that was still so strange to them.

At one point, the Teamers searched for their counterparts in this timeline. This prompted Battalion to search for his lost wife, Essie, who was engaged to another man. Battalion became obsessed with Essie, to the point of unconsciously becoming her stalker. He eventually talked with his once-not-future wife, finally accepting that this was not the woman he knew.

After laying these emotions to rest, Battalion began to develop romantic feelings toward Donna Troy. Sadly for Battalion, his affections would remain forever unrequited.

Battle ready: In TEAM TITANS #3 [1992]. 

Countdown To Zero Hour

Suddenly, Battalion and the Team Titans became engulfed in a crisis wherein time itself began to unravel. The time-warping Extant and power-mad Parallax plotted to hasten this breakdown to create an entirely new reality of their own design. As the dreaded zero hour approached, scores of heroes from various eras were drawn to the literal Ground Zero, the beginning of time. There, Extant revealed that his past self, Monarch, had engineered the Team Titans’ timeline to create his own army of super-powered assassins. Through their wristbands, Extant activated his sleeper agent Team Titans to attack the heroes and preserve his “Zero Hour” objective. But as their incongruous timeline faded, Battalion and the Team Titans were erased from existence.

ABOVE: The Team Titans cease to exist in ZERO HOUR #2  [1994].
BELOW: 
The Time Trapper reveals the truth behind
the Team Titans’ timeline in 
NEW TITANS ANNUAL #11 [1995].

 

Inexplicably, three individuals survived the collapse of the Team Titans’ timeline: Mirage, Terra and Deathwing. With no home to call their own, Mirage and Terra joined Arsenal’s New Titans team. There, the group received a strange orb from the calculating Time Trapper, revealing the three survivors – Mirage, Terra and Deathwing – originated from this timeline. 

Powers & Abilities


Battalion is impossibly strong as well as an incredible warrior. He is the master of every known weapon.


Essential Reading


Total Chaos: New Titans #90-92, Team Titans #1-3, Deathstroke #14-16 [1992]: The Team Titans have been sent to the past to kill the pregnant Troia before she gives birth to her son, who could become a god-powered dictator named Lord Chaos in the future. Battalion emerges from the future to join the battle. The Team is defeated, and Troia, having lost her powers, gives birth to a normal baby boy. First appearance of Battalion in Team Titans #2.
Team Titans #4-5 [1992-1993]: As Judge and Jury come into conflict with Metallick, Battalion enters the fray. Battalion’s ties to the Judge lead to revelations about his past. Meanwhile, the Teamers settle in their new home at Donna Troy Long’s farmhouse. Origin of Battalion in issue #5.
Team Titans #6 [1993]: The Team Titans celebrate the holidays, by going in search of their pasts, here In the present. Battalion tracks down his future-wife, Essie, only to find she is engaged to another man.
Team Titans #11-12 [1993]: Battalion decides to set things right between his wife, Essie, and himself. Just one little problem: she’s married to someone else in this time. As Battalion confronts Essie, Kole appears and helps him realize it isn’t the same woman he knew.
Zero Hour #4-0 [1994]: Time continues to collapse, erasing the false timelines that had emerged. As a result, all the Team Titans are erased from existence! ‘Death’ of Battalion, Killowat, Dagon, Redwing, Prestor Jon and all the Team Titans. Mirage & Terra mysteriously survive.

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 Battalion, from DC Who’s Who Series

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 Creators On Battalion


Artist Kevin Maguire on Battalion [from The Titans Companion, 2005]: “Battalion, I remember that. […] I remember that someone else – I forget who it was – had done a design of him, and basically he was just a shirtless guy with a blonde crew cut, and I [thought], “Battalion? I don’t know.” I just thought of “battle”and “lion,”and went from there.”

Writer Marv Wolfman on Battalion: The writer calls Battalion “the drill sergeant from hell” and says, “He’s the one who put them all together in the future. He and Donna Troy are at war over control of the group.”

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A convention sketch of Battalion by NEW TITANS artist Kerry Gammill,
who helped to introduce the Team Titans in NEW TITANS #80.

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 Team Titans Series Overview


Team Titans #1 to 24
September 1992 to September 1994

The Future Is Now

The “Titans Hunt” storyline featured the debut of the Team Titans, a group of time-tossed teenagers from a bleak future ruled by Lord Chaos. Introduced in New Titans #79 [1991], this mysterious group of teenagers was tracking Donna Troy in an attempt to kill her. On the last page, the Team Titans membership is revealed: Mirage, Redwing, Nightrider, Killowat and – inexplicably –Terra! This last page shocker was followed up in New Titans Annual #7, where the alternate future world of the Team Titans was established. Given orders by a mysterious leader, The Team Titans were sent back in time to eliminate Donna Troy before she could give birth to her son, who will turn out to be Lord Chaos. The Teamers’ arrival in the present is detailed in New Titans #80.

When the Team Titans were created for the 1991 New Titans Annual, writer Marv Wolfman said he had no idea that the group would get their own title. Editor Jonathan Peterson suggested that the annual feature Nightwing leading a Titans group in the future. “I didn’t just want to have him lead a group fighting Monarch, and I realized it would be more exciting to develop a parallel story,” recalled Wolfman. “Rarely can you come up with many characters all at once that work, but in this case, all the characters and their origins jelled quickly. It was very much like when I did the original Teen Titans group. They came one right after another. The Team Titans were all designed by [artist] Tom Grummett, and we realized we had more than an annual story. There was immediate interest at DC, because the characters worked. So, we figured out a way to bring these characters back into our present.”

The Team (then Teen) Titans, from DC’s Who’s Who Series.

