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Fringe

Alias: none

Titans Member
Joined:
Teen Titans (second series) #17 [1998]

Fringe Quick Bio: Abandoned as a child because of his appearance, the man-monster Fringe was raised by an alien H’San Natall entity that became his protector. The monstrous powerhouse was befriended by Prysm and joined the Teen Titans.

Teen Titans File Photo:


Archived File Photos (in chronological order):

Hero History


Childhood’s End

Mikey and Tamara Gorson were excited at the upcoming birth of their child. That is, until Tamara gave birth to a creature that would later be known as ‘Fringe.’ Frightened and alarmed by his appearance, the young couple threw the child from a bridge, telling themselves it was an aberration – a creature that was not from God. The creature would be rescued and raised by an ‘entity’ that would later bond with the child.

Fringe spent most of his life as a homeless person, living out of garbage bins and alleys. The protector-entity would only emerge when Fringe was in danger.

Fringe’s tragic origin is recounted in
SUPERGIRL & PRYSM DOUBLE SHOT [1998].

The Teen Titans – Atom, Prysm, Argent, Joto and Risk – first encountered Fringe after he was taken prisoner by Pylon and the Veil. The Veil’s agenda: rid the earth of alien influence. Pylon was able to kidnap both Fringe and Supergirl. The Teen Titans, with help from Nightwing and Captain Marvel Jr., were able to rescue both Supergirl and Fringe. Upon meeting, Prysm and Fringe instantly recognized a bond. She named him ‘Fringe’ (“Yes. It fit.” Prysm noted, “He’s kind of a… fringe human. A lot like me.”) After his rescue, Fringe wandered off into the woods.

After a battle with Haze, fellow teammate Joto seemingly died, leaving the team devastated. Complicating matters, Mr. Jupiter disbanded the team. Prysm felt she had nowhere to turn, and sought out Supergirl, who she sensed was a kindred spirit. Both heroines were soon drawn into a battle; Prysm sensed the gentle monster Fringe was in danger; The two teens shared a psychic link because Fringe was also a H’San Natall/human hybrid. Prysm and Supergirl were able to rescue Fringe from the bounty hunter, Jugular.

During the battle, Fringe manifested an ‘entity’ that protected him. It appears that when in danger, this wraithlike entity emerges from Fringe and attacks the source of what put him in danger. Fringe was also briefly reunited with the parents that had abandoned him as a baby. The Gormons seemed to regret their earlier actions, especially Fringe’s mother. Prysm and Fringe also started to develop a strong bond.

Teen Titan

Deciding to band together once more, Argent was instrumental in initiating a membership drive to keep the Teen Titans together. The team stayed together for a time with new members Fringe and Captain Marvel Jr. joining as well.

Prysm tries to show Fringe the ways of the world in TEEN TITANS #18 [1998].

After another altercation with the H’San Natall and The Veil, Prysm discovered her mother, known as Queen Miraset, was alive and living among the H’San Natall. Prysm also met her father, Ch’ah, who had a glasslike appearance similar to Prysm. The H’San Natall revealed that Fringe’s entity-protector had been doing their bidding since day one. What exactly he did to further H’San Natall plans was never made quite clear. The Titans and Superman were able to talk to H’San Natall out of any further acts of aggression.

They also team discovered that Joto was indeed alive. They rescued him, but Prysm and Fringe elected to remain in space. Prysm felt she was a freak on earth but, now, among her parents, she felt she had a home at last. The rest of the team returned to earth but decided to go their separate ways and disbanded.

Prysm and Fringe aided the Titans again during the Technis Imperative conflict, which involved the Justice League as well as all Titans, past and present. The two teams eventually worked together to save the earth and former Titans teammate, Victor Stone (Cyborg).

Powers & Abilities


Enhanced strength and endurance. Also manifests a protective entity when in danger.

