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Epsilon & Theta

Titans Adversaries
Real Names:
unknown

Related Links:
The D.E.O. OrphansDakota Jamison

Epsilon Quick Bio: The Department of Extranormal Operations [D.E.O.] established an orphanage full of super-powered young charges. The psychotic orphan known as Epsilon was possessed by fellow orphan, Kevin Tanaka, who secured safe haven for his friends at Titans Tower. After the real Epsilon burst free, he destroyed the tower in a battle that seemingly claimed his own life as well.

Titans File Photos:

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 History


Little is known about the young man who answered to the name Epsilon. His real name and familial affiliations were unrevealed, but one can surmise his childhood was a traumatic one. The abandoned boy became a charge of The Department of Extranormal Operations, and was reared in their secret orphanage designed for super-powered youths.

While his powers were never fully catalogued, Epsilon appeared to possess great strength, incredible durability, the power of flight and an immunity to magic. But the bitter orphan also displayed dangerous psychotic tendencies, causing the D.E.O. to keep a watchful eye on the delinquent when he was released from the orphanage at the age of eighteen.

ABOVE: Epsilon makes the scene in TITANS #27 [2001].
BELOW: Kevin reveals how he possessed Epsilon in Titans #38 [2002].

Epsilon then began a passionate and turbulent affair with a young woman who was very much his counterpart. Known as Theta, the super-powered sociopath joined Epsilon in utilizing their powers for personal gain and sadistic amusement. The opportunistic couple soon found a wealthy benefactor in Argent’s father, who blamed the Titans for turning his daughter against him. Epsilon worked in conjunction with his lover, Theta, to infiltrate the Titans and bring them down from within.

But Epsilon’s plans were sidelined when his body was possessed by fourteen-year-old D.E.O. charge Kevin Tanaka, who used Epsilon to secure safe haven for his fellow D.E.O. orphans at Titans Tower. Under this guise, Kevin unwittingly began a romance with Argent, who was smitten with Epsilon’s rugged good looks. But their burgeoning relationship was shattered when the real psychotic Epsilon burst free, exposing Kevin Tanaka’s ruse and breaking Argent’s heart in the process. Angry at being used, Epsilon unleashed his full fury and destroyed  Titans Tower.

Epsilon then reunited with Theta and the two villains resolved to wreck vengeance on the D.E.O. orphans for disrupting their plan. After a pitched battle, Kevin inhabited the body of Argent and delivered a fatal blow against Epsilon. Theta retreated, carrying her lover’s fallen body. It is unknown whether or not Epsilon survived this encounter.

ABOVE: Epsilon unmasks in TITANS #27 [2001].

ABOVE: Theta tells Argent she was hired by her father in TITANS #33 [2001].

ABOVE: Epsilon and Theta are reunited in TITANS #38 [2002].

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 Essential Reading


The Titans Secret Files #2 [2000]: Contains profile pages showcase the new Titans lineup, and new villains – including the Hangmen and Epsilon. First appearance of Epsilon, bio only.
Titans #21-22 [2000]: Epsilon makes his presence. known. Guest star Green Lantern teams up with the mysterious Epsilon to stop a new threat to the Titans. First full appearance of Epsilon in #21.
Titans #27 [2001]: When the D.E.O. arrives to take Epsilon into custody, the Titans decide it’s time to take a stand against the government – fighting for the hero. Epsilon is unmasked. First full appearance of Grace, Eli, Zeke, Scrap and Nikki. First appearance of D.E.O. Agent Dakota Jamison.
Titans #31 [2001]: Argent and Epsilon encounter Theta, who seems to have a past romantic relationship with Epsilon, although he can’t remember her. As Theta and Epsilon battle, Argent notices dramatic shifts in both their personalities. First appearance of Theta.
Titans #33 [2001]: Argent is on the trail of Theta, the mysterious super-villain responsible for the assault on Epsilon. But as she gets closer to the person who hired Theta to battle the Titans, it becomes obvious to Argent that the villain’s employer is someone Argent already knows – her father. Meanwhile, Epsilon reveals mysterious ties to the D.E.O. orphans.
The Titans #37 [2002]: Dakota Jamison enlists the Titans’ aid to help a D.E.O. orphan named Kevin Tanaka, who has the ability to project his mind into another body; Epsilon revealed to be Kevin in an adult body. But Kevin’s fragile state lets the real, vicious Epsilon finally break through. Epsilon unleashes his full fury at the Titans – destroying the Titans Tower in process!
The Titans #38 [2002]: The D.E.O. kids finally confess how their friend Kevin Tanaka had been inhabiting the body of Epsilon for months – and the Titans learn the real Epsilon is a former D.E.O. orphan with dangerous psychopathic tendencies and uncataloged meta-human abilities. Epsilon reunites with his lover, Theta, and plans his revenge against Kevin Tanaka. After a pitched battle, Kevin inhabits the body of Argent and delivers a fatal blow against Epsilon. Theta carries her lover’s fallen body in her arms and retreats. Death of Kevin Tanaka. Apparent death of Epsilon.

