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The Fearsome Five

Teen Titans Adversaries

Related Links:  Dr. LightPsimonShimmerMammoth
GizmoGizmo IIJinxNeutronDeuce & Charger

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Fear Times Five

The Fearsome Five was a group put together by Doctor Light when he placed an ad in the Underworld Star, a criminal underground paper. The charter members were: Dr. Light, Gizmo, Shimmer, Mammoth and Psimon, the latter taking over leadership from Dr. Light during their first encounter with the Titans. The Fearsome Five would return to battle the Titans, and Dr. Light was always in a power struggle for leadership over the group. Light eventually fled the Fearsome Five in fear for his life.

Psimon, Mammoth, Shimmer and Gizmo later freed the nuclear-powered Neutron and the sorceress Jinx from imprisonment at S.T.A.R. Labs. The Fearsome Five (actually, six members at this point) held New York hostage, until the intervention of the Titans, who engaged them in battle and defeated them.

Dr. Light gathers the Fearsome Five in NEW TEEN TITANS #3 [1981].

The Fearsome Five later encountered Superman, with a new lineup: Mammoth, Gizmo, Shimmer, Charger, and Deuce. They attempted to steal a jewel from a Diamond Expo in Metropolis and later raided a luxury liner to rob its rich patrons. Both times, they were thwarted by Superman.

The team disbanded once again shortly after that, as greed drove members in different directions. Sometime later, Psimon returned from certain death and systematically sought revenge on his former teammates for abandoning him. Mammoth barely survived a spear through his head, while his sister Shimmer seemingly perished. Gizmo was almost lost forever in Psimon’s sub-atomic deathtrap, but his genius eventually saved him.

Dr. Sivana gathers the revamped Fearsome Five in OUTSIDERS #14 [2004].

Five For Fighting

Dr. Sivana gathered a new team – Psimon, Mammoth Gizmo and Jinx – and was able to successfully restore Shimmer to life. The newly formed group put aside their petty difference as they initiated a corporate espionage plot against Lexcorp, but the super-criminals were ultimately defeated by Nightwing’s Outsiders team. When Sivana doubted the group’s loyalties, he shot Gizmo in the head as a warning to the other members.

The demonic Sabbac – replacing Gizmo – later joined the Fearsome Five to free the imprisoned Mammoth at the request of Dr. Sivana. In exchange, Sabbac was able to ensnare the Seven Deadly Sins and control them. Now a greater demonic force, Sabbac unleashed havoc on Alcatraz Island. It took the combined might of the Outsiders and Katana to stop him.

After Sivana’s group fell in ruins, the Calculator hired Mammoth, Shimmer and Jinx to free Nano and Rumble from Alcatraz Prison. His true objective was to exact revenge on the Teen Titans, whom he blamed for the death of his son, Marvin. To this end, Calculator’s prison breakout would trap the Titans on Alcatraz Island, where where a nuclear-powered inmate would reach critical mass and destroy San Francisco. Calculator’s plan was thwarted when Eddie Bloomberg used the T-jet to fly the inmate away – at the cost of Eddie’s own life.

Later, the Fearsome Five tussled with Donna Troy in Miami, where the Titan was called to photograph  the grand opening of a new resort hotel. Discovering the job assignment was a trap, Troy quickly dispatched Shimmer, Mammoth, Jinx, Nano and Rumble.

The Fearsome Five, as gathered by the Calculator, in TEEN TITANS (third series) #73 [2009].


 Roll Call: The Fearsome Fivesomes

Through the years, the Fearsome Five’s line-up has constantly changed. Plagued by personal agendas and constant in-fighting, the evil organization’s biggest obstacles can often be found within its own ranks! Here’s a quick rundown of the various incarnations of the Fearsome Five, in chronological order:

Roll Call: Dr. Light, Psimon, Mammoth, Shimmer and Gizmo
Active:  New Teen Titans (first series) #3, 7, 37 and Batman and the Outsiders #5 [1981-1983]

Roll Call: Psimon, Mammoth, Shimmer, Gizmo, Jinx and Neutron (that’s six, but who’s counting?)
Active:  Tales of the Teen Titans #56-58 [1985]

Roll Call: Mammoth, Shimmer, Gizmo, Deuce and Charger
Active:  Adventures of Superman #430 [1987]

Roll Call: Psimon, Mammoth, Shimmer, Gizmo and Jinx
Active:  Outsiders #13-15 [2004]

Roll Call: Psimon, Mammoth, Shimmer, Jinx and Sabbac
Active:  Outsiders #29-30 [2005]

