Teen Titans Mentor & Ally
Related Links: Lilith Clay • Jarrod Jupiter (Haze) • The Mad Mod
Loren Jupiter Quick Bio: Wealthy philanthropist Loren Jupiter
funded the original Titans team for a time – as well as Atom’s Teen Titans
much later. Jupiter later was revealed as the father of Titans’ psychic
Lilith Clay and Titans’ foe, the illusion-casting Haze.
Recent File Photo:
Archived File Photos (in chronological order):
A Mind For Business
Loren Jupiter is known throughout the world for his vast wealth and incredible philanthropic initiatives. But the benevolent billionaire is not without his secrets. In his younger years, Loren fathered two super-powered children by two different women. The first was Jarrod Jupiter, who disappeared with his mother soon after his birth. The second was Lilith Clay, who Loren didn’t know existed and was raised by a kind couple in Kentucky. Both children endowed with extensive psychic powers, one might wonder if Loren himself possessed similar abilities, latent or otherwise.
ABOVE: Lilith introduces the team to Mr. Jupiter in TEEN TITANS #25 .
BELOW: Mr. Jupiter explains his cause in TEEN TITANS #25 .
As a teenager, Lilith’s travels eventually led her to New York, where she took a job as a go-go dancer at the Canary Cottage disco. It was also during this time that she encountered Loren Jupiter and began to aid his cause. The well-meaning financier had started a secret government-sponsored training project for teenagers in an effort to help create a better world. Lilith joined him, both unaware of their true relationship as father-daughter.
After the accidental death of pacifist Arthur Swenson – a death the Teen Titans were unable to prevent – Loren invited the Titans to abandon their superhero guises and join his project. After Robin solved the Swenson case, the Titans were free to don their costumes once more, and Jupiter continued to finance them.
Mr. Jupiter invites the Titans to join his youth program in TEEN TITANS #25 .
On one of their first missions, the Teen Titans encountered Haze, a bitter teen with mind-altering abilities. Haze forced the Teen Titans to think they were under attack by their disapproving mentors. But the Titans broke through Haze’s powerful illusions and exposed his true identity as Jarrod Jupiter, the long-lost son of their benevolent mentor. Jarrod grew up feeling unloved, and came under the delusion that his father had abandoned him. The tragic truth was that Jarrod’s mother kept him hidden from Loren for years, for reasons that remain her own. Enraged at the Teen Titans for co-opting his father’s affections, Jarrod’s subsequent outburst seemingly led to his own death. Believing the event proved too traumatic for the young heroes, Loren used Lilith’s mental powers to erase the incident from the minds of the Teen Titans.
Omens and Aliens
After a series of adventures both super-heroic and supernatural, this incarnation of the Titans disbanded, as members elected to pursue school and other interests. Loren Jupiter closed shop on his youth program and continued his philanthropic efforts around the world. Believing in the human capacity for good, Loren reached out to Neil Richards, formerly the outrageous international thief known as the Mad Mod. He gave the criminal of Carnaby Street a second chance, enabling the talented clothing designer to make a celebrated comeback with his retro collection of Mad Mod fashions.
Jupiter later settled in Metropolis, where he built an impressive high-tech Solar Tower in the heart of the city’s business district. Meanwhile, Lilith Clay had located her mysterious mother, who unlocked Lilith’s latent mystical powers and revealed Loren as her biological father. Lilith emerged from this training with amazing arcane awareness and adopted a new guise as the veiled Omen. In light of this awakening experience, Lilith sought out her father.
ABOVE: Jupiter and the enigmatic Omen prepare for the sinister H’San Natall
in Teen Titans (second series) #2 .
BELOW: Jupiter clashes with the teenaged Ray Palmer in Teen Titans (second series) #7 .