 

Essential Reading


Teen Titans #4-5 [1997]: “Coming Out,” parts 1 & 2. It’s guest stars galore, when Nightwing enlists Robin to investigate the new team. Meanwhile, Supergirl and a strange creature are kidnapped by a mysterious organization known as the Veil; and Risk, Joto, Prysm, Argent, and the Atom blow up their headquarters during a training exercise, leaving Captain Marvel Jr. the task of saving Risk! Just getting used to their origins, powers and expense accounts, the Teen Titans are hardly ready to break into a well-armed fortress, but that’s what they have to do to rescue Supergirl and the bizarre creature that will become known as Fringe. First Appearance of Fringe in issue #4.
Supergirl & Prysm Double shot [1998]: Deep in the woods near Leesburg lurks a creature that has come to be known as Fringe. He comes searching for answers, and for the parents that abandoned him long ago. Also en route to Leesburg is the former Teen Titan named Prysm. With the team disbanded, she has no place to call home and she’s seeking out a kindred soul in Supergirl. Unfortunately for all, the galactic bounty-hunter Jugular is also coming to town. He’s got his sights set on both Fringe and Prysm, and he doesn’t care if Supergirl gets in his way. Origin of Fringe.
Teen Titans #17 [1998]: The Titans reunite in a guest-star filled issue. After their adventures with Superboy, Supergirl, Impulse, and Robin; the reunited Argent, Prysm and the Atom try to restart the Titans by having an open house for all the DC Universe’s youthful heroes, and get much more than they bargained for when they are attacked by the Veil. Captain Marvel Jr. and Fringe join the Teen Titans in this issue.
Teen Titans #18 [1998]: Fringe goes on the rampage in Metropolis. Plus, this issue showcases the new Titans HQ above “The Stain,” Metropolis’ hottest arcade/club.
Teen Titans #21-24 [1998] Four-Part “Titans Hunt”: The final TITANS storyline by writer/artist Dan Jurgens. Deathstroke hunts the Titans and delivers them to the H’San Natall. Once there, Prysm discovers her mother, known as Queen Miraset, is alive and living among the H’San Natall. Prysm also meets her father, Ch’ah, who has a glasslike appearance similar to Prysm. Pylon reveals the H’San Natall used a group called the Veil as a front for their objectives. On the outside, the Veil was an organization with one objective: Eliminate all alien influence from the planet earth. In actuality, its leader Pylon was a member of the H’San Natall. The Titans and Superman are able to talk to H’San Natall out of any further acts of aggression. The team also discovers that Joto is alive! They rescue him, but Prysm and Fringe elect to remain in space. The rest of the team return to earth but decide to go their separate ways and disband.

Dan Jurgens’ Teen Titans


Less than a year after the cancellation of the New Titans with #130 [1996], DC Comics decided to re-launch the Teen Titans concept. Dan Jurgens spear-headed the new concept and characters, with George Pérez providing inks. Jurgens’ Titans team was a group of teenagers united by a common origin: the sinister H’San Natall alien race produced alien/human half-breeds. The Teen Titans group included H’San Natall seedlings Argent, Risk, Joto and Prysm. The team was led by Atom, who had been de-aged to a teenager during the Zero Hour event.

Writer/Artist Dan Jurgens set out to create a diverse cast: “I tend to approach a group title differently from a solo character. What I think of first are the personalities and their family and social backgrounds. I knew I wanted an interesting blend of personalities. I start by pulling various elements together, adding characterizations, then powers and talents. First, I create an individual personality, then fit that into the concept of a team comic book for an interesting mix. There are a thousand comics out there right now that have young people with powers. You can pick them up by the dozen each week. I want us to be a little different by having more character-oriented stories; I want to create characters here that the readers are really going to become interested in.”

Although an all-new concept with all-new characters, Jurgens still provided ties to past Titans teams. The Teen Titans were funded by Loren Jupiter, who had funded the original Teen Titans for a time; allies included Omen (who was revealed to be former Titan, Lilith) and Neil Richards (former Teen Titans villain, the Mad Mod); a storyline in issues #12-15 featured a reunion of the original team.

The team seemingly broke up following events of #16. Following that issue, a number of one shots provided a spotlight for individual members. These double shots (February 1998) featured: Argent/Robin, Supergirl/Prysm, Atom/Impulse and Risk/Superboy. Issue #17 featured a membership drive, and new members Fringe and Captain Marvel Jr. joined the team. Former Titan Arsenal also joined the supporting cast.

These changes failed to invigorate the title. It seemed readers didn’t accept these new characters as “Titans” and the book, while not a failure, failed to reinvent the franchise. The title was canceled with issue #24.