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 About The D.E.O.


The Department of Extranormal Operations is a federally mandated joint Internal Security Agency, Office of Meta-Human Affairs, Defense Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation operation, tasked with the monitoring and succor of meta-humans. There is a strong reliance on local law enforcement.

The job of monitoring the three-dimensional location of every known meta-human is made possible by a ring of specialized surveillance Inspector Class satellites. This classified mission is generally known to be able to resolve individual chromosomal wavelengths.

The D.E.O. is headquartered in New York City and serves the country with 8 additional major-city offices. The D.E.O. provides every level of meta-human interaction from shock troops to meta-counselors. They also provide discretionary housing and regulate the Meta-Human Protection Program. The mysterious Mr. Bones serves as director of the D.E.O..

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 Jay Faerber’s D.E.O. Debrief


Jay Faerber on the D.E.O. Storyline
[from Titans Companion 2, by TwoMorrows Publishing – 2008]

JF: Arsenal, I wanted to do a lot with him that I never got to do. I wanted to give him a day job. I had this idea where he would go to work for Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle. He had Kord Industries, and they made all kinds of stuff, and I was gonna have Arsenal work for his weapon development division. Arsenal was gonna work with weapons just as his day job and then be Arsenal at night, and we never got around to actually doing that.

I wanted to give him a girlfriend, somebody different than Troia. She was originally going to be just a New York City cop named Dakota Jamison who was the opposite of Roy in that Roy was a white kid who had Native American ties and was brought up that way, and she was gonna be the opposite, a Native American by blood who was adopted and raised in Brooklyn.

She morphed into a DEO agent when I finally was able to introduce her, and I wanted to play up the fact that as Dakota and Roy would get closer, Lian would rebel against this new woman in her life and get closer to Troia, which would make Troia be kind of awkward, and not know how to handle that.

[…]

The D.E.O. Kids invade Titans Tower in TITANS #28 [2001].

TTC: How did the series change once Eddie stepped down.?

JF: It changed a lot, and probably not for the better, and it’s too bad. I mean, Andy Helfer is a great writer and a great editor. He wrote the Shadow that Kyle Baker drew years ago, and he edited that Giffen/DeMatteis JLA book that was one of my favorites. I was reading that in high school, so when Andy came on, I was totally psyched. I was like, “Wow, this is gonna be great,” and we talked a lot about it. Eddie was a huge Titans nerd, just like I was, so he and I knew the characters inside and out and knew all the history.

Andy was the complete opposite. He literally had never read the book, and kept calling them by their old names: instead of Nightwing he’d call him Robin, and he’d call Tempest Aqualad, and I had to correct him. [But] that lack of information can be a strength, because it brings a totally fresh set of eyes.

He came on right as we were finishing up that Troia story, and he was, “I can’t even understand this. This makes no sense to me.” So he wanted to really make sure that everything was streamlined, and that things made sense. His other big edict was that he said, “I don’t understand why the Titans exist. What is their purpose?” and I [said], “Well, they’re sidekicks, they grew up together. They’re a family,”and he said, “Every team book is a family. It’s a cliché, almost. All team books are big families.”