But Loren – along with confidante Neil Richards – had now concentrated his concerns on a looming alien invasion by the dreaded H’San Natall. Some seventeen years earlier, the evil extraterrestrial race created a breeding experiment that left a handful of super-powered sleeper agents on Earth. With Omen’s mystical guidance, Jupiter located four of the half-breeds and disrupted their nascent programming. Argent, Risk, Joto and Prysm – joined by the de-aged Atom – formed the newest group of Teen Titans with Jupiter once again acting as the team’s benefactor.
Loren clashed with some of his youthful charges, especially the Atom, who still grappled with his chronally-impaired status as a teenager. But Loren’s heart was in the right place, motivated by a desire to steer the young crimefighters away from unnecessary dangers.
But danger landed on their doorstep, as Haze resurfaced and kidnapped Omen, using his half-sister’s psychic abilities to amplify his own impressive mental manifestations. This deadly development led Loren Jupiter to call upon his former charges – now Nightwing, Arsenal, Flash and Tempest – to stop his super-powered son. With their erased memories of Jarrod Jupiter restored, the foursome teamed up with Atom’s Teen Titans to overcome their own insecurities and break Haze’s mind-altering manipulations. At this time, Lilith’s identity as Omen was revealed to her former friends and new colleagues, as was her familial connection to Mr. Jupiter.
ABOVE: Lilith reveals herself as Omen! From TEEN TITANS (second series) #15 .
BELOW: And you think your family is dysfunctional?
The Jupiters have an impromptu therapy session in TEEN TITANS #15 .
In the wake of this encounter, the Titan Joto was believed dead while Jarrod suffered a complete mental breakdown. A crestfallen Loren Jupiter disbanded the team, but the Teen Titans soldiered on without Jupiter’s funding. Lilith and Jupiter later saved the reorganized Titans from the horrid H’San Natall, ending the conflict once and for all while also reviving the fallen Joto. At this juncture, the young heroes’ dedication to the team collectively wavered, and this particular incarnation of the Teen Titans folded.
A short time later, Lilith was killed by a rogue Superman android, which had been awakened by Brainiac’s distant ancestor, Indigo. Loren mourned the loss of his daughter in a small ceremony attended by close family and friends.
Powers & Abilities
Having produced two children with psychic powers, it has been speculated that Loren Jupiter may possess enhanced mental abilities of his own.
Family Time: Although Loren Jupiter and Lilith Clay were both introduced in Teen Titans #25 , neither were aware of their father-daughter relationship at that time. Likewise, the writers never intended the pair to be related by blood. Twenty-seven years later, in the pages Teen Titans (second series) #15 , Lilith was revealed as Jupiter’s long-lost offspring. This storyline provided some answers to Lilith’s murky past and also introduced another of Loren’s children, the embittered Jarrod Jupiter. Lilith and Jarrod had different mothers, although the names and identities of both women have yet to be revealed.
In Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #56 , Cyborg and Aquaman uncovered information about the sinking of San Diego. In that issue, readers are introduced to Greg Jupiter, Loren’s previously unseen brother. Greg Jupiter ran Pro-Gene Tech, which was responsible for the sinking of San Diego and transforming its citizens into water breathers.
Almost Evil: In Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1 , former Justice League liaison Maxwell Lord was revealed as the duplicitous leader of Checkmate. And when Blue Beetle discovered Max’s secret, and was shot dead. So what does any of this have to do with Loren Jupiter?
At Wizard World Philadelphia 2005, DC’s Dan Didio revealed how they arrived at Maxwell Lord as the Big Bad. They were thinking of people in the DC universe that could arrange such a plot … King Faraday… Nemesis… and… Mr. Jupiter. But then they reconsidered, “We can’t call him Mr. Jupiter. That sounds lame,” Didio quipped, “Mr. J?” But then they thought of Maxwell Lord, who fit the story better and was more well-known. “Mr. Jupiter was in like four Titans stories in 1971,” Didio mused. When one considers Mr. Jupiter’s wealth and the speculation that he may possess psychic powers, it’s a development that may have worked. On the other hand, how many betrayals can the Titans handle anyway?