The Team Titans continued to track Donna Troy in New Titans #85-89 [1992], as Terra II made herself known to Changeling, while Mirage made her own plans to win the heart of Nightwing. As Donna’s pregnancy accelerated, it led into a final three-way conflict with the Team Titans, New Titans and Lord Chaos. Team Titans #1-3 featured a crossover with New Titans #90-92 andDeathstroke #14-16 entitled “Total Chaos.” The Team Titans first clashed and then teamed up with the Titans to ultimately defeat Lord Chaos.

Team Titans was written by Marv Wolfman and #1-3 featured art by Kevin Maguire. Later, Phil Jimenez became the title’s artist with issue #7. Wolfman left the series with issue #12.

Wolfman later reflected on his Team Titans tenure in a titanstower.com interview: ” Jonathan Peterson asked me to do a one-shot annual featuring these alternate universe characters. I came up with them for a one-shot only and somehow they get put into their own book. Had I known that was going to happen I would have spent a lot more time working on them so they could sustain a book. I never thought they should be their own title as they were a one-note concept. The Team Titans title was not one of my favorites. I did like the individual members, though, and I really liked what I did with their origin stories. It’s just the book itself never should have been published.”

Kevin Maguire’s Team Titans, from DC’s Who’s Who Series.

X-Force-Fitting The Team Titans

Jeff Jensen and Phil Jimenez co-wrote the Team Titans starting with #13 until its cancellation with #24 in 1994. The last few issues of the book featured art by Terry Dodson.

The series seemed to be conceived as an answer to Marvel’s popular X-Force, with its teenage warriors and tough drill sergeant mentor (Battalion patterned after X-Force’s Cable). The concept never caught on with readers and the book was ultimately canceled. The Team Titans’ fate was revealed in the pages of Zero Hour, where their timeline collapsed, thus erasing all the characters from existence (except Terra, Mirage and Deathwing).

Phil Jimenez later reflected of his Team Titans tenure during an AOL chat: “I signed on to do a particular kind of self-aware, kitschy project while the higher ups wanted the new X-Force – and everything we had planned got screwed up by Zero Hour – none of which were particularly good for the team, DC Comics, or my career. We had originally intended to explore various things with the Team; Mirage’s psycho pregnancy; Killowat’s subtle racism, the possibility that Terra was a lesbian earth elemental. Kole was Marv’s doing, not mine and we had to explain her away. In our original plan, the Team Titans were from an alternate time line and Terra was that time line’s Earth elemental and she was going to be a lesbian.”

Jimenez continued, “Mirage was going to go nuts during her pregnancy, and try to shape change it out of existence and it would be invulnerable to that, and she’d eventually kill herself. Mirage was never a favorite. But I found the drama of her after-rape period ripe with possibilities.”

“We were going to explore the Joker’s Daughter angle,” Jimenez noted, “We were going to find out that the Joker’s Daughter was insane – that her memories of the Titans (now non-continuity) were just ravings in her head. She was going to steal the Time Commander’s hourglass and reshape Manhattan into the island that she remembered, recreating a 70’s world of heroes, villains, and icons that the Titans would find themselves in.”

The Team Titans by Phil Jimenez, from DC Cosmic Card Set.

Alternate Futures

The Team Titans seemed full of possibilities – and missed opportunities. Kole returned in the pages of Team Titans only to mysteriously disappear. Phil Jimenez’s plans for the book were contrary to DC’s vision. The Joker’s Daughter appeared in issue #13 – and was never seen again. And then there’s the Team Titans leader…

The idea of Monarch as the leader of the Team Titans seemed like a last minute Zero Hour shuffle – and it was. Phil Jimenez revealed as much, “We were told to write that this second Kole, as well as nearly every other character we introduced in Team Titans, was a creation of Extant/Monarch, in order to lead the Titans down the path they would need to be super-powered assassins. So Kole was nothing more than an Extant-created construct.”

But who was intended as the original Team Titans leader? It was actually the much-loathed Danny Chase. “That was part of the idea of making Danny Chase tolerable,” editor Jonathan Peterson admitted in a 2005 interview with titanstower.com. “We could make him like John Conner from Terminator 2. He goes from whiny kid to leader of the rebellion.”

Extant’s manipulations of the
Team Titans unfold in ZERO HOUR #2 [1994].

Perhaps the most interesting angle to the Team Titans was editor Jonathan Peterson’s original plan, ” I thought, if Marvel has X-Men and New Mutants, we should do the same, so Marv said, “Okay, so we’ll have a new Teen Titans,” and then Kevin Maguire suggested we alter it, and call it Team Titans. ”

“[…] I wanted to get the Teen Titans back, so I explained my whacked out idea. I really wanted Robin, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Changeling, Raven, Starfire and Cyborg back to what they were originally, so I wanted to do an alternate dimension or timeline, and I turned to Kevin and said “You get to launch an all-new Titans book and design them from the ground up.” Not only that, but this alternate universe would have an alternate young Robin, and alternate young Starfire and all the rest. The plan for Team Titans was a secret one. With the first Team Titans Annual, or at the end of the first 12 issues, I told Kevin he would then be re-launching the Teen Titans with alternate versions of the core-seven members.”

“My plan there was to have those members slowly grow in those twelve issues. They would grow or move on or be phased out. That would lead into the first Annual. That Annual would introduce our alternate [universe], younger Teen Titans. The book would change it’s title to Teen Titans and feature the alternate, younger versions of those core-seven Titans. That was the plan.”

Short List of Notable Appearances

Team Titans #1-24
Team Titans Annual #1-2
New Titans #79-80, 85-92
New Titans Annual #7
Deathstroke #14-16
Zero Hour #0-4


Sources for this entry: DC Who’s Who Binder Series, supplemented by titanstower.com


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