Short List of Notable Appearances
Teen Titans #1-24
Teen Titans Annual #1
Titans Beat Promotional Flyer
Robin & Argent Double Shot
Superboy & Risk Double Shot
Supergirl & Prysm Double Shot
Impulse & Atom Double Shot
New Year’s Evil: Dark Nemesis #1

 

Later Members: Captain Marvel Jr. and Fringe


The stage was set as far back as Teen Titans #4-5. The two-part stories featured a variety of guest stars: Supergirl, Captain Marvel Jr,  Nightwing and Robin. It also introduced a tragic man-monster, whom Prysm named “Fringe.”

Writer/artist Dan Jurgens noted, “As I see it, Captain Marvel Jr., Impulse and Robin [...] will have a loose affiliation with the group and can be brought in at any time, if their appearance makes sense and isn’t used as a sales tool.”

Teen Titans #5 also launched a ‘vote-for-new member’ campaign. From the letter column: “Hoookayy, as Cody would say, in this issue we featured a nice variety of guest stars for all of you who have been asking us why so-and-so isn’t part of the Teen Titans. But if we know you fans, you’re still not satisfied. Soooo, with this issue we open the polls for you – yes, YOU – to pick the next member to join the Teen Titans. The only requirement is that they be young. Characters like Flash and Green Lantern have graduated to JLA status, so we suggest characters who are in the Robin, Impulse and the Spoiler league instead. Hoookayy? Send the ballot below.”

The team seemingly broke up following events of #16. Following that issue, a number of one shots spotlighted individual members. Teen Titans #17 featured a membership drive, and new members Fringe and Captain Marvel Jr. joined the team. Former Titan Arsenal also joined the supporting cast.

The letters column of Teen Titans #17  revealed the winner to the contest: “Holy Moley! [We]hope you like the addition of Captain Marvel Jr. to the ranks. He was the winner by a landslide of the vote for a new Titan, It was pretty interesting that neither Robin nor Impulse (guys both Dan and the editor thought would be the favorites) got as many votes as Freddie. And some of the other candidates you voted for will also be making appearances here soon. So stick around!”

The Teen Titans #18 letter column revealed more of the outcome: “As for the winner of the new member vote, it should be obvious by now that it was Captain Marvel Jr. Our runners-up were Spoiler, Terra and Damage. Surprisingly, Robin and Impulse gave a very poor showing, which is strange because during the days when this book got started, all we heard was how you wanted those guys in the Titans. Oh, well.”

These new members didn’t generate much new excitement. Captain Marvel Jr. spent most of his panel time mooning over Argent. Meanwhile, Fringe went through various man-monster tropes. In short, the membership shake-up did little to invigorate the title. It seemed readers didn’t accept these new characters as “Titans,” and the title was canceled with issue #24.

Dan Jurgens on New Teen Titans Members
[courtesy of Titans Companion 2, from TwoMorrows Publishing – 2008]

TTC: Five issues in, you announced a contest whereby the readers could vote for a new member of the team. What was the rationale behind that?

DJ: I think we just wanted to have the readers feel a little more involved.

TTC: So if Superboy or Robin had won, would you have had the authority to add them to the team?

DJ: I wouldn’t have had the authority. What we certainly would have done had that happened is gone to DC and said, “Hey, this is what the readers of this title have voted for, therefore we’re gonna assume this is what they want to see, which is good for sales in the long run. Let’s try and work this out.”

TTC: That’s when Captain Marvel, Jr. became a Titan.

DJ: Yes. And I gotta tell you, it came out of nowhere and surprised the hell out of me. One of the things I’ve always felt happened – and I think I’m right about this – is somehow, in the formative years of how the Internet related with comic publishers, somebody mounted a helluva write-in campaign for Captain Marvel, Jr., [and] they got their way.

TTC: Who did you expect to win?

DJ: Quite honestly? I thought it was gonna be Robin or Nightwing.

TTC: Wouldn’t Nightwing have been too old?

DJ: Not in my book, no. I think one of the more successful aspects of the X-Men is that you see a great mix of ages within the groups.

TTC: So how did you approach incorporating Captain Marvel, Jr. into the team?

DJ: I think the toughest thing, whenever you have to try and take anyone from the Marvel family and work them into any kind of DC continuity, is how the hell do you make it really try and make sense? To me, that’s the toughest one of all, and I’m not sure that, in retrospect, I ever felt comfortable with Captain Marvel, Jr. occupying that slot for us. You can try all the explanations of talking worms and tigers and everything else that you want, but there’s just a barrier there. I have always felt this. There’s just a barrier there that makes it very difficult to make it work.

 


Sources for this entry: titanstower.com


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