Roll Call: Mammoth, Shimmer, Jinx, Nano and Rumble
Active:  Teen Titans (third series) #72-74, Titans (second series) #20 [2009-2010]


The Fearsome Five Secret Files Entry from 2005


Essential Reading

New Teen Titans #3 [1981]: Dr. Light forms the Fearsome Five in order to attack the Titans again; Fearsome Five member Psimon, under Trigon’s subtle influence, takes over leadership from Dr. Light, and the villains defeat the Titans; Psimon plants a compulsion in the heroes’ minds to destroy the JLA. First appearance of Fearsome Five; First appearance of Gizmo, Mammoth, Shimmer and Psimon.
New Teen Titans #7 [1981]: Titans’ Tower is unveiled. The Fearsome Five renew their assault on the Titans, using Silas Stone, Cyborg’s father, and the dimensional transmitter in Titans’ Tower to bring Psimon back; Once the Fearsome Five is defeated, Silas reveals that he is dying of cancer; After two months of reconciliation between himself and his son, Silas dies.
New Teen Titans #37 and Batman and the Outsiders #5 [1983]: Fearsome Five member Gizmo breaks his villain group out of prison; Under Psimon’s leadership, the Fearsome Five kidnap Dr. Helga Jace and force her to make them a group of Mud Men to help in their battles; Dick Grayson tells Bruce Wayne that he wants to terminate their heroic partnership; The Titans and the Outsiders team up to defeat the Fearsome Five after the villains expel Dr. Light from the group and attempt to kill him; Robin chafes under Batman’s leading the two groups in battle and takes over, proving that Robin does not always have to be in Batman’s shadow.
Tales of the Teen Titans #56-58 [1985]: The Fearsome Five, without Dr. Light, invade S.T.A.R. Labs and take Neutron and Jinx to be their new teammates; Cyborg’s refit is completed, but his body rejects the parts; The Fearsome Five are defeated; Cyborg is brought back to health and meets Dr. Sarah Charles; Jericho is made a full-fledged Titan. First appearances of Sarah Charles. First appearance of Jinx. Jinx and Neutron join the Fearsome Five.
Adventures of Superman #430 [1987]: The Fearsome Five encounter Superman, with a new lineup: Mammoth, Gizmo, Shimmer, Charger, and Deuce. First appearance of Charger and Deuce.
New Titans #116-117, Green Lantern #57 [1994]: Psimon cuts a swath of destruction through a star system, devastating the planets of Kallas and Talyn (home of Jarras Minion). Eventually, Psimon returns to earth, where he seeks revenge against all those who wronged him, including his former teammates. To that end, Psimon viciously attacks Mammoth and Shimmer – driving a spear through Baran’s head. He then transforms Selinda into glass and shatters her, killing her instantly. Next is Gizmo: Psimon uses his powers to continually shrink Gizmo – until he reaches the subatomic level. Psimon then attacks the Titans, and psychologically tortures each of them, while also unwittingly unlocking new abilities in the Titan, Mirage. Jarras Minion arrives on earth on a mission of vengeance. Minion intends to kill Psimon. With Mirage’s new abilities and the arrival of Minion, the Titans are able to contain Psimon. Mammoth, Shimmer and Gizmo seemingly die. Mammoth later resurfaces alive. Green Lantern joins the Titans.
Teen Titans [third series] #8 [2004]: Mammoth and Gizmo battle the Titans. Mammoth proclaims he is ‘searching’ for his dead sister, Shimmer.
Outsiders #13-15 [2004]: -The Fearsome Five are back – and worse than ever – in the 3-part “Five by Five!” Organized by Dr. Sivana, Mammoth, Gizmo, Psimon, Jinx, and a newly-restored Shimmer wreak havoc. Shimmer restored to life in issue #13.
Outsiders #29-30 [2005] : Sabbac joins the Fearsome Five and ensnares the seven deadly sins.
Birds of Prey #120-121 [2008]: Oracle employs the enigmatic operative, Infinity, to investigate the sinister Silicon Syndicate operating out of Platinum Flats. But things get worse when The Joker infiltrates the high-tech gang network. Gizmo appears alive in issue #120, reanimated by Manitech Research & Development.
Teen Titans #72-74 [2009]: The Calculator hires Mammoth, Shimmer and Jinx to free Nano and Rumble from Alcatraz Prison. His true objective is to exact revenge on the Teen Titans, whom he blames for the death of his son, Marvin. To this end, Calculator plans to trap the Titans on Alcatraz Island, where where a nuclear-powered inmate will reach critical mass. Calculator’s plan is thwarted when Eddie Bloomberg uses the T-jet to fly the inmate away – at the cost of Eddie’s own life.Calculator also kidnaps Kid Eternity and forces the mystic teen to repeatedly summon the spirit of his dead son, Marvin.First appearances of Nano and Rumble in issue #73. Death of Eddie Bloomberg in issue #74.
Titans #20 [2010]: Spotlight on Donna Troy! What happens when a young twenty-something woman feels like she grew up too fast and deprived herself of a twenty-something kind of life? As Donna ponders this, the Fearsome Five continue their Titans revenge streak. They picked the wrong time to do it…