Teen Titans #25 : The Teen Titans are recruited, through Lilith, by Mr. Jupiter, one of the world’s richest men and the financier of a secret government-sponsored training project for teenagers. First appearance of Lilith and Mr. Jupiter. Lilith, Hawk and Dove join the Titans. Robin takes a leave of absence.
Teen Titans #26-27 : Mal joins Mr. Jupiter’s training program and learns the Teen Titans’ secret identities in this story. After training in Mr. Jupiter’s survival course, the former Titans are assigned to a field exercise: to survive in “Hell’s Corner,” a tough inner-city neighborhood. Malcolm “Mal” Duncan’s first appearance in issue #26. Mal joins the Titans.
Wonder Woman #265-266 : Back-up story featuring Wonder Girl. Donna Troy is informed that Mr. Jupiter has died, and she is the heir to his fortune. It is actually a trap to lure Wonder Girl as she is captured by Mr. Jupiter’s secretary, who calls herself ‘Perfection.’ She is intrigued by the Amazon race and wants to study Wonder Girl as a model of ‘perfection’ and rid the world of Imperfection. Wonder Girl had sensed a trap and feigns helplessness long enough to get the drop on ‘Perfection’, and frees a captured, very-much-alive Mr. Jupiter. Last Mr. Jupiter until he reappears in Teen Titans (second series) #1.
Teen Titans #1 : Omen and Mr. Jupiter prepare for the H’San Natall invasion. First appearance of Argent, Risk, Joto & Prysm. First appearance of H’San Natall. First Omen. First modern appearance of Mr. Jupiter.
Teen Titans #2-3 : After avoiding capture, five teenagers are taken in by Loren Jupiter and the mysterious Omen and become the new Teen Titans.
Teen Titans #12-15 : “Then and Now: Parts One-Four”: Nightwing gathers his old teammates to help find their former mentor, Mr. Jupiter, and the missing Omen, which leads to a confrontation with Haze, a never-before-seen villain from their past. Issue #12 features a never-before-revealed flashback tale involving Haze [First Appearance of Jarrod Jupiter, Loren Jupiter’s son; First Appearance of Haze]. In Issue #15: Omen is revealed to be Lilith. Lilith is revealed as the daughter of Loren Jupiter.
Teen Titans #16 : As Joto is laid to rest, the kids are unresolved if they should continue. Mr. Jupiter answers that question when he dissolves the team. Arsenal muses about staying to train the new team. Lilith adjusts to everyone’s reactions to her revelations last issue. Lilith visits her bother, Jarrod, in a mental institution.
Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #56 : Further revelations abound concerning the murky past of the new Aquaman as he steps forward to embrace his future. Cyborg and Aquaman uncover information about the sinking of San Diego. In this issue, readers are introduced to Greg Jupiter, Loren’s previously unseen brother. Greg Jupiter ran Pro-Gene Tech, which was responsible for the sinking of San Diego and transforming its citizens into water breathers. First appearance of Greg Jupiter.
When Titans Get Relevant
from “There Were Titans In Those Days…”,
An article by David Kirk from Comics Feature #19, 1982
With issue #25, Teen Titans went through a major change that altered the flavor of the series completely. With Robert Kanigher taking over the writer’s job, Teen Titans retained its youth orientation, but became a very serious book. The Titans attended a peace rally, during which a riot broke out. As the Titans struggled with one of the militants, his gun went off, and fatally shot Dr. Arthur Swenson, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and crusader for world harmony.
The Titans, feeling responsible, vowed never to use their powers again, and joined a top secret project run by a Mr. Jupiter, the world’s richest philanthropist The team was no longer a junior Justice League, either. The Hawk and the Dove, who had guest-starred in #21, joined the team with the “big change” story, as did a young psychic name Lilith. Aqualad had been on leave since #19, and Robin had not been with the team at the peace rally, and so was not part of the vow or Mr. Jupiter’s project. Those in the project threw out their costumes in favor of light purple jumpsuits, to further demonstrate the break with their old ways.
