your source for everything titans

The Mad Mod

Alias: Neil Richards
Related Links: Loren Jupiter


History


The Criminal of Carnaby Street

The Mad Mod was a fashion designer who lived on Carnaby Street in London, where Mod clothes were the rage. Mod used his fashion label as a front to conceal contraband items in the clothes he made.

After traveling to London as a sort of opening act for teen idol/rock star Holly Hip, the Teen Titans discovered that the Mad Mod was using the clothes he designed specifically for Holley Hip to transport various valuables between the U.S. and Europe. Robin resolved the case, the Mad Mod went to prison, and Wonder Girl was glad that “dreamy” Holley Hip wasn’t behind the crimes.

The Loverly Mad Mod from the pages of TEEN TITANS #17 [1968].

The Mad Mod soon returned to steal the Queen of England’s royal scepter. The Teen Titans were on hand, and after some merry chases across the countryside, Aqualad captured the thief. The young heroes returned the scepter to the queen and brought Mad Mod to justice.

The Straight And Narrow

Richards later resurfaced as a friend and confidant to Loren Jupiter. In the years since his second capture by the Titans, Richards has reformed, and become a very successful fashion designer with a retro collection of Mad Mod fashions. Richards aided Jupiter’s second attempt at forming a group of young teens – Argent, Risk, Prysm, Joto and Atom – as the Teen Titans. In fact, Richards helped design the costumes for this new team of heroes. Although this incarnation of Titans has since disbanded, Richards remains an ally and friend to the Titans, and has resisted any urges to return to his criminal ways.

ABOVE: The reformed Mad Mod in TEEN TITANS #3 [1996].
BELOW: Mad Mod explains he’s no longer a scoundrel in TEEN TITANS #5 [1997].


Powers & Abilities


During the Mad Mod’s heyday as a villain, he would match his outrageous clothing with a way out approach in his intricate but deadly traps. He would employ a gang of toughs to do most of the handiwork that needed muscle.

 

Notes


Although it occurred purely by coincidence, the Teen Titans were just getting started when the Batman craze hit. Teen Titans #2 appeared about the same time as the tv show’s premiere. Soon after, since anything that had even a remote connection with Batman or Robin was selling like hotcakes, Robin got special billing on the covers. From #5 through #10, the boy wonder was the only one of the four Titans to have his picture inset above the logo.

Unfortunately, along with the Batman show came camp humor and before long, the Teen Titans and almost every other DC series reeked of it. One villain, the Mad Mod, was probably the most blatant example of the trend. Mod was a criminal fashion designer who worked out of Ye Mad Mod’s Real Gear Garb in his first appearance (TT #7) and out of The Ungrotty Grotto Boutique In his second (TT #17). Bob Haney maintains, however, that he did not consciously write the Titans to be camp. In fact, he said, he barely paid attention to the Batman TV show.

 

Essential Reading


Teen Titans #7 [1967]: First Mad Mod; The U. S. Treasury Department sends the Teen Titans on a personal appearance tour of Europe with rock star Holley Hip in order to stop a suspected smuggling operation. The singer’s clothing designer, known as the Mad Mod, turns out to be the smuggling mastermind, with Holley an unwitting dupe, and the Titans and Halley together evade his traps and capture him and his henchmen. First appearance of the Mad Mod.
Teen Titans #17 [1968]: The Teen Titans travel to London for a Command Performance at which they will meet Queen Elizabeth II. On a sightseeing tour, Robin becomes accidentally locked in the Tower of London, leaving Kid Flash, Aqualad, and Wonder Girl to retrieve the Queen’s royal scepter, stolen by the Mad Mod, without the Boy Wonder’s aid. Their costumes gimmicked by the Mod so as to halve their super-powers, the Titans are unable to stop the villain, until the ruse is discovered and they change uniforms. Then Aqualad rescues an escaping Mod from drowning, while Kid Flash and Wonder Girl defeat his henchmen, and the scepter is returned to the Royal Family.
Teen Titans #2 [1996]: “Titan’s Children,” Part 2 of 3: At the mercy of the aliens on Saturn’s Moon, the Titans are forced to shatter the virtual fantasy world of a trapped young girl. What they unleash is Prysm. First Modern Appearance of Mad Mod, now Mr. Jupiter’s ally and famous clothes designer.
Teen Titans #12-15 [1997]: “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. Meanwhile, the current Titans are missing in action! The original Titans meet the reformed Mad Mod.

 


Sources for this entry: The Official Teen Titans Index [published by ICG in 1985], Amazing Heroes, Unpublished Titans Sourcebook [West End Games, 2001], supplemented by titanstower.com


End of titanstower.com transmission. About this author:  Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind titanstower.com. He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Read more from this author