 Creating and Recreating The Five

George Pérez on The Fearsome Five [from Comics Interview #50, 1987]

ANDY: And The Fearsome Five?

GEORGE: The Fearsome Five – a dumb group, initially. Dr. Light, because he’s such a loser, they got rid of him. Jinx, I had nothing to do with, so I can’t make any judgement on her. Mammoth, standard big super-villain, brute force guy. Shimmer, nice but hard to handle realistically. Psimon, my least favorite of the group, because he was so powerful and, my fault, I designed a silly-looking appearance for him. I wanted to make him look frail, but that did look kind of dumb. It looked like he was wearing a commode on his head. [Laughter.]

George Pérez on The Fearsome Five [from The Titans Companion, 2005]

TTC:  How about the Fearsome Five?

GP:  [With the] Fearsome Five, my inspiration for that was the Frightful Four. Even Gizmo tends to look like a miniature version of the Trapster, but they were just a fun, old-fashioned super-villain team, Dr. Light being a nice, nostalgic face. I read the old Justice League stories where he was introduced, and it was just fun to draw an established DC villain in the Fearsome Five. All the other characters were fun.

There are some costume elements I would’ve changed, knowing things now. I think Shimmer’s costume doesn’t hold up well. Those little cut-out things [are] very mod, showing my age now, and I would probably go much bigger on Mammoth now if I were designing him because comic book characters are bigger to begin with now. I probably would’ve drawn Mammoth as a more Hulk-ish character as opposed to just this big, big, muscular guy, but still within the realm of a human build on him. Psimon, that was the best I could do at the time. I probably would have made him look a little more creepy, and I definitely would never have colored him pink. That wasn’t my choice. Pink just didn’t work for Psimon. They were just a nice, old-fashioned story, a throwback to the 1960’s style villains, which were a lot of fun to do.

The original Shimmer, Mammoth and Gizmo – depicted by George Pérez.

Judd Winick on The Fearsome Five [from The Titans Companion 2, 2008]

TTC: You also brought back the Fearsome Five. What did using that group allow you to do in the Outsiders?

JW: Well, it gave a little bit of history. It allowed us to revamp some interesting characters. I’m kind of proud that Psimon and Shimmer and Mammoth actually look a little more, in my opinion, respectable now. I was even talking to George Perez about it briefly, that some characters immediately look dated, and you can’t have them look like that.

Shimmer with her red afro and yellow leotard doesn’t play today. Psimon is kind of ridiculous looking, with his braindomed head and the pink moo-moo… [laughs] It doesn’t really make sense, so just visually, for me, it was interesting, [because] these are great characters, but if we bring them back this way, they instantly become jokes. Isn’t it more fun to try and make them frightening and furious?

Even putting Dr. Sivana in there, which I’m very pleased that Dr. Sivana is still around and kicking… these are great, great characters. Most of these… I don’t know if you could call them C-list characters, [or] B-list characters… that we often bring back, we bring them back because we think they’re terrific characters. We change them because we want to contemporize them so they can actually be enjoyed by today’s readers.

Too often, I think that’s lost on the hardcore readership. I think that they think we’re trying to change things just for change’s sake, but we’re not. We’re trying to just make them more contemporary, trying just to make them look like they could be read today. It doesn’t take away from what happened ten, twenty, thirty years ago. Those were books to be read back then; storytelling and characterization has changed. It’s changing characters for the better, to make them characters that can be read by our readers and not be anachronistic.

TTC: I take it that you weren’t too attached to Gizmo.

JW: No, I liked Gizmo, but again, working with Geoff, we had other plans for Gizmo. I like the concept of Gizmo, which is why Gizmo took on other shapes. [laughs] But the very original Gizmo still being around and kicking? Not so interesting as the concept of the little man who can build anything.

Sources for this entry: DC Who’s Who Series, DC Who’s Who Binder Series, The Official Teen Titans Index [published by ICG in 1985], The New Titans Sourcebook [Mayfair Games, 1990], supplemented by

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