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Tartarus

Titans Adversaries

Related Links:
• Vandal SavageCheshire  •
H.I.V.E. (second incarnation)  • Adeline Kane •

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 History


Tartarus Rising

The evil immortal Vandal Savage kidnapped former Titan, Lilith Clay, and forced the young mystic to help him assemble the perfect team of Titans adversaries. Lilith reluctantly complied and used her sensory abilities to locate a team of suitable villains. This group would be dubbed Tartarus, named after the underworld prison that held the Titans of mythology.

With Lilith’s information, Vandal Savage individually recruited his team: the seductive Siren, the conniving Gorilla Grodd, the self-loathing Red Panzer and the ruthless Lady Vic. Completing the roster, Cheshire arrived to volunteer her own lethal services.

Vandal Savage reveals his plan in TITANS #11 [2000].

The Titans – with the help of Deathstroke – eventually tracked Tartarus to Zandia and found themselves in a dangerous three-way battle for their lives. Savage slit Addie’s throat in an attempt to synthesize her blood, and offered Cyborg a human body if he would help Savage harvest the blood into a serum. Addie, drained of her regenerative blood, was brain dead. Cyborg agonized whether to accept Savage’s offer. But before a decision was reached, Starfire fired a starbolt at Addie, killing her as a gesture of mercy.

During the melee, both sides suffered casualties. The third Red Panzer was killed only to be replaced by the nihilistic H.I.V.E. soldier, Justin. Vandal Savage shot Cheshire as a means of distraction, leaving her injured in enemy hands. Damien Darhk’s treachery prompted Lady Vic to plunge a sword through his back, seemingly killing him. But Darhk’s blood mingled with Adeline Kane’s before she died, leaving Darhk himself immortal.

Tartarus collapses upon itself in TITANS #14 [2000].

Tempest eventually learned of Lilith’s capture and led a team of Titans to rescue her at Tartarus’ base in Scotland. During the mission, Tartarus battled the Titans but collapsed upon itself due to each member having a different agenda. This was no accident, as Lilith later revealed she purposely chose villains who would be at cross-purposes.  As the team fell, Siren switched alliances during the battle and aided Tempest in escaping. The Titans were successful in liberating Lilith who was free to resume her life.

 Roll Call


Vandal Savage: In prehistoric times, Vandal Savage was a mere caveman. When a meteorite struck the Earth, it showered Vandal with radiation that gave him the ability to live forever. Over the centuries, the brilliant and brutal immortal has gone by many names and conquered many lands, but the Justice Society and Justice League are always there to stop Savage’s schemes. (see separate entry)

Gorilla Grodd: Adversary to the Flash. Gorilla Grodd is a super-intelligent ape who developed extraordinary mental powers after a spaceship crashed near his jungle home in Africa. Grodd uses his psionic gifts to enslave the human race, and has hatched many bloodthirsty plans to take over the world.

Lady Vic (Lady Elaine Marsh-Morton): Adversary to Nightwing. Lady Vic or “Lady Victim” is the sobriquet of Lady Elaine Marsh-Morton, one of a long and distinguished line of British mercenaries. Aided and abetted by valet Bivens and an arsenal of exotic weapons, Lady Vic operates as a hired killer to prevent foreclosure on her family estate.

Red Panzer (real name unknown): Adversary to Troia. The son of the neo-Nazi villain known as Red Panzer was shunned because his mother’s bloodline was deemed impure. Upon his father’s death, the self-loathing son adopted his father’s legacy as the new Red Panzer and initially clashed with the heroine known as Troia. This Red Panzer was killed during an assault on Zandia, leading Vandal Savage to
blithely recruit the nihilistic H.I.V.E. agent named Justin as his newest Red Panzer.

Siren: Adversary to Tempest. Siren is a minor voduo spirit from the Gulf of Benin. Rumored to be born to a voduo Rada-Lwa and a mortal man possessed by Gede, Siren is able to take the shape of a mermaid and hypnotize mortals with songs she has learned in dozens of different languages. Primarily, she uses these powers to induce hydrophobia, successfully keeping land dwellers away from the waters she guards.

Chesire (Jade Nguyen): Adversary to Arsenal. Vietnamese orphan Jade Nguyen learned to survive in the Far East through the study of martial arts and the craft of poison. Taking the name Cheshire, she became a feared and famous international assassin. Jade later had a daughter named Lian, the product of a brief yet passionate affair with Speedy. (see separate entry)

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 Essential Reading


Girlfrenzy: Donna Troy [June 1998]: Written and drawn by Phil Jimenez, this Donna Troy one-shot deals with racism. Donna Troy reflects back on a past adventure as Troia; She teams up with Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman to confront the fanatical Red Panzer.
Titans #5 [1999]: A small fishing town has suddenly become terrified of the water its economy depends on as, in the ocean, the mermaid known as Siren sings her song of watery death to all. Tempest, Argent and Damage manage to defeat her, but Vandal Savage rescues her. First appearance of Siren.
Titans #6 [1999]: Green Lantern guest-stars as Red Panzer attacks Troia and Arsenal. The Panzer’s willing to burn all of Harlem (with the help of his neo-Nazi commandos) to kill our heroes; Lian reveals to Chanda that Cheshire is her mother. Origin of Red Panzer. Red Panzer is rescued by Vandal Savage.
Secret Origins of Super-Villains 80-Page Giant [1998]: The bad guys — some new, some classic — take center stage. Vandal Savage organizes Gorilla Grodd, Lady Vic, Cheshire, Siren and Red Panzer into Tartarus (written by Devin Grayson with art by Drew Johnson and Jose Marzan, Jr.), the group plaguing the Titans beginning this month. The origin of Tartarus. Omen revealed as Vandal Savage’s captive. Leads into Titans #10-12.
Titans #10-12 [1999-2000]: “Immortal Coil”: Changeling and Deathstroke guest-star as Tartarus (introduced in Secret Origins of Super-Villains 80-Page Giant #1) attacks the H.I.V.E. The newly formed super-villain team of Tartarus takes on the H.I.V.E., with the Titans caught in the middle. Cyborg faces the ultimate test of his loyalty when the immortal Vandal Savage offers him a human body to call his own. As the battles with Vandal Savage’s villain team, Tartarus, and the malevolent H.I.V.E. heat up, the Titans are at odds…with one another. Adeline Kane revealed to be the H.I.V.E. Mistress in issue #11 and dies in issue #12. Red Panzer killed in #12 and replaced with a H.I.V.E. agent. Damien Darhk becomes immortal in issue #12.
Titans #14 [2000]: Still picking up the pieces from their face-off against the super-villain group Tartarus, the Titans head to Scotland to save Lilith (Omen) from the clutches of the villains. Siren defects and helps Tempest. Tartarus disbands.

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Sources for this entry: titanstower.com


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