Whether these changes were advisable is questionable. Considering that one of the appeals of the series was the chance to see the kid sidekicks on their own, away from their adult mentors, the introduction of Mr. Jupiter as a father figure was unwise. For those who had adult mentors already, he was redundant, and for those who didn’t, he robbed them of their initiative. One of the characteristics central to the Hawk and the Dove’s concept was their efforts to find out what to do, how to act, with their natures in opposition. But with Mr. Jupiter calling the shots, they became little more than a surly boy arid a wimpy boy arguing about whether or not to hit people. The uniforms were pretty boring, too, and made it difficult to tell the team members apart.
ABOVE: The shot heard ’round comic-dom! The Titans are unable to
prevent Arthur Swenson’s death in TEEN TITANS #25 .
BELOW: The Teen Titans get real in TEEN TITANS #25 .
The new direction collapsed into mush almost immediately, as the returning Aqualad convinced them to put their costumes back on for one mission, at the end of which they decided that they might overlook the vow every now and then, in extreme situations. The uniforms and costumes switched back and forth thereafter, with little rhyme or reason, and their solemn vow faded quickly from sight. They never decided they were wrong, that their powers were in fact better used for good, they just sort of shuffled the vow under the rug. The characters lost whatever impact they might have had as moral paragons or super-heroes, and their indecisiveness made the series seem directionless.
The new scripting didn’t help the book any, either. Steve Skeates had assumed the scripting chores after Kanigher’s three issues, but neither’s stories were nearly as tightly plotted as Haney’s. They chose to center around social issues at the cost of plot, and rather than making a dramatic case for some sort of social reform, his stories seemed to limply plead that bad things are wrong.
One notable story pointed out another of the major problems with Skeates’ stories – they were silly. Issue #31’s ‘To Order Is To Destroy” presented us with a college campus full of zombies. It seems the university psychologist had been advising brain operations as a cure for stress and social consciousness, and slowly but surely had taken over the minds of the entire campus. Haney’s ludicrous plot elements were a strength to the series when he was writing it, because his stories were supposed to be funny. But Skeates’ were an attempt at serious storytelling, and ridiculous plots like that one made it impossible to take the (usually overtly stated) morals seriously.
BELOW: A recap of the new direction from TEEN TITANS #27 .
Dick Giordano on Teen Titans [from The Titans Companion, 2005]
TTC: What brought about the movement toward relevance during your tenure?
DG: The idea came from Carmine [Infantino], as did the idea to de-power the Teen Titans and Wonder Woman.
TTC: Was it a direction which you agreed with?
DG: I kinda liked the idea because it put us at a different level and got creative people thinking in ways that they hadn’t thought of before. It was, of course, fathered by the stuff that Stan Lee was doing that was reaching a broader audience. At least Stan claimed he had accessed college level readers; DC’s were being aimed at our perceived audience of younger readers that gave up reading comics when they discovered girls and cars.
TTC: Why was Mr. Jupiter brought into the series?
DG: I’m blanking on the “why.” Taking a look at the intro story, I would venture a guess that we felt that we needed an adult mentor in place to guide the soon to be de-powered Titans, but I don’t remember discussing it with anyone. Maybe [it was] just Kanigher’s idea. He was brought in to handle the emotional moments of the TTs losing their powers. Robert was pretty good with emotional stories; that was his shtick. And Robert liked to go his own way.
TTC: If you had stayed, would we have seen more “relevant” stories from you, or would you have also returned them to super-heroics?
DG: Hard to tell. Relevancy, de-powering super-heroes, and getting rid of costumes were management’s editorial edicts that I implemented the best way I could. I have no idea if management officially pulled the relevancy plug after I left or if they just let things slide back to where they were by themselves.
Sources for this entry: titanstower.com
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