So we went round and round and round for a couple weeks about what is the book about, and I pitched him all kinds of totally new directions for the book, and nothing really took. Then he had this idea about orphan kids showing up on the Titans doorstep that they ended up taking care of, and I wasn’t crazy about it. He had pitched it as a “for instance,” but then that “for instance” of the kids showing up on the Titans doorstep became the reality, and suddenly we were doing it.

He’d initially suggested they be aliens, but I had the idea of tying them into the DEO just because I like DEO stuff more than alien stuff, and I got him to agree to that. So yeah, that pretty much changed [the book]. He kept thinking that the kids might get popular enough to just take over the book and they could be the Teen Titans, and then the real Titans could fade away, or they’d get a spin-off, or something like that.

I had a real hard time with it, just because I was a Titans fan and I was like, “These characters I want to write, you keep pushing to the back. I want to write Nightwing and Troia and Arsenal, not these kids.”

So it was kind of doomed from the start just because he and I weren’t on the same page. I’m not pointing the finger and saying he’s to blame for that. If he had another writer, somebody that wasn’t so invested in the characters, I’m sure they could have pulled it off and the book would’ve been a lot better than it was when I was writing it, but as it was, I was resistant to what he wanted to do, so we didn’t gel very well. So the book changed dramatically.

Paul Pelletier left and we got a bunch of fill-in artists, and then Barry Kitson came on board, and Barry and I hit if off really well. If you look at the Barry issues, the kids got phased out, and that’s because Barry and Andy were good friends and Barry was a big Titans fan as well, so he would talk to Andy about, “Oh, these kids, they’re not quite working. Let’s do more Titans stuff.”

Around the time Barry came on, I decided I was gonna leave, and as Barry and I started talking, I started to regret deciding I was gonna leave just because Barry got me all excited about the book again. But by that point it was too late, and the book was cancelled not too long after I left. Then Geoff Johns brought it back in a big way.

[…]

Epsilon makes the scene in TITANS #27 [2001].

TTC: What was your original intent for Epsilon?

JF: There were two, and the third one just happened with me and Andy. My original idea in my original pitch was Epsilon was going to be a serial killer who travelled through Hypertime, or at least through dimensions, and killed super-heroes. The gist was we would just see him in quick scenes for a few issues attacking a superhero in another world and killing them. Eventually he was going to come and attack Jesse Quick, or maybe Liberty Belle, and then the Titans would fight him.

That kind of morphed, and I decided to make him a mystery character where he showed up and was a hero, but nobody knew who he was. There was gonna be a big twist, and the big twist that I had in mind that I think Eddie was okay with – we never got around to doing it, but I think I had him on board with this – was he was gonna be Danny Chase brought back to life by Slizzath, the big demon that’s Tempest’s uncle. He could reanimate the dead, like he did with Aquagirl in that Tempest mini-series.

I had this storyline in mind where Slizzath was going to reanimate all the dead Titans, and you’d have this army of dead zombie Titans coming back against the real Titans, and he was going to try and sink the island of Manhattan. I forget the details, [but] Epsilon was going to be his advance man that had gotten close to the Titans, and I know everybody hates Danny Chase, but that was my idea, to build up Epsilon into a hero that everybody liked but you didn’t know who he was under the mask, then reveal that it was Danny Chase, just to [show], “See? Even Danny Chase can be cool if you do it he right way!”

When Andy came on the book and I tried to describe that to him, he was like, “No, no, no. We’re not gonna do that.” [laughs] So we ended up going through all kinds of different ideas to try to figure out what to do with Epsilon. Since he was already in the book, we had to wrap it up, so we ended up doing the thing [where we introduced] the new DEO kid who could project his mind into other people’s bodies, and that’s where we ended up with it. But it’s so different from where it started.

TTC: You never did get to say exactly who Epsilon was working for.

JF: I think we ended up finally deciding that he worked for Argent’s dad.

TTC: It was suggested, but it was left ambiguous.

JF: Yeah, I think that’s what we were gonna get at. I think if we had had time and if I didn’t leave the book, we would’ve completely resolved that, but I think that was the gist, that he was working for Argent’s dad as an enforcer in his drug trade.

 


Sources for this entry: DC Secret files, supplemented by titanstower.com


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